SOLVED

For those that ask you about Microsoft Teams vs. Yammer

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Regular Contributor

Here's my first take, which will likely evolve the more I play with Teams. https://medium.com/@cslemp/how-to-choose-between-microsoft-teams-yammer-and-outlook-1c4b37ac4eb7#.ox...

 

teamsyamemroutlook.png

 

 

Discuss...

 

 

 

83 Replies

We are just starting to get used to Groups vs team sites. How on earth do we start to understand how Teams fits as well?

Saw this article. Confused as to why Microsoft would come out with Teams when they have Yammer.

 

Why tho?

 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/blakemontgomery/microsoft-debuts-teams-office-chat-and-slack-might-be-a-lit...

It it appears that this is a direct competition to Slack, therefore a commercially based project. Not exactly putting the customer first is it?

Just as I was feeling encouraged about better integration between Groups and Yammer - another app to add to the confusion?

 

FWIW, rightly or wrongly, I had always thought of Yammer as Microsoft's competitor to Slack.

On the contrary, the success of Slack shows that there's customer demand for a different type of collaboration that Microsoft wasn't providing.

That is the postive spin, I can see that. But how different is it to Yammer or, even more so, Groups?


@Chris Slemp wrote:
On the contrary, the success of Slack shows that there's customer demand for a different type of collaboration that Microsoft wasn't providing.

Demand for a type of collaboration that Microsoft wasn't providing? Or, demand for a type of collaboration that people weren't aware that Microsoft was providing?

 

It seems to me that with the exeption of the core apps, people are unaware of much of what Office 365  has to offer. I'd actually prefer to see some focus on helping people utilize all that Office 365 has to offer vs. continously churning out new Office 365 apps.

I totally agree. There is so much end-user confusion about what tools they should be using, where documents are etc. We need more clarity around existing features, not more choice of apps

I hear the "service bloat" concern. It does feel like they've gone from stuffing Word with 100's of features to stuffing O365 with 100's of small services, and I agree that focusing their considerable resources on getting 12 things done really, really well instead of doing 50 things half-baked would be awesome.

But to your first question, I saw many a team within Microsoft going to Slack because they had tried Yammer and it just didn't meet their needs for real-time collaboration, and/or they didn't feel they could work THAT openly. Even the Yammer team uses a messaging app that-will-go-nameless to triage issues in real time, especially when Yammer experience some kind of outage. So, I'd argue they weren't providing this type of collaboration, at least not in such an integrated way (they've actually had Skype Chat Rooms before, but it was a poor cousin to what we see with Teams).
I think I've summarized that the best I can in the table in the OP.
It's a totally valid argument and I appreciate the considered response. Just a thought though as a counter to this, why did they not just add the missing functionality to Yammer/Groups, rather than building another app?

Interesting. I don't doubt that there are needs out there that aren't being met by Yammer or other Office 365 apps. But, couldn't Yammer or Groups just have been inproved in some way to meet whatever pressing need was unmet? Then again, I guess that takes ya right back to stuffing hundreds of features into Word that most people dont' use.

 

I guess, what I really wish is just that when I suggest Yammer or Groups as collaboration platform to a team that I don't get that "blank stare" of "what are those?" :)

In answer to both Edward and Laurie, the same question is being asked over in the O365 Partner community, if you have access there: https://www.yammer.com/office365partners/#/Threads/show?threadId=792403519 But to repost it here... There are architectural differences that are so fundamental that one modality just doesn't work for all scenarios. The focus with Teams was on FAST, real-time interaction. While Yammer feeds are faster than email, they're not as fast as Skype, which I assume is the underlying infrastructure with Teams. Ever tried to participate in an active YamJam? It's a little frustrating. In short, I think you're thinking too much like an engineer and not like a user, who doesn't give too hoots about what's under the covers.
Thanks I'll check out the conversation :)

@Chris Slemp wrote:
In answer to both Edward and Laurie, the same question is being asked over in the O365 Partner community, if you have access there: https://www.yammer.com/office365partners/#/Threads/show?threadId=792403519 But to repost it here... There are architectural differences that are so fundamental that one modality just doesn't work for all scenarios. The focus with Teams was on FAST, real-time interaction. While Yammer feeds are faster than email, they're not as fast as Skype, which I assume is the underlying infrastructure with Teams. Ever tried to participate in an active YamJam? It's a little frustrating. In short, I think you're thinking too much like an engineer and not like a user, who doesn't give too hoots about what's under the covers.

