Using Microsoft Teams and Yammer Together

Find this Podcast “Using Microsoft Teams and Yammer Together” on the ThreeWill Soundcloud, Stitcher, and iTunes.

Danny Ryan:Hello, and welcome to the Two Bald Brothers and a Microphone Podcast. This is your host Danny Ryan. I’m here with Tommy Ryan. How are you doing Tommy Ryan?


Tommy Ryan:Oh I got demoted to … I’m not even a host anymore.


Danny Ryan:You’re a host.


Tommy Ryan:I’m not a co-host? Okay.


Danny Ryan:You’re a co-host. [crosstalk 00:00:19] What are you doing here? Our co-host, Tommy Ryan, how are you doing Tommy?


Tommy Ryan:Fantastic. Now that I’m a co-host.


Danny Ryan:It’s going to be that kind of podcast, okay. So, last time we were together we were talking about you’re back from [inaudible 00:00:39] and talking about stuff from that. I know where Pete’s going through and we’re listening through some of the sessions that were there of interest to us. Anything else you want to add to stuff just from looking at what happened there? One of my things that I’m noticing as we’re going through the materials is it really sounds like the modern intranet that they’re really putting some gusto behind this which is wonderful for us to see.


Tommy Ryan:Yeah, it’s probably the biggest area of progress that makes us happy is seeing modern experience becoming a reality and even seeing our customers start to step in that direction versus being concerned when they weigh in all the pros and cons and they can’t quite move to a full modern experience. Now we can start offering that.


Danny Ryan:And you and I were on a call yesterday. I’m sitting there chuckling to myself as we’re talking with a client and the discussion goes to threaded discussions and modern [inaudible 00:01:56] discussions. I guess browser based even. I know we’re getting things with teams and seeing things coming down the pipe with that.


Danny Ryan:But, boy I would have never guessed 10, 15 years ago that we would be talking about wanting to have threaded discussions on a web page and where are they and what’s going on with those types of things. In a lot of ways we’re making a lot of progress and a lot of ways it’s sometimes just scratching my head like why isn’t it there or where is this thing?


Tommy Ryan:It ends up being spread across different areas of the platform where you get a little bit of this capability and a little bit of this and like to combine it together and be in one place and make it available anywhere. Different products mature over time and try to put energy towards the areas that matter most to organizations.


Tommy Ryan:A lot of it has been giving a look of making SharePoint not look like SharePoint. I think we’re getting to a point in time where I don’t people are going to say as much I just don’t want it to look like SharePoint. That’s a big thing for SharePoint because it’s had quite a legacy of not looking like … in looking like something that was five to 10 years older than everything else.


Danny Ryan:Your ugly kid brother. Does that bother you or? Hey mom, I know you’re not listening. Along those lines I think recently coming back to it we … just to give you some back ground on this. ThreeWill we’re using Microsoft 365 obviously not just because it’s free for us but just also we want to experience some of the pain that customers have.


Tommy Ryan:And some of the joys.


Danny Ryan:And some of the joy. Are you done?


Tommy Ryan:No, I’ve got some more. Keep on going.


Danny Ryan:I’m going to get you to complain about something.


Tommy Ryan:And no coffee this morning either.


Danny Ryan:No coffee this morning either. Okay. Some of the joys of using Microsoft 365 as well. There you go. How about that? But, one of the things that we were looking at is we’ve gone pretty heavily into the teams realm and so at a sizeable organization we’re about 30 some odd folks and 10 more contractors every once in awhile.


Tommy Ryan:[inaudible 00:04:43] wow. [inaudible 00:04:45]


Danny Ryan:What’s that? 30?


Tommy Ryan:Naw.


Danny Ryan:What are you saying?


Tommy Ryan:It started with contractors but it’s fine. Okay, alright. 40 is great. That’s awesome.


