The New Yammer

This is another in a series of blogs about new technologies and services which were announced at Microsoft Ignite.

There was a big push on Yammer this year, with Microsoft referring this year to be the Year of Yammer! (the actual branding is #YearofYammer)

If you’re not familiar with Yammer, it is Microsoft’s enterprise social network…think of it as Facebook for the workplace. It has been around for several years but Yammer in the past has always seemed disconnected from the rest of the Microsoft services leading users with confusion on where this fits in.

One of the reasons why this has been the case is the disconnect between the main identity solution behind Yammer. This used to require a separate identity (as Yammer was previously a third party acquired product).

The primary aim from Microsoft this year with yammer is to simplify where they see Yammer focused around in the workplace. This can be summarised to be in the following areas of:

  • Leadership Engagement
  • Knowledge Sharing
  • Corporate Communications
  • and Communities

The disconnect I mentioned earlier has been addressed with full integration with Azure AD and Office 365 Groups. Microsoft are focusing heavily on improving the user experience which is also why they are calling this the Year of Yammer!

Yammer groups are now changing to be referred to as Communities to remove the confusion around Yammer Groups and Office 365 groups. It’s important to understand there will still be groups in Yammer, but these are Office 365 groups – so this will provide a membership service for all other Microsoft 365 services (Teams/Planner/Stream).

The user interface which has not been in par with the modern experience in Office 365 will be refreshed in line with the modern experience in SharePoint Online.

There will also be deeper integration into services such as Outlook, Teams and SharePoint to provide that seamless experience. This includes a new Yammer app for Microsoft Teams as shown below.

The new Yammer experience in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft are also bringing greater integration into the Outlook apps, with the ability to interact with Yammer posts directly from your inbox without needing to leave the app. You will remember from my previous posts that this similar integration is also being introduced when users receive email notifications for @mentions in office documents!

With all the updates and features which I have mentioned here and previous updates, it shows how Microsoft are working towards their main theme of this year’s keynote to empower every person and organisation to do more”.  

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