Let me start by saying this was no normal Ignite presentation – this was a full production complete with script, costumes and makeup.

The team of Melanie Hohertz & Sara Krajewski from Cargill and Simon Denton from Mott McDonald really spared no effort in putting on a show for the audience to get their message across.WIN_20170928_16_12_27_Pro.jpgOur players in costume


Mel, Sara and Simon were delivering a consistent message of “better together” – something we’ve been seeing from Microsoft since back in the days of Windows + Office, except this time they were addressing the confusion some people have around whether to use Yammer or Teams.

The story revolved around a Marvel comic superhero theme and how the two of them work together to collaborate better! Dr Strange played the part of Yammer, with Quicksilver playing the role of Microsoft Teams.


Why is Yammer played by Dr Strange?

  1. Peak early, peak often
  2. Yammer has a loyal but limited fanbase
  3. Yammer is sometimes considered weird & irrelevant
  4. Yammer had a murky roadmap
  5. Yammer needs more crossovers (integrations with Office 365 services)
  6. Yammer is about the power of the mind – people over features
  7. Yammer doesn’t believe in controls
  8. People who love Yammer can sometimes be considered arrogant
  9. Yammer has “died” a lot, but it’s still here
  10. The product name “Yammer” is strange


Why is Microsoft Teams played by Quicksilver?

  1. Velocity – getting work done with Teams is fast
  2. The Teams interface is good looking
  3. Teams steals the show
  4. Teams is integrated into Office 365, and is part of the “it” crowd
  5. Teams plays well with others
  6. Teams can be humorous with GIFs, memes and emojis
  7. Teams like toys (bots)
  8. It can be tough to control
  9. Teams has incredible potential in that it can take down Slack and even email
  10. Teams is best with its partners

Finally, another superhero was presented – Iron Man, as the premise is that he what keeps the heroes under control.


The superheros worked to debunk the whole “what to use when” models in that it’s about the people and how they want to work.


Mel focused on the point that Yammer allows for discovery of conversations and people outside of the realm that you know, and how simply by reaching out to the community people can find users and answers from the anywhere in the connected network.

Mel also pointed out that we ask voice assistants like Siri and Cortana that use the power of the network, but it can be a problem when we talk loosely without any focus.


Sara called out the benefit of Teams having a smaller group of people to work with than Yammer, in that it brings focus. Her point was that scaling focus doesn’t really work, and can be like herding cats.


Simon brought the messages together by referring to the terms introduced in the keynote at Ignite this week: inner and outer loops. Teams is for the inner loop, and Yammer is for the outer loop. He called out that Yammer can be added into Teams which brings together both loops.


Mel explained the benefit of doing this is that it addresses the challenge of having “another place to go”. Sara then showed how bringing Yammer and Teams together could be used either through connectors, or has a tab.


Mel talked through a real-life example from her employer Cargill and the experiences of one of the users – accessing Yammer both from within Teams as a tab as well as a connector to create threads in the conversation feed which allows a faster conversation to occur based on a Yammer thread.


Simon then took the audience through a demo of getting the Yammer connector to surface specific types of posts into his Team channel (complete with Marvel-themed names of both the team and the channel).


Sara provided a list of governance resources, with Mel following up with governance. They compared the controlled approach (Iron Man) of managing the creation of Office 365 Groups (and subsequently Yammer and Microsoft Teams) vs the freedom approach (Captain America) of letting anyone create groups – which subsequently allows you to identify who the early adopters and champions are.


Mel challenged the Yammer team to get a proper tab into Microsoft Teams within 6 months, and to the audience to go out and try Teams and Yammer together.


Overall a fantastic and creative presentation that was both entertaining and very informative.

1 Comment

Thank you for the review!  The session deck, demo videos and live stream recording are available from https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Microsoft-Ignite-Content-2017/Microsoft-Teams-and-Yammer-Velo...