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Why has this support site moved away from Yammer?

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Ruven Gotz
Visitor

You may think: Proof! Microsoft has lost confidence in Yammer. This is not at all correct. When you look at the use-case of Yammer vs. Lithium (the platform used for this community) there are a couple of key reasons for moving this community support site away from Yammer.

 

Yammer is a platform for Enterprise Social Neworking within an organization (and extending to that org's partners). It was not meant to handle this type of public social platform supporting multiple millions of users. Also, the requirement that you log in before you can see or search posts was a limitation of Yammer for this use-case.

 

Yammer continues to be Microsoft's Enterprise Social Network. I applaud Microsoft for shifting platforms to serve users better, knowing they'd be taking the inevitable "Yammer is dead" backlash.

118 Replies

In a nutshell, yes. I think Microsoft is finally recognizing that other solutions may be a better fit for public internet-facing needs, and that they'll increase the level of participation if they reduce the technology barriers. 

To me Yammer is good enough for discussion today. That's all of what I need. The key success would be the marketing and encouragement of Microsoft. This is not the platform you use, it is how you educate and drive people to use it. I used to discuss about project with my members via Twitter :).
Yeap, I think adoption and training are going to be key to the success of this new platform for the Office 365

I'm thrilled to be part of the new Office 365 Network!!  The new Network has some huge advantages:

 

  • It's PUBLIC!!! The team behind the Office 365 Network did a great job of growing the community to more than 87,000 users, but there are hundreds of millions of customers of Office 365! Because the content in the network could not be surfaced publicly, through search engines, people couldn't "discover" the community. They had to be pointed to it.  Now the network, its members and its content will be discoverable and there's no friction (logon) to access its value.
  • It's SEARCHABLE by [name your favorite search engine]!!! Because it's public!
  • It's EASY TO PARTICIPATE! No need for admin approval to join. In the past, if someone learned about the community, and came with a question, they couldn't ask until an admin approved the new member... something our admins did 87,000 times!
  • It's RICH! There are lots of capabilities, including idea storming and blogging, that give us more ways to share knowledge and engage each other.

There's a lot more, but these are the things I'm most excited about!

Dan, I get the requirements, what I don't get is the need to throw away something that thousands (10's of thousands actuall) of people are actively participating in. Why not make Yammer work better for everyone rather than starting again. Inevitably your customers are going to question the wisdom of committing to a product that might get sidelined by the latest idea. This is the "old" Microsoft, not the "new" that we were liking.

 

If Yammer is too limiting, fix it!

I rely on the O365 Yammer network and love it.  Yammer is searchable and I do not understand why Microsoft would move away from using their own product.  It doesn't send a good message to existing customers. 

Just blogged on this since the new network has just gone into Public Preview.

 

The New Office 365 Community & Why Microsoft is Not Using Yammer for It

Agree with @Julian Knight and @Janice Dilworth : 

* WHY not improve Yammer to allow an External Yammer Network to allow READ ONLY access to non-member to allow search engine to crawl and make result visible in search engine ? or anyone read the content without any sign-in ?

* or WHY not allowing someone to create a yammer account using his/her yahoo, google, ... email address, then join the network and/or relay on Yahoo, Google, facebook as identity provider to reuse identity people already have on internet/public part

 

Lithium or not Lithium, I just feel we are going back to the future : in 2013 and Sharepoint Social features with badging system (that work well by the way)

Hello again Ms. Moneypenny :)  from SPYAM to ITNETWORKPRO to here, we find you wherever ;)  Besides letting you know I am the "first like" in the post (if it does not already show that, dang I need to review this more ...)  I also want to check out my other issue about sharing Rich text stuff so sorry I am sort of using my fan mail to do so . Cat Happy

function likemyfrontend (defitem, butIalso) {

var iLikeIt = "I like my front end ";
var butalso = "but ";
alert (iLikeIt + defitem + butalso + buttIalso);
}

// did this work?  

OMG!  looky its code!

Spoiler
Spoiler tag Cat Happy

Thanks and y'all may return to your regularly scheduled "relevant" feeds :) 

 

In your blog you mentioned integration with O365 Groups...it wasn't clear if you meant Yammer integration with O365 Groups? If so that sounds like great news!

Yes - Yammer will soon integrate into Office 365 Groups. We'll post updates to this site as soon as we can. 

