SOLVED

External users in Yammer

Occasional Contributor

Hi, I'm not too familiar with Yammer so I hope I'm not messing up the terminology. :)

 

We would like to use Yammer to engage with users outside of our company and collaborate with them.

 

In an external network, is it required that the outside users have Office 365 and/or an MSA account to be able to join an contribute to the conversations? We would like to collaborate with our clients, but not everyone has O365.

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

 

24 Replies

Not something I have tried, but check out this if you haven't seen it already:

 

"If you want to include people outside of your Yammer network in your conversations and private messages, you can now do so. You can add people as external participants, and they can reply to messages and posts in your Yammer network without having to join. And you can create external groups to include external participants."

 

From: External messaging FAQ (Yammer) which has lots more details.

 

One of the other things it says is that MSA accounts, Gmail etc aren't supported "You must invite people using their company or work email address".

best response confirmed by Miguel Angel Tena (Occasional Contributor)
Solution

It's a little confusing, for sure, as there are various ways to collaborate with people outside your network.

 

The only way I know of to collaborate with people who do not have an Office 365 account is to configure an External Network.  This network will have as many groups as you need and will behave similarly to your internal home network.  You can allow anyone with an email address to join this network, even @gmail accounts.  Note that in order for this to happen, you have to allow non-O365 accounts; check your Security Settings on your home network:

 

Enforce.jpg

As long as that checkbox is clear, you should be able to configure an External Network which allows you to collaborate with any external person.

 

Please try this out and let us know how you make out.  

Miguel, I manage an external Yammer network for almost 10,000 users. No need for an O365 account...our users have everything from gmail to Yahoo to AOL addresses. No CompuServe, though! :)

Though there was some access confusion as Yammer became integrated into O365, everything seems to be working pretty well now. Would be happy to talk off line, if that would be helpful.

Alternatively, you could set up an external group in your home network, but in that use case everyone would need to have an O365 account.

Hope that helps...best of luck.

Larry
Ok, this setting will affect both the home and child network, I'll need to verify with my security folks Thank you for pointing me in this direction!

Larry,

Having read your response, I understand that you are proficient in external networks. I have one, and now I want to add quite a few members at once.

So, my question: Is there an easier way than typing in all email addresses? Such as I give them a link where they can join?

 

Many thanks in advance!

 

Pál Kerékfy

Pal,

 

There are a few things you could do:

 

1. Give potential users the URL of your external network. When they click on the link, they will be prompted to request access. Those requests can be monitored by clicking on the gear wheel in the  upper left hand corner of the screen, and selecting Pending Requests. The URL to our external network is rather long, so we developed a shorter, easier to remember "pointer" URL.

 

2. Clicking on the gear wheel again, go into the Network Admin panel, and select "Invite Users." Several email addresses can be manually entered here, separated by commas.

 

3. My favorite approach is to go into the specific group new members need to be added to, and click on the gear wheel in the upper right hand corner of the group banner. Select Group Settings, and then click on the "Add from Address Book (CSV)" where you can upload a CSV file of potentially hundreds of names and email addresses at once.

 

Hope that helps. Please be in touch with any other questions.

 

Larry

Hi Larry,
 
I'm trying to set up an External Yammer group which will allow external users to participate. But only outside domain name email addresses can be invited to join, "consumer" email addresses (Gmail etc) are not accepted. So, from what you say, I assume that we need to set up an external "network"?
 
I don't have the necessary permissions to do this, and my Admin doesn't seem to know what to do. Can you offer any guidance so that I can pass this on?
 
Many thanks
  
Tony

Hi Tony...yeah, sounds like an external network should do the trick. If you are not yet a global admin, your admin should be able to set that up for you in the Network Admin window of Yammer, which you can get to by clicking on the gear wheel in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Does that help?Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 8.33.18 AM.png

Great, thanks Larry. I'm not sure I can persuade my Admin to give me global rights ~ but I should be able to point him in the right direction to resolve the issue. Cheers...
Tony

Here's the guide explaining how you can create an external network https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/yammer/work-with-external-users/create-and-manage-an-external-netwo... You can share that with your admin. 

 

Sounds like they have disabled self-service for EN's, which is something I always recommend. Your Yammer network admins need a process for users to request an external network. Would just use a form and ask them several questions to make it easier to process/evaluate the requests (e.g. name, at least 2 admins, link to community management guide etc.). Would also create a group on your primary network for everyone managing EN's. The more they share their experiences, the easier it will get to increase interaction and get better results. 

