Microsoft has successfully built a suite of collaboration and communication tools over the last 10 years for enterprises to connect their people and hit that productivity sweet spot. Yammer, Skype for Business, SharePoint, and OneDrive all aim to satisfy a businesses collaboration needs. The launch of Teams in 2017 seems to have thrown the Microsoft world into a tizzy, their Slack competitor is snacking on their already over-complicated collaboration suite. The majority of that is down to a general misunderstanding of what Microsoft Teams is and what it can really do.
So, what better way to clear that up by pitching Yammer and Microsoft Teams together.
Yammer is Microsoft’s answer to the enterprise social network (ESN). Launched 10 years ago, Yammer has been a consistent player in the field but in recent years has lagged behind in terms of development and positioning. As part of the wider o365 development stack, the basis of Yammer is through a central newsfeed, a similar set up to commercial social media tools.
Microsoft Teams is the Slack competitor, similarly, it is built around a central feed style but is absolutely not an ESN. Teams can be used to schedule and launch meetings 1-2-1 and 1-2-many, collaborate on documents in real time and has the full power of o365 behind it with smart integrations. The Microsoft Teams product uses Teams to group together people of shared interests, Channels to divide up their topics of discussion and Tabs that showcase integrations. The main focus is on collaboration and getting ad-hoc work done in real time
Microsoft positions Yammer as the “outer loop”, not terminology you want to use with your people but helpful in understanding how to use it. New product launches and projects can easily be communicated with updates, files and videos (or GIFs) to everyone who needs to know in your company. Think of Yammer more as having a conversation in public, not everyone is listening or interested but those that are can join in and add their opinions, thoughts and expertise.
Teams is your close circle, your “Inner loop” – the opposite of Yammer. Teams is where you get your work done, you co-create together, have meetings to move along projects and discuss the details in chat. Teams is the closed-door conversation, you only invite the people you need into the room (team).
A private Team for everyone in Communications to work together and Channels for each of the Comms departments to collaborate on PR, Marketing and Internal Comms.
Meetings are scheduled in their channel and recordings automatically posted afterwards. Meeting notes can be captured in Teams in real time. Persistent chat means they can keep the conversation going in-between meetings.
The departments can easily come together to sync on launches and messaging.
Stakeholders can be kept up to date with comms plans in the Comms Group. The team can launch internal campaigns in the All Company Newsgroup using Announcements and Topics. The PR department can share updates in the ‘In the News’ Group. Internal Comms can get immediate feedback from around the business and answer questions.
Ultimately Yammer and Teams can coexist in harmony in your Workplace. What’s most important, is positioning when to use what tool. That might be company-wide, or it might even be as unique to each department. Communicating clear guidance will allow the two to work together should you need both. They do provide two slightly different modes to communicate together and get work done.
The Teams connectors even allows you to add Yammer into a tab for each channel, helping the team stay on top of the external news to their collaboration space. The Yammer connector sends notifications about posts from everyone, specific people and defined keywords, as well as announcements being made in the Yammer groups.