Highlighted

Yes Suzaane - I think its been poorly communicated but Yammer is under the Office 365 Groups construct, so the services you see there, such as group membership managed in O365 and being able to access to all the other services in Groups, are all part of roadmap. Sooner rather than later :)

Great to see you here @Ralph Rivas and honored that I have such loyal fans, amd glad you enjoyed the blog post and playing with the new features in this community :)

 

https://www.yammer.com/spyam will continue as an independent community as its not sponsored by MSFT.

 

Ah, but Yammer IS dead. And it's not because Microsoft moved the YCN to the Office 365 Network and then will move the kit and kaboodle here. It's because Microsoft since purchasing Yammer has made next to ZERO real improvements to it. You know what I mean, I'm not talking about minor UI tweaks.

 

This support site has moved away from Yammer because Yammer never evolved and grew after being acquired by Microsoft.

@Janice Dilworth give the search capability in this network a spin.  Let us know what you think, we definitely want to help people find all of the goodness that this community provides.

So becoming HIPAA compliant, having EU Model Clauses, integrating Office 365 login across services, searchability of links in Delve and so many other things count as minor tweaks? I think not...

Too many folks see UI as only improvements, when the secret sauce is in fact integrating conversation into where you work, but you must first do all the infrastructure to make that a reality.

Does this product is dead or alive was maybe a question when new versions was realeased every 3 years... But now these products are just moving faster. Are we still using SharePoint backend or not? Yammer feed backend or not? Exchange Server backend or not? I don't care cause I'm still using Outlook as a client and I don't have to change my habits if it fits my business needs.

Yammer is a great tool when it fits the business requirements. Let's move and try different things even if we will fail... Fail fast ;)

The Product reference it more a time mark of a set of features. Some part of Yammer, like parts of the corporate graph will stay alive for a long time and probably a new product or a new service will be built on top of it.

Yammer is still good and used in Office 365 as a comment aggregator between services/Applications and these content are already part of the Office Graph.

I was not really efficient in the Yammer network cause I was not capable to follow efficiently a multichannel conversation. Yammer is good when you have only few groups and Network to follow. I'm excited to see how this new portal will make me more efficient. I'm totally agree with @Dan Holme ;)

Yammer IS NOT dead yet! Some customers are still using it. Please, stop only thinking in the future even if is always very exciting. Most of the customers are not ready to live in the future. They need to address correctly some current business req.

Naomi,

 

Yes, I count all those as minor tweaks. Ask a typical Yammer user if his/her pulse picks up at all when hearing that list. Minor tweaks.

 

The core capabilities and use cases for Yammer have not changed in the 4+ years since MS bought it. In fact, they've shrunk. In the tech world that is d.e.a.d. Compare it to SharePoint and Office 365. There was once a time, before the acquisition, when people would talk about Yammer being a SharePoint killer. Been a while since I heard that one.

 

You say the underlying architectural stuff has to happen first before MS can do the fun stuff. Okay, granted. MS has had four years to get that finished. They've moved faster in Office 365 and Azure in that period of time. Yammer today is a tiny service with a very limited use case, and it's getting more limited as time goes on and Office 365 encroaches on more and more of its territory.

 

One final thought. No one ever claims that healthy apps and services are dead. The fact we're even having this conversation is very telling.

This is great.  Yammer was very close to being accessible but this is fully accessible for disabled Office365 experts like myselft. 

 

THanks for this network choice. 

 

Christopher McMillan

MSPartner for Accesssibility

The page layout of this new network is very inefficient. There is a entirely too much white space, the tiles are too big and excessive scrolling is required when compared to other forums.

Takes me about 3 days to scroll down and read a simple discussion now...
You didn't see this one coming??? :)
Thanks for the feedback, we will continue to work through preview to make the experience better!

 


@Christopher McMillan wrote:

This is great.  Yammer was very close to being accessible but this is fully accessible for disabled Office365 experts like myselft. 

 

THanks for this network choice. 

 

Christopher McMillan

MSPartner for Accesssibility


@Christopher McMillan Thanks so much for the feedback!  Really great to get your perspective.

This is my very favorite Yammer is Dead article.  It's by the CEO of Jive, from 3 years ago.  For something that was a corpse 3 years ago, there sure are a lot of people using Yammer.  Meanwhile in the same 3 years Jive has gone from $1.15B market cap to under $300M.  Just saying. 

 

Like I mentioned in my article earlier today, any time Microsoft retools purchased software from what it was to something ready to integrate with its other products, the short term result is somewhere between boring and awful.  The fact people are complaing that they've done nothing is a pretty big accomplishment, because a great deal of the underlying infrastructure has been changed.

 

It's kind of like your house being converted from wooden studs to steel and then complaining that the paint is the same color. 

