The future of Yammer

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Frequent Contributor

A lot of rumours around Yammer and Office 365 are floating around. I often wonder what Microsoft's plans are with Yammer. There were recent rumours that Yammer would disappear, at least from Office 365 with the release of Unified groups, but on the other hand we still see that Microsoft is putting development effort in Yammer on Office 365. My question to you (and hopefully this will become a trending discussion): What will be the future of Yammer? Do you think it has a distinctive role and place in Office 365? If so: what makes it better than e.g. Unfied groups (considering all roadmap announcements with new cool features)?

13 Replies

Just when you thought this topic was going away it suddenly fires up again. The fact I'm now posting to the Office 365 Network leads me to believe that perhaps the end is nigh for Yammer. Some of the features I'm seeing here are those most wanted by any Yammer network owning organisation. Whilst some Yammer product improvement continues, there is little in the way of talking it up. Especially at conferences. Many IT people like to jump on to the next big thing and leave the business behind with their heads spinning trying to catch up. So, if this is announced in the popular Office 365 Yammer network and key contributors make a bee line for this, that will be a great shame.

Absolutely agree and I think everybody agrees that there a great risk in this network move...let's see how engagement evolves here to evaluate if this new Office 365 network will replace the current Office 365 network on Yammer

Yammer Roadmap.png

 

I totally agree that the Yammer roadmap has been foggy, but after doing a lot of backend work for the last 12-18 months, the roadmap fog eases and the improvements are speeding up.

 

Maybe the most important thing that will happen the next months is the integration with Office 365 Groups. This will at first mean that Yammer Groups will be managed as a part of Azure AD groups.

 

Thereafter the Yammer groups will be integrated with other functionalities in Office 365, among them file storing in a document library, access to a group Calendar, integration with Skype for Business, Outlook, Planner, Teamsites etc.

 

If you want to dig more into the roadmap, search for the Yammer session at the World Partner Conference, where you will find both a presentation and a recording.

 

https://resources.wpc.microsoft.com/session-resources.html#key=searchTerm&value=yammer

Great Morten! I was not at WPC so this brings more light into this topic.

Nevertheless it seems that Yammer groups are being brought in line with the Unified Groups. The question then would be: which one do you use (when you just now start off with O365 and Yammer)? Would Microsoft still be supporting Yammer Groups and Unified Groups in the long run? As a consultant, would I advise to start using Yammer Groups? if so; what would be the short term benefit?

As I understand Office 365 Groups - or Unified Groups - is a construct in Active Directory, through which you can give access to different resources. Like a group conversation, a group calendar, a group file storage, a group Onenote etc. Or as Jeff Tepper have said it, related to Sharepoint:  "A Group is a list of people, Sharepoint is where they go to work".

 

Well. Inside of Office 365 there obviously is a lot of places you can go to work - or where you can collaborate and engage with other members of the same Group. So what is happening right now, is that the Group concept is expanded to more and more workloads. Appearantly Yammer is next in line.

 

So the answer to the support question will be yes. Microsoft will support both the overall Office 365 Group concept (which is based in Azure AD) AND the group collaborations that will happen in Calendars, Yammer, Teamsites, Skype and so on.

 

I am a consultant myself, and have also struggled with these issues. Hence I have adviced my clients to use Yammer Groups and Teamsites (with the same membership), but not yet the calendar, conversation, files, onenote and planner being provisioned when creating an Office 365 Group in Outlook.

 

But - as the integrations are coming along - Yammer, Skype, Teamsites ec. - the day will soon come that I would recommend going "all in" with Office 365 Groups.

I wrote a blog on this topic The New Office 365 Community is For Everyone and Why Microsoft is Not Using Yammer for It 

 

The whole community will be moving here - the public preview lasts until September 1 when the old network will be cut off.

 

Because of the needs for this community, being able to be anonomously accessible is paramount and being publicly available to search engines, to reach the tens of millions of Office users, Yammer was not a good fit long term. The product is for company centric team and community collaboration, not for public facing communities that are not invite only. The product team are supporting their primary mission to make internal collaboration more porductive and not expending engineering effort to create what would be a whole different product.

 

The Office 365 Groups service is a fantastic thing for Yammer. Finally its a big part of the integration story of all the services in Office 365 that you use for team work, conversations, calendar, notebook and files. I have a presentation on this Better Ways to Collborate and Manage Change in Office 365 and will write a blog in the next couple of days specifically directed to Yammer's contribution in O365 groups.

Have you checked out the presentation on Unity Connect? There is a great presentation on "Better Ways to Collaborate Using Office 365 Groups & Yammer". You will need to create an account to view the presentation. It may help - https://www.unityconnect.com/online/session/sessionid/344?returnUrl=/online/session/sessionid/344
Haha! I also posted your presentation, Naomi. Really helpful!! Thank you.
Not so sure the "whole community" will move here...you should take a look at what the majority is still saying there...
Let's hope for O365 and FB@W integration :)
Hi Mike. When answering 'when to use what: yammer or the groups messaging service' I'd think about scale and visibility.

Scale : Is the team big or small? How many conversations will there be? How easy will it be for people to keep up? Do you need to group conversations around more than the title of the thread?

Visibility : Do you want everyone to see what is going on? Do you want to be able to pull people into a specific thread but not the group itself?

I tend to over simplify it to : Yammer is about scale and visibility. The Group messaging service is discrete and closed.

The beauty is that you will soon be able to mix and match. As others have said Groups is a security construct so in time you'll be able to leverage the AD Group in many services. For example:

You could have a SharePoint Team Site whose membership is the AD Group. You could have a Yammer Group whose membership is the AD Group + others you invite or have added or have joined through discovery (note you cannot subtract from the AD Group without hindering access to other services). The same AD Group could be collaborating and sharing messages using the (Outlook) Group.

Interesting @Simon Denton! However, this would make me wonder that the users who collaborate in de Outlook group would need to work in two separate groups (Yammer and the Outlook group at this moment) to see all conversations and files from all contributors on the topic. So that would clarify the need of integrating Yammer into Unified groups while keeping Yammer alive for the external users. A sort of a Yammer connector on the Unified group may come in handy here.... Smiley Happy

I think this is where Office 365 Connectors ( https://dev.outlook.com/Connectors ) could help. A Yammer connector could be used to bring the Yammer content into the Group if the Group need a unified view.