Blog: eMail or Yammer? The battle of the titans. Who’s going to win?

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Microsoft is committed to Yammer and its success. It will be available in SharePoint 2016 On-line. To push organizations towards Yammer Microsoft has almost silently removed a number of features available in the current version of SharePoint Online. Notes and Tags features have been deprecated sometime during September, but will remain available for one year. The ‘Tasks’ feature has been removed from the current version of SharePoint Online. In the future, the Synch to Outlook feature is also subject to removal. Microsoft has stated that although the applications will be available in SharePoint 2016 Online, not all of them will be. Currently they have not stated what is and what is not to be included. It is predicted that SharePoint Online’s Newsfeed solution is only temporary and will be deprecated to further push organizations to adopt Yammer.

According to Rob Helm, Managing Vice President of Directions on Microsoft , “Microsoft has typically pointed to Yammer, a cloud-based collaboration service, as a replacement to many features currently available in SharePoint Online, although there is no premises-based Yammer version. Helm expressed surprise at how slowly Yammer is getting integrated into Microsoft products.”

Since Yammer is a solely cloud based solution, although it will be included in SharePoint 2016 Online, it is questionable if all organizations using the online version of SharePoint will want to move all their social communications to the cloud.

According to David Roe, in his article on CMS Wire, “The Problem with Yammer? People don’t use it. ”

“There is still no evidence to suggest that Yammer is being used widely across the enterprise. In fact in July of this year (2014), David Lavenda of told us that in his experience Yammer is still not being used by workers that have access to it.” In fairness to Microsoft, the problem lies not with the product itself but with the way people work. Email is still the collaboration tool of choice by most enterprise workers and despite overflowing inboxes and the rise of social networks, it doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.

Concept Searching Inc.

Yammer and instant messaging has made a considerable impact on my use of email for internal communication. Looking at my email I’ve noticed that the majority of traffic is external communication and Yammer notifications for a couple of groups I need to follow closely. Most of the internal traffic is meeting requests.

Something overlooked is that my voice mail is no longer flashing at me every morning. Presence in our messaging tools has encouraged people to wait until they see someone online and then request a call if needed – much more polite.

When I saw this post I took a look at our Yammer analytics and found that in the last 30 days 38% of our 33,000+ Yammers users were engaged and 18% of our 3400 groups were active. We had more than 21,000 messages posted and 38,000 likes. This network is completely internal. Yammer groups are integrated into most of our SharePoint site collections.

Yammer has helped flatten our organization (senior leaders do participate) and has provided an avenue for peer support, cutting down on help desk traffic.

While not 100%, Yammer has made a considerable impact on internal communications and collaboration in our enterprise and we see participation continue to grow.

Nationwide Insurance
Des Moines IA

I completely agree.
Changing the way work functions is key in enabling a presence like solution. Many organziations are still struggling with voicemails leave alone Yammer or any other tool that offers what it offers.
In order for workplaces to be more efficent, productive and people really taking charge of their productivity, embracing new solutions is key. From personal experience our business productivity suite is seeing tremendous adoption, but a lot of work is around helping customers undersiand how to really use it as tool to change how their work is structured rather than giving them a bunch of feature rich tool. Just my thoughts.

Bridgewater NJ

Since my first introduction to the ECM/IM/RM and Portals (in particular) field implementing one of the first 2 enterprise scale production instances in Canada of SharePoint 2007, I have held that Outlook is actually what I term “the people’s portal”. Email will not be replaced by Yammer. Or Twitter. Or anything else until/unless that something ‘else’ has all the capabilities of email plus instant message and presence and so on.


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