Good feedback. We're definitely working on this.
Where did you get the idea that Slack's market cap has gone to under $300M?

Oh, and their market value just grown up again, see http://www.wired.com/2016/04/slack-raises-200-million-now-quadricorn/

Four years is not short term in the tech landscape. I could go buy a casino in Atlantic City, redo the plumbing, and open the doors four years later, but the market has moved on. Microsoft is capable of moving faster. They've demonstrated it time and again. But they haven't with Yammer.

 

Anyway, now that the O365 network has moved here, can we have the YCN back in Yammer?

I think this forum is a good way to show how much better Yammer is :) Yammer has spent years iterating their user experience, all the small changes to spacing, text, button shapes, colours, icons etc. Each of these being carefully measured to see the impact on the behaviour and engagement of millions of users. While the sharepoint development we've seen has been a little subdued while some major platform capabilities were managed there's lots of good stuff getting onto the roadmap now.

 

There are many bad design elements to this forum, as I type this message I can no longer see the 'people' I'm interacting with, it's a blind act of faith of posting into a blank slot. This is going to change the formula, break that ephemeral magic that was fostering a community. That's just one example, the rich text will soon annoy, the excessive white space, the inexplicable opening conversations.

 

Just having technical features isn't enough, we learnt that from SharePoint 2013 Communities, they had so much stuff but not the 'stuff' that makes people use it. 

Drat! Why can't I remove a like? The interface was so slow to react that it ended up in the wrong place and yet still took the mouse click.

I also agree with others that the layout is ... "interesting" - but not in a good way. When you are presenting a forum that will be highly active and fast moving, you need an interface that follows. Whilst there are many issues with Yammer, the one thing it does do OK is respond very quickly.

Not only is there vastly too much white-space in this layout, if I want to check who has liked something, I have to go to a page away from the text and then when I return, I am not put back where I started but rather at the top of the page.

Though at least it seems to have stopped crashing.
Oh dear! I used my first Quick Reply and it didn't even dynamically update the page! SPA 101 folks. This is like going back 5 years in terms of web UX.

It would also be nice if you fixed the great big blue arrow that is blocking out some of the text on the right-hand side of the page.
Good feedback. Thank you Julian.
Sorry, meant to say that the "success" box you get after the quick reply has a link in it that also takes you to the top of the discussion not back to where you started. In a busy discussion like this, these issues waste large amounts of time trying to navigate back to the right place all the time.

PLEASE try to find a way to track where we are in a discussion and always take us back there unless we say otherwise. This should even be true across visits. This was also a problem in Yammer in that you never could easily get back to the last post you had read but had to manually try and find it each time.
Also, hear everyone loud and clear on the issues with the confusing threading and white space. It's something we're working on.
Hi Lana, probably the wrong place to ask but it isn't clear what some of the elipsis menu items do - what does "Highlight" do, it didn't appear to do anything.
Perfect place to ask (although there is a community section for questions like these).

Highlight is an option to feature a conversation. Right now we only have that option for admins, so it shouldn't be an option for you. We'll get this (and others) fixed so that you can't see it in the post menu options.
OK, thanks Lana.

In fact, I have asked 2 questions in the community discussion group - no responses yet. I am about to also raise an idea - why isn't the community section accessible as a tile on the front page?

Hey Julian, we are working in a way to surface more corners of this network without making it too busy. What else would you like to see here? 

a few comments I think belong here... firstly there is far too much white space on the page, I tried to read the thread but got lost in terms of what topics were being discussed, as scrolling is a marathon - this alone risks killing the flow of the discussion.

The other thing I would recommend working on is your use of badges. Badges for the hell of it (like putting a profile photo us) are not legitimate incentives and can be seen as condescending. Each badge/reward needs to link to a specific intrinsic user motivator... at the moment there are too obviously skewed to your interests rather than the end users (this is gamification 101 guys).

Regardless of what is said by MS the move to this space raises concerns around the future of Yammer.

Which ever way it goes there is a need for a highly engaging and sticky platform to assist businesses commercialise not just their employee communities but also their partner and customer communities. This platform must drive engagement as its first priority, then cascade back to support a variety of functions and business models (including payment mechanisms, profile management etc)... I'm sure this new platform is infinitely more scalable from a tech perspective but you need to know that from an engagement perspective its horrible which means the critical anchor point of your social community is now compromised.

Really hoping this initial reveal shifts rapidly

@Scott Ward wrote:
a few comments I think belong here... firstly there is far too much white space on the page, I tried to read the thread but got lost in terms of what topics were being discussed, as scrolling is a marathon - this alone risks killing the flow of the discussion.

