Five years ago, the renowned software provider acquired Yammer to help businesses improve teamwork.
Similar to social media websites; Yammer uses a discovery feed to display relevant conversations, events, and business data for specific employees. And just like Facebook or Twitter; users can like posts, share files, publish photos, add hashtags, and communicate with their teams.
Since the acquisition, Microsoft has yet again made a bold leap. Because of the emphasis on application functionality and integration in today’s market; Microsoft will no longer offer Yammer as a standalone product. Instead, the service is being integrated with Office 365.
Changes for users
The standalone Yammer plan was retired at the start of the year for all direct channels, partner channels, and cloud solution providers (CSPs). But organisations with Office 365 Business Essentials, Business Premium, K1, E1, E3, or E5 suites; can continue to use their standalone version up to the end of 2017.
Moving forward, enterprises that want to access Yammer will need an Office 365 subscription plan. Once a new plan has been chosen, system administrators must assign licenses to each user for the new subscription. For enterprises, Office 365 plans cost as much as Yammer Enterprise, starting at $4 per user per month.
Microsoft also intends to migrate data stored in Yammer; to Office 365, SharePoint, and OneNote notebooks. However, these changes don’t mean that Microsoft is phasing out their social media platform. In fact, the tech giant’s main focus is to “strengthen Yammer integrations with Office 365”.
Integration with Office 365
Yammer truly shines when it’s integrated with other Office 365 functions, not when it operates separately from the platform. Last year, Microsoft tied Yammer with Office 365 Groups; giving teams access to a shared OneNote notebook, project management tools, SharePoint sites, and document repositories within Yammer.
Office Online integrations — announced last October — will allow employees; to create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files without leaving the social media dashboard. And in the coming months; Yammer users will be able to conduct meetings via Skype for Business; manage team schedules with Outlook team calendars, and directly message other employees all within the Yammer interface. The point is; powerful collaboration methods and procedures would not be available to businesses if they stayed with the standalone plan.
Office 365 Trust Centre
Retiring the standalone Yammer plan should also be especially good news for enterprises with security and privacy commitments. As Yammer is now tightly woven into Office 365; users can take advantage of its updates and in-depth security; allowing you to meet regional and international security standards like ISO, PCI, and The Privacy Act 1988.
In addition to meeting compliance initiatives, Office 365 Trust Centre helps you manage Yammer settings from Office 365. For example, system administrators can install a single sign-on solution in Office 365, and apply it in Yammer.
Addressing the competition
Yammer as a standalone application simply cannot provide the same level of collaboration that many businesses demand. It must compete in a market largely dominated by communication tools like Slack, Facebook at Work, and G Suite. To respond to these developments, Yammer needs the powerful capabilities of Office 365.
Users who sign up for Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E5, and K1 can immediately enjoy the powerful collaboration capabilities of Yammer today.
If you’re currently subscribed to a standalone Yammer application; or are planning to deploy it for your enterprise; or if you have any Office 365-related questions, give us a call. We at Empower IT can recommend and install the perfect environment that inspires team communication and productivity.