Yammer is a private social network that helps employees collaborate across departments, locations and business apps. As a collaboration software solution, it was purchased by Microsoft in 2012 for a cool $1.2 billion. Yammer allows you to quickly bring a team together for conversation and collaboration in one place, including data from different business applications.
The communication loop can be extended to include external project members such as vendors and customers. In Yammer everything is about teams and conversations. Conversations can be started with Office documents, videos, or even still images. In large companies, Yammer’s search algorithm helps you find the most relevant conversations, groups, files, and people. Wherever you happen to be at the moment, you can still participate in team activity via the Yammer app. It also includes cross-team views, and can quickly point you towards the most relevant groups and people based on your interactions and interests.
Price is clearly a winning feature for Yammer. Its enterprise-level solution only costs a few dollars per user. Of course, if you have thousands of employees, that figure ratchets up pretty quickly, but then such companies also have the resources to make it happen. Some users like being able to find and connect with the right people when they’re in very large organizations. Some like how it operates as a company-wide news feed to stay up on what’s happening, although you’d also have to recognize that what you’re seeing is only what people who use the system are posting to it, so it might actually be very skewed towards just the people actually using it.
Yes, the price is right, but for many users, this is seems to be a case of getting what you paid for. Quite a few users have said it’s just not anything special, and that it certainly doesn’t rise to the “Facebook for business” slogan that was once applied to it when it was an up-and-coming new solution on the market. Compared to something like Skype for Business (formerly Lync) which was specifically designed for integration with other Microsoft applications, Yammer’s ability to integrate across those same products is sorely lacking. Specifically, integration with Office 365 is described as poor, with no user synchronization (profile, picture, etc.) and no ability to publish documents from SharePoint, only OneDrive.
As with other social collaboration software tools that don’t offer seamless integration across other well-used applications, much of the general reaction to Yammer among many users can be described as “Okay, there it is. Great. Now what?” It can all too often become just another source of white noise, and quite a few users described it as a nuisance. Unless specifically managed for collaborative work efforts, it can quickly become nothing other than another personal social media platform, which is not what most companies are looking for. It therefore suffers the same widespread adoption deficit as was noted in the review of Chatter.