Thanks for sharing. Good information to have since I don't have access to that network. I've never used Skype, so I don't have a good feel for how it compares to Yammer or email, and my test with Slack was pretty brief more than one year ago. You're probably right that users don't care about what's under the covers. However, I'm not sure they want to track information between five different communication apps either.

I will just keep this turned off for now. Why can't we get yammer integration with groups before this confusion?

Did a quick blog that discusses Microsoft Teams vs. Yammer - http://en.share-gate.com/blog/microsoft-teams-vs-yammer

Hope it helps, will dive deeper soon to expose more of what happens when you work with all of this.

 

Noticed a comment though, it's important to understand that Office 365 Groups isn't "versus" anything, whether it's SharePoint Sites or Microsoft Teams. It is always there.

 

Office 365 Groups is literally a group of people, like a security Group in AD. But it ties in different products:

  • Outlook Conversations OR Yammer Conversations
  • Microsodt Teams Chat
  • Full Features SharePoint Site Collection 
  • "Files" a simpler view of the "Documents" Document Library in that SharePoint site mentioned above
  • A Planner Plan (board for Trello users)
  • OneNote Notebook
  • Power BI Workspace (if you have Power BI Pro)

And you will likely see other products eventually fit in there, within the O365 Group. It'll be up to the teams to choose whether or not they will use all the pieces. 

For example, we don't always use OneNote Notebook in all our Groups.

Thanks Benjamin, as always a very insightful post. Understand, I am playing devil's advocate here a bit, I am trying to see how best to 'sell' the different tools. Our customers are asking us which they should be using, they want direction and a standard that they can follow. But I particularly like your point about everything being in the group, so it doesn't matter which you use, you can find it in the group. I'm going to think about that some more. Thanks again!
best response confirmed by Chris Slemp (Regular Contributor)
Solution

Some great guidance already provided. Some additional thoughts...

 

First, I've heard from a number of customers the need for a persistent chat tool. In my mind, I always thought Yammer served that purpose, but as it turns out many people disagree Smiley Very Happy Enter Slack and Microsoft Teams. If you've ever used Slack, I hope it became clear to you that Slack and Yammer are pretty different modalities. Slack is more akin to a group chat or group messaging. It's ephemeral and we believe Microsoft Teams serves a different style of working than Yammer. As an example, just because I have email and instant messaging in my personal life, doesn't mean that I can easily do away with Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn.

 

I think there's a tendency to think that each one of our offerings has a binary use. We want email to fit nicely into one use case, Yammer to fit nicely into another, and Teams to nicely fit into a third easy to explain bucket. Fortunately or unfortunately, we're dealing with the desires and preferences of human beings. It's great that you've come to this community as a place to have this dialogue. Another person will choose some distribution list in email. Another person might IM someone that they know. None of them are wrong and each has the opportunity to end in the desired outcome of the individual.

In my personal life, I have similar choices between email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, text messaging, WhatsApp, and more. But I choose the medium based on the audience and who I'm interacting with.

Can you use Yammer for team collaboration and work projects? YES! Microsoft teams and our customers have seen great value in using Yammer for such purposes. We believe that our customers will get greatest value out of Yammer when it is used for deep team collaboration. We should not be shy about making such claims. Could a customer use Outlook Groups or Microsoft Teams to accomplish the same thing? Sure.

It's going to be really hard to slot each of our products neatly into a given usage scenario. Take this opportunity to be a truly consultative resource within your company. Work with your employees to understand their challenges, be a technology domain expert, have an understanding of our products through your own personal experience, and provide guidance accordingly.