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Five ways to improve your enterprise social networking strategy

Juan Carlos Perez | April 23, 2013
Enterprise social networking software has evolved from a "nice to have" to a "should have" status

But Be Aware that Microsoft Promises Big Rewards for Those Who Go With SharePoint-Yammer

The rewards from the deep integration of Yammer with SharePoint, Office, Outlook, Lync, and other Microsoft products will be tremendous, according to Adam Pisoni, a Yammer co-founder who is now an engineering general manager in the Microsoft Office Division.

"From a product perspective, combining social with Office and SharePoint is going to yield a product that has the most integrated experience around document collaboration, creation, co-authoring and social than any other offers out there," he said.

"It's an extreme breadth of capabilities that we're bringing together seamlessly in a social way," he added.

As the fusion of Yammer with SharePoint and the other Office 365 tools progresses, the interfaces and user experience will be unified and eventually become a single product that tightly integrates all of the functionality.

"The end result will be greater than the sum of its parts," Pisoni said.

That vision is exciting for Dawn Gartin, collaboration manager at Manhattan Associates, a supply chain software vendor.

The company started using SharePoint in 2007, but about 18 months ago decided it had to add an additional ESN tool. It picked Yammer, a few months before Microsoft acquired it.

The sooner Microsoft is able to fully integrate the products, the better, as far as she's concerned.

Manhattan Associaties, which uses SharePoint 2010 on premises, is now drafting its plan for upgrading to SharePoint 2013 and possibly shifting some tasks for SharePoint Online, thus having a hybrid deployment.

The company uses SharePoint for its intranet and Yammer for employee interaction and collaboration.

Its users much prefer Yammer, which was quietly introduced by the CFO and achieved 96 percent adoption in about a month among the about 2,400 employees. SharePoint, after six years of use, is nowhere near that level of adoption.

"SharePoint for us isn't as widely well liked for a variety of reasons that aren't all necessarily SharePoint's problem," she said.

"That's part of the lesson we're looking at as we move forward to SharePoint 2013 and with the integration of Yammer: How that will all work together from a collaboration standpoint as our platform. How we can help the user get what they want from wherever they are," she said.

The company, which has a BYOD (bring your own device) policy regarding smartphones and tablets, is also eager to see SharePoint extend its mobile access, she said.

"It'll be important for us to see that kind of functionality on all of the devices," she said.

 

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