The other thing I would recommend working on is your use of badges. Badges for the hell of it (like putting a profile photo us) are not legitimate incentives and can be seen as condescending. Each badge/reward needs to link to a specific intrinsic user motivator... at the moment there are too obviously skewed to your interests rather than the end users (this is gamification 101 guys).

Regardless of what is said by MS the move to this space raises concerns around the future of Yammer.

Which ever way it goes there is a need for a highly engaging and sticky platform to assist businesses commercialise not just their employee communities but also their partner and customer communities. This platform must drive engagement as its first priority, then cascade back to support a variety of functions and business models (including payment mechanisms, profile management etc)... I'm sure this new platform is infinitely more scalable from a tech perspective but you need to know that from an engagement perspective its horrible which means the critical anchor point of your social community is now compromised.

Really hoping this initial reveal shifts rapidly

Shifting rapidly is the plan in preview, our users are the core to why there is value.  Your thoughts on gamification are also spot on and are aligned with our views.  Please continue to provide your feedback and we work to bring this community to the level of your expectations.

 

Hi this is my first time in network.office.com i am a Business user, and i just started using yammer yesterday. How can i fastest get up to phase with yammer and the office network today?
There are a lot of free training classes in the http://mva.microsoft.com site

Dutch :

Ik ben ook verheugd om deel te mogen uit maken van het nieuwe Office 365 Netwerk!!  Het nieuwe Netwerk beschikt over enkele grote voordelen:

 

  • Een van de belangrijkste voordelen is dat het PUBLIEKELIJK is!!! Het team achter de schermen van MICROSOFT(c) Office 365 Network hebben en geweldige taak uitgevoerd en de communitie laten goeien naar meer dan 87.000 gebrukers, maar er zijn enkele honderden miljoenen potentiele gebruikers van Office 365! Omdat de inhoud van het netwerk (YAMMER) niet publiekelijk kon worden ontsloten, o.a. door zoekmachines, en konden willekeurige personen de community niet makkelijk "DOORZOEKEN".
  • Zij moesten er specifiek op gewezen worden.  Nu is het netwerk "VINDBAAR", en zijn haar leden en de inhoud doorzoek- en vindbaar en er is geen sprake van frictie (Aanmelden) om de waardevolle informatie te bemachtigen.
  • Het is DOORZOEKBAAR voor [hier uw favoriete zoekmachine ]!!! Omdat het publiekelijk beschikbaar wordt gesteld!
  • Het is nu gemakkelijker om deel te nemen en te PARTICIPEREN ! Er is geen speciale toestemming nodig of een admin approval om deel te nemen. In het verleden, wanneer iemand over de community leerde, en een vraag wilde stellen, konden zij deze niet stellen voordat een admin approved de nieuwe deelnemer eerst had toegelaten... dat hebben ze dus voor 87.000 leden reeds gedaan!
    Dank daarvoor community admins Smiley Happy
  • Het bevat RIJKE GEGEVENS! Er zijn verschillende mogelijkheden, inclusief idee-brainstorming en bloggen, waarmee er meer wegen leiden naar het delen van kennis en elkaars betrokkenheid.

Er zijn zeker nog meer zaken, die ik hier wellicht heb onderbelicht. Maar ik ben zeer verheugd!

 

En: As a Dutch and Benlux oriented company I'm also thrilled to be part of the new Office 365 Network!!  

It certainly seems the new Network has some huge advantages over Yammer : No1... It had to become PUBLIC!

 

  • The main reason must have been that It's content became PUBLIC!!! Alle the team efforts behind the Office 365 Network did a great job of growing the community to more than 87,000 users, but there are hundreds of millions of potential customers of Office 365! Because the content in the network could not be surfaced publicly, through search engines, people couldn't "discover" the community. They had to be pointed to it.  Now the network, its members and its content will be discoverable and there's no friction (logon) to access its value.
  • It's SEARCHABLE by [name your favorite search engine]!!! Because it's public!
  • It's EASY TO PARTICIPATE! No need for admin approval to join. In the past, if someone learned about the community, and came with a question, they couldn't ask until an admin approved the new member... something our admins did 87,000 times! Thank you community admins Smiley Happy
  • It's RICH! There are lots of capabilities, including idea storming and blogging, that give us more ways to share knowledge and engage each other.

There's a lot more, and I certainly must have forgotten to mention some f them, but these are the things I'm most excited about!

Glad you're excited! I know we are!

Can you cross post? One of the great things about yammer is that ability to share form one group to another

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