I was also happy that the legendary Mystic Black Knight was also present at the gathering :-).
So let me summarise the presentation in this article here.
First some few lines about Yammer itself, for those who are not familiar with the tool. Yammer is a Social Enterprise platform which brings Facebook-like functionality into the business world. With Yammer you can create groups and easily discuss around topics and "posts" you publish into your Yammer group.
Microsoft is now working with high efforts to fully integrate the Yammer functionalities into SharePoint. Whereas currently both systems work rather separately from each other, with some possibilities to show Yammer discussions on a SharePoint site. At the moment there is no integration there whatsoever, however this will change very soon.
Here you can see the release schedule of upcoming changes to the Yammer software.
Yammer talks about a "Social journey", by meaning embracing the power of Enterprise Software in your organization you need to address this by 80% via change management and only by 20% via technology. Social Enterprise applications like Yammer will change the way how people do their work on a daily base.
Working social is more than just a newsfeed. Its a journey that fundamentally changes how people work together. Having said that, you need to focus on value when you implement social tools. Simply deploying the tool without any thought or strategy behind it, will definitely not create any added value.
So here is an implementation process you might consider looking into. (Info condensed from the success.yammer.com website)
Step 1: Have a vision
A clear, concise, and comprehensive vision is essential to achieving network adoption and support. A well-deﬁned vision enables you to foresee the value Yammer will bring not only to your organization, but also to the individual roles within, which in turn helps secure buy-in and support of the network.
Step 2: Map to value
Once you understand the possibilities for social and have deﬁned your vision, you’re ready to determine what areas of focus will be most valuable in the beginning. Exploring Yammer use from the lens of the three solutions - engage, collaborate and innovate - can help you decide which areas are priorities.
Step 3: Work social
This step focuses on how your organization will put the prioritized initiatives for Yammer into practice through use cases. Use Cases are simply a deﬁned way of using Yammer to accomplish a speciﬁc goal or task. Remember to embrace both strategic use cases as well as viral, organic use cases to encourage participation and engagement across all levels.
Step 4: Drive success
A network launch is a powerful opportunity to create momentum and excitement around your network, through communications and trainings as well as events and activities that support the use of Yammer. It is a highly effective way to build awareness of your network, show support for the network’s goals, and drive user adoption and engagement.
Step 5: Evaluate, adapt, iterate
Now that you’re set up for success, it’s important to check in to maintain the momentum, while adapting to new challenges that come your way. Over time, your Organization will improve with social and achieve even more by constantly evaluating, adapting, and iterating on the social vision.
So these are the official words from Yammer. Let's conclude:
- Have a clear vision
- Find like minded people and sponsors for your social project
- Integrate as much as possible
- Have people moderating and managing the community
Also when talking about Social adoption, try to start small with those people who share your interest on Yammer or Social Features. Start using Yammer on Projects where it makes sense. Maybe not on the super critical projects where all resources are running on 120% usage. And share your success once you have implemented and adapted Yammer successfully in your way of work. Show others how its done and how value is created.
I am really eagerly waiting that moment when Yammer is as integrated into SharePoint as the current Newsfeed functionality. Where you could use the full Yammer feature-set on all content which is stored in SharePoint. I am sure, then finally the silos start to crumble and people are start shouting their work out loud!
Happy social networking everyone!