 

Wouldn't create an EN if it's just a small group of people and it won't allow you to add Gmail users. An external group would be better as it's integrated with the primary networks and shares the same inbox. It's easier to get interaction there. An EN is something I only use if there is a need for multiple groups. External groups don't require an Office 365 account and Gmail and other popular consumer email addresses are not supported. They are not supported in Yammer in general, in any network, including external networks. The reason for this is because Yammer still has a freemium version. You create an account by signing up with your company email address. Signing up with Gmail would mean ending up in a network with all other Gmail users that have signed up for an account on Yammer which is why it's not supported. You do have the option to enforce Office 365 identities in your network (which is required for O365 connected Yammer groups). You also have the option to add external users to your primary network as guests, but that's not something I recommend as they will get the same access as your normal users. External users just require a Yammer account, which they can only create with their company email address. The accounts you get in an enterprise network (activated, connected to O365 tenant) are also always associated with a company email address. 

I am also struggling to see if I can add MSA holders (e.g. people with Hotmail or Outlook.com accounts but NOT "work" addresses) to an external network.

I can create the external network and add the MSA holder as a member to the network.

However: 

1) the MSA holder doesn't get an invite (I've added my personal email account)

2) when the MSA Holder accesses yammer.com and tries to sign up they (I) get the following

Yammer.png

So the roadblock doesn't appear to be on the admin side, rather it seems that it is not possible for an MSA holder to sign up for Yammer access.

 

However, if the admin is not stopped from adding , e.g. a hotmail account , to the  group, then I'm thinking that there might be some means to give MSA's access to a Yammer external network (similar to guest access in SharePoint Online?) .

 

Can anyone advise? Is it possible to add non-work email address MSA users (NWE-MSAs) to a Yammer external network ?

I do hope Microsoft have not screwed this up.on external networks as I have a business need to allow MSa and other Gmail type accounts in separately. As we have people who are independent of the organisation who we work with that only have these types of accounts.
guest access for MSAs in Teams could be an option.
Not in our scenario unfortunately.

Teams is overly complex and they want Yammer just for open discussions.

Also guests I'm teams cause entries in AzureAD which we really do not want to manage for this.

These issues do pop up for us as well from time to time, but we are still able to smoothly invite people with all kinds of email addresses into our external network with no issues. 12,250 users and counting!

These issues do pop up for us as well from time to time, but we are still able to smoothly invite people with all kinds of email addresses into our external network with no issues. 12,250 users and counting!

@Larry Glickman wrote:
These issues do pop up for us as well from time to time, but we are still able to smoothly invite people with all kinds of email addresses into our external network with no issues. 12,250 users and counting!

So.... you do have issues (from time to time) ;) .. so in your case is there intermittent issues with first time sign ups?

 

I am able to add the user (my MSA account) to the external group in Yammer (as Work account e.g. acme.com ).. but when I try signing up via Yammer it's giving me a clear error message that I need to have a work email address. To be clear here.. I'm signing up for the first time with a hotmail account.

So i'd interpret this as meaning there's a block on Hotmail.com, Gmail.com .. i.e. "personal" email addresses at the Yammer end. A bit like when a person will try to sign up for a webinar or for a free download with a hotmail account the validation will block registration because it's not a company account.

Could also be that there are geographical differences (e.g. you may be in US I am in Europe)

Could be timing difference.. e.g. 6 months ago I would have had access with a hotmail account.

I was able to add gmail and msa accounts late on Friday to our external network. 

 

The key difference between an external network and an external group. 

 

External networks should work with any address. 

External groups however need a work email address or one you own the domain name for. aka not an address owned by an ISP or other provider Yahoo, Gmail or Microsoft MS. 

 

This is because in the background Microsoft stands up a 365 tenant for the domain name creates and uses that as an accounts database to enable sign in. They cannot do this for general email services. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was able to add gmail and msa accounts late on Friday to our external network. 

 

The key difference between an external network and an external group. 

 

External networks should work with any address. 

External groups however need a work email address or one you own the domain name for. aka not an address owned by an ISP or other provider Yahoo, Gmail or Microsoft MS. 

 

This is because in the background Microsoft stands up a 365 tenant for the domain name creates and uses that as an accounts database to enable sign in. They cannot do this for general email services.