Using Yammer for Social Collaboration and Work Place Efficiency

Social Collaboration or Using Yammer to communicate & collaborate on projects.

yammerYammer which started in September 2008 as a microblogging service has blossomed into a fully fledged private social network. With Yammer, your employees will be able to collaborate on projects across the world with real-time communication using file and imaging sharing, direct messaging, and mobile applications. Yammer, while similar to Twitter and Facebook, is much safer and more secure. It can only be accessed by people within your organization that has a valid company email address.

Yammer enables users to communicate, collaborate, and share information quicker and easier than ever before. By using this system, the need for meetings will be reduced while communication throughout you company will be increased. This system has the ability to connect remote workers with other workers in your company. By connecting workers from around the globe, your employees will have access to areas of expertise which they normally would not have.

It has been shown that the use of Yammer within organizations has decreased the amount of corporate emails by one-third. Employee engagement has also been shown to increase when using Yammer. Another benefit is that in several companies employee turnover has dropped from twenty percent to two percent. Lastly, it has been shown that by increasing employee engagement, employees will take ownership in your company.

There are tools for your IT department including Directory Integration which enables you to control certain aspects of your Yammer application. With the use of Single Sign-Ons, you will be able to have more control of your Yammer network. Yammer also uses several key features including:

  • Enterprise Microblogging – Employees can start a conversation thread, read posts, and actively communicate and work with their coworkers in real-time. Feeds can be displayed in either chronological order or by threads making it easy to quickly find the information that you are looking for.
  • Profiles – Employees can upload a picture of themselves and enter their expertise and past work history along with contact information, which will help your employees find the help they need quickly and accurately.
  • Groups – You will be able to create public and private groups within your organization. By using groups, you will be able to collaborate in small teams among your network.
  • Direct Messaging – With direct messaging you can create private messages with one or multiple co-workers in real-time.
  • Files, Links, and Image Sharing – By utilizing Yammer’s file sharing you can upload and share documents with your co-workers, groups, or your entire company making it easy to collaborate on several different projects at the same time.
  • Communities – With Yammer you can work with people who are outside your network to complete projects.
  • Company Directory – By using Yammer’s company directory feature, employees will be able to locate and connect with other employees among your organization.
  • Knowledge Base – All conversations are archived and searchable making it easy to find what you need within your company’s knowledge base with a few clicks of your mouse.
  • Administrative Tools – With Yammer’s administrative tools, you will be able to keep your network running efficiently using a suite of administrative features that are designed to increase your control of Yammer in your company.
  • Security – With Yammer, security is a top priority. You can rest assured that you can message privately and securely across your network.
  • Topics – With the ability to tag content and messages using Yammer’s easy tagging system, you can organize and discover messages quickly.
  • Applications – With Yammer you can install third-party applications to help increase the functionality of your network.
  • Mobile – You can download free iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Mobile applications so you can connect to your network from any location.

Considering that there are over one million users spanning eighty thousand different organizations using Yammer; one can ascertain that it is a worthwhile social network endeavor. In addition to the millions of users, according to TechCrunch, eighty percent of the Fortune 500 companies are currently using Yammer to increase their communications. In the field of technology, clients include LG Electronics, AMD, and Corel. Internet businesses include Edmunds, PayPal, and Yahoo. Professional services that use Yammer include Adecco, Kinetic Worldwide, and the TNS Group. Mercedes-Benz, Honeywell, and Anheuser Busch use the services for their manufacturing facilities. In the healthcare industry, clients include Astra Zeneca, IPC, and United Therapeutics. Educational businesses include East Carolina University, the Smithsonian Institute, and Stanford Student Enterprises. Government and non-profit organizations which use Yammer include AARP, the European Commission, and UNICEF.

As you can see from the above listed of industries, Yammer can be used by any company that wishes to improve communication within their company infrastructure. The basic version of Yammer is free and the premium version is only $5.00 per user/ month. Volume discounts are available for larger companies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions.

By using company email addresses, Yammer creates a safe, secure platform for you and your employees; however, one thing to consider before integrating Yammer into your company is updating your email address book. All duplicate contacts should be removed. Doing this will ensure the efficiency of the application and help to account for team members who may only be cursory and just need periodic email updates.

In keeping with services such as Yammer, our next article covers “Consolidating Your Online Work and Increase Productivity with Gist” .

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