Facebook Workplace vs Yammer - Customer Evidence

MVP

Hi, did anyone get the chance to work with a customer who tried both Facebook Workplace and Yammer and can give comparison between both platforms form the field. I found some posts about feature comparison but not a real case scenario.

 

I get the chance to work with a company that was nominated by Facebook to be part of few companies who tries Facebook Workplace (was called Facebook at Work back then), and did full implementation of it. Then as part of their modern workplace project and Office 365 migration, they realize that they are missing something that Yammer can provide.

 

I want to reach the product group of Yammer to see if I can present such perspective and comparison between the two outer loop communication platforms from the perspective of a company that implemented both. I already submitted a request for such session but not sure if the submission will go through. 

43 Replies

I presented at an Internal Communications conference in Amsterdam recently where Astra Zeneca talked about their move from Yammer to Salesforce Chatter and finally to Workplace.  Their Director of Corporate Affairs was fairly dismissive of Yammer and had fully embraced Workplace.  It was certainly a compelling story with evidence of very successful adoption from the across all levels of the organisation.  You might want to connect with Roeland van der Heiden on Linkedin to find out more.

 

I'm a big Yammer fan but I couldn't deny getting caught up in the Workplace experience during that presentation ...

 

Thx.

 

Garry @ Selfridges

Thanks for bringing this up @Ammar Hasayen! We're still evaluating all our sessions for Ignite and will be taking your suggestion into consideration! Appreciate the outreach.

 

@Garry Rawlins I hope that you have the opportunity to see some of the great value in having Yammer as part of the Office 365 suite. We'll have some exciting announcements at Ignite, including our progress in being the integrated social layer across the suite. 

@Connie WooThanks for your response.

 

I await to hear what is announced at Ignite this year - hopefully much more in the Yammer space than what was teased last year.  Feedback from attendees at the conference in Amsterdam was mixed - those who embrace Yammer love it and deal with all its frustrations, those who don't or where a deployment has not worked well see Yammer as 'tired' and with too many quirks that cumulatively make it a poor experience.  To a degree Yammer now is lumped into that group of applications that 'we have to make do with' at work in comparison to all those great 'consumer tools' we get to use in our personal lives.

I spent quite a bit of time 'explaining' Yammer at the Amsterdam conference to senior business attendees who didn't understand how to 'sell' it to their users or executive stakeholders - I can't believe this is still happening given how long Yammer has been in existence although I understand why (Microsoft hasn't entirely placed much emphasis on evolving the product since the takeover) and the likes of Facebook saw an opportunity.  Personally I welcome the entrance of Facebook with Workplace.  Microsoft seemed to have been galvanised into action by responding to Slack with Teams and look at the level of effort being expended there ... The overlap of features in the Office 365 toolset  is an additional nightmare that Yammer has to deal with - trying to explain to users which to use and when - I have users in Teams who don't see the point of Yammer and vice versa, swapping between tools for very similar functionality is leading to 'fatigue'.  In the corporate environment sometimes too much choice isn't always a good thing.  I've currently mapped out 10 separate applications - 5 of which are Office 365 related that may need to be downloaded onto a device ...

 

I've now deployed Yammer a number of times with both success and failure.  I have a good understanding of what works and what doesn't and the lack of ability to tie business outcomes to Yammer use is fundamental.  At the same time these outcomes are becoming quite sophisticated and lack of 'progress' in the technology makes the 'sell' more difficult.  Understanding adoption and more importantly participation is not being tied back to individual motivations for work and that is often why users just don't get involved.

 

I hope there is a radical shake-up with Yammer, the market has moved on once again and Yammer is playing catch up big time.  Having said all of this I'm pushing ahead with a Yammer rollout here at Selfridges - we have a big problem with WhatsApp, like many other retailers (I had the same issue at Harrods) and Yammer could be a perfect replacement if its functionality was updated to reflect key organisational and non-desk worker needs ...

 

Regards

 

Garry @ Selfridges

Agree fully Garry, been hearing for 2 years + now by MS staff about how MS are putting a big focus in to Yammer, spending loads of money on it & its an integral piece going forward, unfortunately in those 2 years we as customers have seen very very little progress...........

I just found this posting as I have been evaluating options for internal communications for my organization. I 100% agree with the comments here on how Microsoft has created “fatigue” in the workplace with too many communication solutions that overlap 80% of each other.  We are looking at options and Facebook Workplace might be the solution. People know how it works, they comment just like personal accounts, and it provides the ease of use needed for quick adoption. That said it is not a good collaborative environment, at least not now.  Yes for news, comments, videos, and announcements it is great. But for a team project it’s not the best. 

 

Yammer could and should be moving to a model just like this.  Here is my idea: transform Yammer into the prebuilt social intranet small to large organizations need.  Integrate teams for the collaborative/messaging side, and use share point and onedrive for the document and storage side.   

Would be very interested to find out the result of your evaluation and what the deciding factors were/are ...

 

Apart from crawling through Uservoice - this is really the only official visibility of whats coming up unless you have a personal relationship with the product team.

 

https://products.office.com/en-us/business/office-365-roadmap?filters=%26freeformsearch=Yammer#abc

 

Thx.

