3 Questions for Yammer Users
I wanted to attend the Yammer user conference in San Francisco this week. But Hurricane Sandy changed my plans. Instead, I stayed here in Virginia and worked from home since the Gallup office in DC is closed.
I've been an active user and big fan of Yammer since it launched. My last company FamilyLink used it extensively. Yammer came from +David Sacks
and the team that built Geni -- which was our direct competitor. So we were pretty excited when they launched Yammer and it started getting traction. That meant they wouldn't focus as much on Geni. We started using Yammer and loved it. We thought they might actually launch something similar for families (Fammer?) but that never happened. Probably because the enterprise market can be so much more lucrative.
Now I work for Gallup, which relies heavily on Microsoft enterprise software. So there is a good chance that if Yammer gets bundled in the future with Microsoft's other offerings that I'll be using it again.
I really hope so. It's the best intra-company communication tool that I've ever used, with the possible exception of Ports from Folio Corporation back in 1990.
Yammer dramatically reduces reliance on email for group communications. At FamilyLink we tried to use IM or phone for urgent things, email when we needed a reply but not immediately, and Yammer for everything else -- sharing articles, ideas, customer feedback, etc.
During his keynote on Monday morning, David Sacks announced Pages, Social Plugins, and the App Directory. He mentioned 30 official apps were available now, including apps from Microsoft, SpigIt, TripIt.
Under Microsoft's ownership, Yammer may be able to dramatically expand its userbase. 85% of Fortune 500 companies have already started using it, but based on my own experience and the comments of large enterprise customers who participated in the #yamjam12
it seems challenging to get widespread usage. (One large customer has 26,000 employees on Yammer, but has had only 180,000 messages posted -- that's only 7 per employee -- and 40,000 files uploaded -- that's just 1.5 per employee). A good start, but not particularly active compared to other social networks.
The vision, though, seems really solid -- to make Yammer the platform for enterprise social. By getting critical apps integrated with Yammer, the usage will skyrocket.
With that in mind, can I ask all the Yammer users out there a few questions?
1. How much usage are you seeing within your company?
2. Is it increasing or decreasing?
3. What are your favorite Yammer apps, and how has using them affected the usage of Yammer in your enterprise?
(Photo source: http://technology.inquirer.net/12671/microsoft-buys-business-social-startup-yammer