Monday, 22 October 2012

Yammer Review

Yammer stepped to the plate in 2008 by winning TechCrunch50. As the first-to-market “Twitter for Enterprise” microblogging solution, do they still get a hit against all the other contenders in the Enterprise Social Network game? Here’s my review…

Features for Enterprise

Yammer hits a microblogging home run with features for including external users; sending microblog alerts over email, Twitter, and text message; file and photo attachments; and mobile app options.
Where Yammer falls short is tools for executing on the microblogs that are flying around their solution. I would have been happy to schedule an appointment to a calendar from one of my communications, or assign a task from one of my feeds. Neither of those extensions of the basic microblog feature is available in Yammer making it a “Strike One” in my batting order of contenders for the best Enterprise Social Network.
Security considerations ties with functionality for the #1 thing I look for in a solution. Yammer has SSL transport across the board and IP range settings, even password controls. Ultimate security is full control over the software and hardware systems that house your intellectual property. Yammer falls short for “Strike Two” in my search for the best Enterprise Social Network because it does not offer an economical, easy On-Premise solution. In fact, an On-Premise solution for Yammer is not available for mid-range companies of 200-10000 users.

Stand-out Originality

The more ways you can be notified about what’s happening in your domain improves your value as a heavy hitter in the Enterprise Social Network space. Yammer’s appeal in this regard is its ability to send notifications to 3rd-party Instant Messaging clients and SMS. I am consistently kept up to date with what’s going on in my Yammer network on Mobile and PC.

Downsides to Yammer

Besides being a very flexible way to talk to your followers within your private organization, Yammer does not help me get work done any more effectively. It’s not the centralized Enterprise Social Network because you still have to go outside Yammer to manage projects, store documents, assign tasks, and send instant messages. In lieu of this, Yammer becomes almost a distraction from the normal tools I use to get my work done.

The Long & the Short

If your employees aren’t talking about work enough and when they are, it’s lost in email and hidden from the rest of the team, then Yammer might be a good fit. But if you need your team to talk more and also rally together on projects, tasks, ideas, documents, and plan events, then Yammer just isn’t the Enterprise Social Network tool you need.

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