 

Garry @ Selfridges

Interestingly - a GSK presentation last September at Ignite showed their Yammer network and how it eventually flourished since launch ... the pharma giant (like AstraZeneca) now also appear to be moving to Workplace.  So another possible 100K users lost by Yammer ...

I feel like Workplace might be the winner here.  Not that I would not like the idea of a Yammer solution, it is part of Office 365 and we have it.

 

I am curious why larger companies would be moving away from Yammer.  I am sure that this a case study or promo video that Facebook would love to get out there as soon as possible.

 

The biggest issue I have right now with Microsoft is having TOO many communication solutions.  To much overlap.

So in less than 1 year they are moving away from Yammer to Workplace...wow.

I think larger companies are looking at Yammer and see 'outdated' product and given that enterprise social is all about participation, Workplace provides a modern feature set and more importantly a familiar user experience.  This means the change management piece is much easier for very large user populations.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if Yammer becomes a fully featured tab in Teams as Microsoft certainly sees Teams as the app/in to rule them all.

Interesting as I was thinking that Yammer should be the item that has teams functionality, not the other way around. In many ways Yammer should be the primary interface for everything Office. Everything else then can move from that such as SharePoint sites, document libraries, planner, and teams. If you have a Yammer group that wants to have some teams for projects great. I don’t see how Yammer being a tab on teams moves that ball forward.

Yammer should have been what Facebook Workplace is today...Microsoft just let it sit there.

Picture this - the Teams app gets rebranded as 'The Big App' in a year's time.  Down the left hand side you get access to Chat (IM, audio/video calling), Teams, Files (SharePoint and OneDrive), Yammer, Email ...

 

You don't need to be a member of a Team to use the app to access various parts of the Office 365 ecosystem.  You could then have horizontal tabs accessing other systems, publishing intranet, tasks, etc, etc.

 

We already have a use case where Internal Comms will be using Yammer as a formal comms channel.  They have an MS Team to manage all the collateral they produce.  We have a channel in their Team showing their Yammer Group and they monitor the group and respond by producing new collateral or call out a conversation that requires an 'official' response but needs to be discussed in the IC team first before a reply is posted back into Yammer.  At the moment Yammer opens up in a new browser or the app.  Maybe this is the one gateway app to the functionality needed - tho the user experience would need quite a bit of rework - the Teams app can get quite confusing right now ...

 

Garry @ Selfridges

 

Yammer Tab in Teams is coming. We'll have more to share at Ignite in September which will cover the scenario you describe of having 'inner loop' teams needing a way to easily connect with the 'outer loop'.

Now, if you'll permit me to speak as an 'end user' and not a Microsoft employee... I might be the odd duck here but personally, I really don't like this whole 'one pane of glass' app design things that seems to be the trend at the moment. I would much rather an app just do one thing really well and aggregate notifications to a single pane - in most cases the OS. I think mobile has done this really well. Although don't get me started on when we rolled up Sunrise into Outlook mobile, :)

I agree 100% that the one pane of glass idea works for some limited info, but it is not a good idea merge everything into a single ui.  However, in the case of Yammer and Microsoft the problem is not a single pane of glass but that there are to many overlapping products and nothing stands out.  I understand that Teams is the new way to communicate with groups of people and collaborate. I know it is an evolving product and the plan is to merge Skype for Business into Teams. The problem is other overlapping solutions like Yammer groups, Teams, Office 365 groups, Sharepoint team site all overlap. 

 

What Microsoft did with Sunrise and Outlook was a joke.  They took a small part of a good product and said “look at the awesome new product we created!”  No, it sucks.  My concern is the same will happen with other products all around Teams.

 

The problem with teams is it is very poor for what I call “up the chain” communications.  This is information or items that need to be pushed out to larger groups or company wide from a lower group.  For company wide information it is a poor system.  Yes, for small teams it works but not for an organization’s virtual bulletin board.

 

I posted earlier on my thoughts around Yammer and how it can be posisitioned to take the role of a company intranet portal for all data including Sharepoint, Teams, Planner, and other soloutions. 

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I posted earlier on my thoughts around Yammer and how it can be posisitioned to take the role of a company intranet portal for all data including Sharepoint, Teams, Planner, and other soloutions. 

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Interestingly GSK is positioning Workplace in a similar manner ...

Do you have some information I could read on how they are positioning it for them?  I would love to read this.

 

I did a quick one hour meeting with a group of people and they all liked Workplace over Yammer.  Neither have been used before by us, however one person had some experience with Yammer in the last place they worked.  I asked about it and they said it was rolled out but no-one ever used it.  It was just there and no-one was sure what to do with it.  Kinda of odd as it is a Microsoft solution attached to everything Microsoft.

 

personally I think Yammer needs to a take a cue from the Delve UI and new Sharepoint Modern sites and have a new look and feel to the site.  It is so dull and "Office" feeling, not Microsoft Office but work place Office.

I think we often forget that 75% of the global workforce is non-desk based ...

I can PM you some basic info ... or drop me a line at garry dot rawlins at selfridges dot co dot uk

True, and some users have been trying our the Workplace app on the phone and they like it.  Do a video, or live video and post it to the team or organization.