Microsoft has made it clear: Yammer will be the social collaboration vehicle for SharePoint from now on. According to a recent report, Office 365 is the first program to benefit from Yammer, but SharePoint is not far behind. Future service packs will feature out-of-the-box social collaboration through Yammer.
However, there has been concern that Microsoft seems to be developing cloud-based Office 365’s social platforms at a much faster rate than on-site SharePoint. As Yammer is the most popular Enterprise Social Network, SharePoint users naturally want in on the fun, and now Microsoft has finally confirmed its commitment to making that happen.
There are several integration paths SharePoint users can choose to bring Yammer into full functionality, including:
- Online integration. If you are already incorporating SharePoint as part of your Office 365 setup, online integration of Yammer should not be a problem. The focus shifts from document-centric to people-centric as you do so. An added bonus is the slow diminishing of the need for email and replacement with social collaboration. Simply download the Yammer App from the SharePoint App Store, install and add Yammer Feed.
- On-site integration. If you have only on-site SharePoint, this conversion will be very different. You must consider hiding out-of-the-box social features that are not appropriate for a self-contained system, so it may be beneficial to seek the help of an expert. You will need to address several issues such as Newsfeed, “I’m Following” and trending tags.
Address Adoption Issues
Whether you are online or on-site, however, there is one issue that remains uniform for any company: adoption of use. If you are going to install Yammer and expect your employees to use it, you must be prepared to issue some adoption guidelines.
What those guidelines are depends on the size and nature of your organization. While forcing people to use any program is not usually very successful, having your employees play with and try out the features in a non-threatening environment often leads them to come up with innovative ways to use the software. Be sure to give them time to grow used to the new collaborative model which may, after all, take some time to integrate.
SharePoint is ready to move forward with integration of social collaboration abilities. Downloading the new SharePoint, whether online or on-site, now gives you the opportunity to move forward with your plans to integrate social networking into your overall communication platform.