Custom Software Apps & SharePoint Consulting

SharePoint 2013 Yammer Integration and Enabling Internal Social Networks

I’ve been reading “Exploring Microsoft SharePoint 2013” these past few weeks to get an idea of the many new features in SharePoint. One thing that caught my interest today is how to get more social within your company. The author of the book states that making social behavior work with SharePoint isn’t about any one technology. Just installing something and expecting everyone to figure it out just isn’t realistic. This is true both for social tools or SharePoint as a whole, which I discusse a while back in a previous post about SharePoint utilization and ROI.

In fact, as the book shares, “technology is only a small portion of the answer….sometimes as little as 10%” As the author, Penelope Coventry, goes on to state, for any project like this, “you will need to spend more time and effort on people and the way they work than the product they use.”

Yammer-Microsoft_thumb1As Microsoft has announced they will be increasingly integrating Yammer with SharePoint, your company may be contemplating how to make this work for your employees. Yammer will soon offer SharePoint users some cool features like replacing the SharePoint newsfeed with a Yammer feed, Single Sign On (SSO) capability, seamless navigation and other  incremental enhancements that will, as Microsoft stated in a release, ” combine social, collaboration, email, instant messaging, voice, video and line of business applications in innovative new ways.”

As more companies start to discover and use Yammer, they will probably find they do need to put more effort into creating a strategy for implementation than they originally thought. This is where experience-based SharePoint Consulting can add value. Coventry shares a few good steps for making a social experience work I thought were worth sharing:

  1. Start with a vision!
  2. Take the time to determine what your organization wants to accomplish
  3. Determine where your company will get the most value from new social capabilities
  4. Let the vision, goals and value proposition drive your strategy
  5. Set measurable goals so your organization can measure impact

Coventry also warns readers that “enterprise social computing is different from consumer social computing.” Do keep these in mind as you develop a realistic vision, goals and processes that work for your company. The main driving goal should always be about making users more productive.

For more on SharePoint 2013 uptake and implementation, check out this post on herding your flock!

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