Danny Ryan:Okay. Alright. So we’re using teams pretty heavily because we can use it for that size of a team, and recently we’ve been talking some about using Yammer and some of the things we miss with it. One of the things being status updates, within teams you have a way…not a clear way of sort of sharing what your status is and not a clear way of using…theres not a way of using hashtags, and so we were sort of exploring maybe that’s something we could look at within using Yammer. So I wanted to ask, any thoughts on…is Yammer just going to be a place where we share jokes or how do we want to partition off what goes in Yammer versus what goes in teams, or is it just…I know we have a governance meeting later on today, our first governance meeting, and what do we want to say we’re using Yammer for? Is it just a playground? Any thoughts that you have about that at all.


Tommy Ryan:I don’t think it needs to be just a playground. I think when you think about collaboration and information sharing, you’ve got different purposes for different areas to platform. So if you look at teams, that area is where you have a subset of your organization working on a specific set of tasks that get coordinated as a team, that you have to be in high collaboration and you’ve got a lot of detail there. And that is not for the whole company, its not something that you really need to share. Maybe its successful by the whole company but it doesn’t need to be front and center for the whole company.


Tommy Ryan:Because its a lot of detail and you don’t want to quote try to keep up with all of that. You have your inbox for your emails that, it’s something that you try to subscribe to different things internally to your organization so your notified if you’re not “there to see it”, and you’ve got, outside of your organization where you’re getting permissions coming in that you have to act on. And really in your inbox, you’re wanting to manage that and read all that, and kind of knock it all out.


Tommy Ryan:I think when you look at Yammer, its that cross organizational collaboration, and just like Twitter or Facebook, you don’t have to read it all, its not something you have to keep up with and make sure you check off everything that flows into Yammer. But we always want to check on things, what’s going on, what’s the status, what we’re doing lately in Marketing, maybe I’m interested in that now and I can go and look at the Marketing group and see what’s the latest things that are trying to be shared within the organization.


Tommy Ryan:In a really light-weight status update [inaudible 00:08:36] information, how Twitter does it, used to be the 142 characters and now expanded, but really trying to make it quick soundbites. And then you have other areas of the platform like Sharepoint and communications sites that are, I want to groom this, I want this to be a pretty rich set of information and news that I want the organization to see and if they’re going to take the time to read it, I want it rich and engaging.


Tommy Ryan:And Yammer is plain text. And I think part of it being plain text, is that its just an update. Its like Twitter, you don’t, its just words and try to make it as concise as you can, so if someones just trying to get a pulse on different things in the organization. Or just trying to see where people are…what they’re doing and how you could help. Its a place to get those soundbites across your organization. And people have described it as a bulletin board, you go into a coffee shop and there’s a bulletin board that people are posting pieces of paper. And its something that you don’t have to read, but if your curious its there. And you can go out there and catch up on your organization and you might find ways that you can connect with others that have similar interests you have.


Tommy Ryan:And that might go into things like, “Oh I want to have a group that’s on jokes.” And so, within the organization its building some level, connection and rapport with people by having a place that they can post a joke.


Danny Ryan:So take an example, beyond the joke one, like technology, would you have a group within Yam…I’m assuming, like right now we’ve got a channel within the café that’s technology. You see that moving over to Yammer and it being something that would go into Yammer or where… because we have to be clear or otherwise people are going to not know where to put things. I would assume…is that something you see going into Yammer or going into teams?


Tommy Ryan:I mean a lot of what we see that’s inside of teams today, in the technology channel for café, is Yammer like posts. It is, all you’re seeing is a set of text describing what you’ve stumbled upon, the link you’ve stumbled upon, and you’re sharing that.


Tommy Ryan:Its not something that’s harnessable curated information that would go into a Sharepoint communication site, or a teams site, that you need to collaborate around that. Yammer gives you the level of collaboration that you need, you’ve got text and a link, and then you can have replies on that.


Danny Ryan:Okay


Tommy Ryan:I think our choice of why we had this thing called the café with these generic topics as channels within the café, was to partition the information so you could follow technology if you wanted to stay on top of that, or if you didn’t you just didn’t follow it.


