Thursday, July 31, 2014

Learnings from a successful Yammer rollout

I have been involved on a Yammer engagement for past few months. One common request I get from my colleagues / friends is to share learnings and best practices. So I thought of posting it on my blog for everyone’s reference.
  • For successful Yammer implementation and adoption, one needs to work closely with IT (AD, SMTP, Identity and Access Management), Information Security, Data Privacy, Legal, Marketing &Communication and other teams in the customer organization. Apart from this, we worked very closely and got great support from Microsoft(Yammer) Technical Architects, Support Team and Yammer Customer Success Managers.
  • Establish a Yammer test network for testing and training purposes
  • Upgrade from Yammer Basic to Yammer Enterprise (if you have the licenses available)
  • Implement AD Sync to mitigate Information Security Risk Assessment concerns, Same can be customized to your specific needs
  • Implement SSO so users don’t have to remember another set of credentials. Test and see how SSO works on your Test Network before implementing in production.
  • Merge different Yammer domains to single domain for true enterprise wide collaboration, Most large organizations may have likely acquired different companies and are likely to have multiple Yammer domains in existence. During domain merge, all existing data of child domains is lost and cannot be retained.
  • Leverage Yammer Customer Success Managers and the community by joining YCN, Yammer Developers Network, SPYam, etc.
  • Start today and integrate Yammer with SharePoint 2010 and other web applications, You don’t need to wait for SharePoint 2013 / Office 365
  • Start with Yammer Embed for integration. Unless necessary avoid all code customizations. While it has an REST API model, it is not meant to be an custom application development platform like SharePoint.
  • Use Yammer for conducting targeted events and meeting certain goals, Measure analytics and outcomes of such events.
  • Establish Yammer Governance and Support service. Users are more likely to adopt an officially approved, endorsed and supported Enterprise Social Network than an unsupported one.
  • Data Privacy laws in certain countries (e.g. Germany) are very strict and legal approvals can be delayed and time consuming process.
  • End user can be confused between Home and external Yammer networks. Apply your organization branding (logo, mast head, color) to your Home domain, Apply different branding to your external networks, so it’s easy to differentiate.
  • While Yammer provides network level usage analytics, it is currently weak at providing group level usage analytics. Hopefully, Microsoft will rectify same in future.
As a Yammer consultant, I established my own Yammer Network and upgraded it from Basic  to Enterprise. This provided me my own space where I could play around with.  I had to spend a few dollars, but that is the best investment I made this year.

What were your Yammer learnings? Please add to the comments below so the list keeps on growing.