What is Yammer?

—Jessica Roylance | 03.16.21

What is Yammer?

Jessica Roylance, 03.16.21

Microsoft Yammer is a social networking app for organizations where employees can connect with all their coworkers, especially those beyond their immediate team. Basically, this important tool is informational and conversational—a place where people can get work done and get to know each other in the process.

In Yammer, users read, post, and reply to conversations. Additionally, everything posted on Yammer is searchable, so you can quickly find what you need.

As an IT leader, you also may be concerned with security and compliance. How does Yammer measure up?

Check out a few of Yammer's key features and security facts.

 

Build communities inside and outside your organization.

 

Yammer is a great way for work colleagues to interact, even beyond beyond their work roles. Each user can join or create Yammer communities based on personal interests, locations, activities, and professional goals.

For example, maybe a Yammer user is into gardening or wants a place to share photos of their pets. Yammer communities are as individual as each employee, which allows each person to build community friendships in your organization.

Additionally, it's easy to collaborate with external participants in Yammer. First, an administrator creates an “external” community--the first step to inviting outside collaborators to that community. External participants will log in with the email address used to invite them.

As with any online work group, privacy is key. Which is why Yammer communities are not searchable or discoverable by people outside your organization.

 

Broadcast information company-wide.

 

By posting to Yammer, employees can break down the communication barriers within their organization. It's a given that most people are comfortable with their own team--but Yammer allows every player to discuss, question, or share news across teams--or engage their entire organization.

Also, admins can use live Yammer events to broadcast video to thousands of participants. During a live event, participants can contribute to discussions via chat. Even better, these conversations can continue well after the event ends, and they're searchable.

Yammer makes it easy to share photos, links, or videos to a large group, or to the entire organization. Receive feedback from your organization and get inter-department conversations going. Use specific post types like “poll,” “praise,” or “question” to get specific types of feedback.

An orange megaphone

On a related point: be sensitive about whatever you share on Yammer. Be kind. Use a different medium for critiques, criticism, or performance reviews.

 

Find what’s relevant, not just what’s new.

 

Teams and email are great at delivering company updates. In Yammer, you’ll also see new updates, but also posts that are relevant to you--because the Yammer feed displays posts based on your activity, communities, and topics you follow.

Users can apply topic tags that showcase all the posts related to that topic. Over time, all those tagged posts can grow into a searchable collection, accessible simply by clicking the tag. 

Another great way to surface information is by using the question feature. When someone posts a question, they can mark a given reply as the 'best' answer, which will stay at the top of the thread where others can easily find it.

Can't remember a particular question or answer? No need to reinvent the wheel by asking again. Try entering a few key words or names into the search bar. You’ll get results from conversations, communities, files, people, and topics. This capability may be especially helpful to your new hires.

Use conversation filters inside Yammer communities to display the most helpful posts. These filters can display All Conversations, New Conversations, All Questions, or Unanswered Questions.

Each community can also access a SharePoint library for shared files. By default, the list of files is displayed by recent activity, so the documents most recently modified will be at the top.

 

Yammer and Teams—Better Together.

 

By now, we hope you're excited to start using Yammer. You can Yammer online via your browser, on your mobile device, or even download the desktop app.

But . . . . if you’re already working in Microsoft Teams, check out the Yammer communities app. Within Teams, click Apps to head to the app store. Search for Communities to integrate Yammer activity into Teams.

Also, this new Yammer app is interactive—see, reply and react to Yammer conversations without ever leaving Teams.  

 

A red pin point symbol on yellow paper.

 

Customize Yammer to meet your security and compliance needs.

 

Is Yammer—social media for work—secure? Short answer: Yes.

Here are several security-related features of the enterprise/subscription Yammer service:

  • Privacy. Every Yammer network is private to its organization, with all information kept separate from other customers’ Yammer networks.
  • Encryption. All data is always encrypted, with a secure (HTTPS) URL. This applies to users no matter how they access Yammer--on the web, desktop app, or via mobile devices.   
  • Security. Only users with a valid email address can access another Yammer network. This includes in-network employees and invited guests.
  • Compliance. Yammer provides administrative tools for users to follow local laws and regulations.
  • Data ownership. At the enterprise level, your organization controls and owns all the data. You can export data and metadata.
  • Integrations. Via Yamer, you can choose to integrate with other secure services. For example: Active Directory, SharePoint, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and so on.

Even though the Yammer framework is secure and safe, what if your users post sensitive, inappropriate, or restricted information to Yammer?

A little guidance can go a long way to prevent users from misusing Yammer. Let your people know what your organization expects and will not tolerate.

Beyond training, administrators can control or customize several aspects of enterprise Yammer. This includes preventing or restricting file uploads. Also, admins can track keywords for unacceptable or inappropriate content.

 If you want to regularly remind users about your security policy--rather than waiting until the annual security awareness training--learn how via a Threat Defense demo.

Need further help with software adoption? Check out the BrainStorm QuickHelp learning platform for details.

Jessica Roylance
As a writer for BrainStorm, Jessica gets to research software, write technical content, and use InDesign - the cherry on top. Beyond work, Jessica loves libraries, yoga in the park, dark chocolate anything, and going on walks with her husband and kids.

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