Tommy Ryan:And we decided at that point, “lets simplify our tool set.” There’s always that challenge of how many places do I want to go to consume information in the organization. So that was a decision at that time to say, “well we can get rid of Yammer if we create this café team that has these channels that would [inaudible 00:12:27] groups that we have inside Yammer”. And not create a bunch of those teams that would be more light weight status update areas that you would post to. So we created one and, in some respects, I think where we got some confusion and some challenge as we looked at cleaning things up in our organization, is that there were some overlap of “okay, we’ve got this café that’s got a bunch of channels that are almost like Yammer groups in the past, and then we’ve got a landing page for Sharepoint, and it seems like, do I got the café as that “landing page” or my intranet, or do I got to the communications side that’s the café, that is the landing place for the intranet.”


Tommy Ryan:So it becomes a challenge that you have to balance, what are we willing to do as an organization to dogfood things at the same time and be productive as an organization where we don’t get overwhelmed. So I think its worth talking about is Yammer appropriate…if we were to go out to another organization like ours, that has less than say 100 people, I would say to them, “don’t do both, do teams.” Because you can get some of that cross company collaboration within what we did, by creating that team that had different channels for those “Yammer like groups” that could do status updates.


Tommy Ryan:But we’re considering it because we build primarily intranets that involve organizations that are a billion in revenue or more, so they’re going to have that need to have Yammer as that place for status updates and not try to create this massive team [inaudible 00:14:32] people to give that ability for status updates.


Tommy Ryan:So for us, what kind of drives us a little bit crazy is we end up dogfooding on things saying we need to learn this so we know our customers experience and then we start saying on the other hand, this is silly, why do we have Yammer when we have teams and we have Sharepoint, there’s too many places to go. We continue to struggle with that, but go forward with Yammer. We just have to recognize the reason why were doing this, its not because its purpose built for our size organization, its because its the business that were in and we need to experience what those capabilities are.


Tommy Ryan:So when we talk to them about Yammer, were not talking about Yammer 5 years ago, were talking about Yammer as it is today.


Danny Ryan:Yep, yep, that makes sense. I think also part of this is what are we using with our clients, I think that’s an interesting thing because were starting to use teams and sort of … talking about…talking in the circles where we have a team and we have our organization and were starting to introduce working with out clients, and starting to use teams for that, and we’ve never really used Yammer for something like that.


Tommy Ryan:We have, we did an external Yammer group with the Braves.


Danny Ryan:Okay


Tommy Ryan:And that worked out fine. I think they were a smaller organization and it was easier…and we had a motivated person that wanted to try it out.


Danny Ryan:Okay


Tommy Ryan:I think for the general customer, teams is a great fit for an extranet scenario, with external groups with teams, we find that either we host it or have the client host it. We talked about it before, I like it when the client hosts it, that way they have the information, we don’t have to migrate it and try to find a way to get it into their environment and we don’t have any of their personal data that they might accidentally put into our team.


Danny Ryan:Cool. What are you harvesting right now?


Tommy Ryan:Oh, some red peppers, a lot of the green peppers are moving into red which is nice, its a lot sweeter. I like the taste, its amazing how different the taste when it gets to when I turn it red.


Danny Ryan:Is that just because they’re on the vine longer? Or is it they’re a different type?


Tommy Ryan:They’re on the vine longer.


Danny Ryan:Okay


Tommy Ryan:And this is a type that is engineered to be picked as a red, green pepper and some of these green peppers as they mature, turn red or yellow, depending on the variety. I think most of them will turn red by default[inaudible 00:17:32].


Danny Ryan:Excellent excellent. Well thank you everybody for listening. And be interested to hear from folks how they’re using Microsoft 365, and as we continue our internal learnings and trying to share what we learn internally with folks. I think we’ve gone pretty full bare on Microsoft teams and now sort of looking at other things that are out there, and just continuing to learn and share with folks about what they’re doing out there.


Danny Ryan:I think my tidbit, the thing I learned this week, is we can officially archive team sites which is good because it gives me a way of…like I’m doing some consolidation of our teams and that way I can just archive a site off and set it to read only, that way the information is still there. But it gives us a way of sort of saying we’re no longer using this site anymore. Which is sort of, you look at the lifecycle of content and the last step is to archive it, and its nice to have that as part of what we’re doing. I think eventually we’ll also have, probably have…like right now I’d like to, since were talking about moving the technology discussion over into Yammer, perhaps archiving a channel, just a part of a team because we’re looking at moving over, using something different but we don’t want to lose everything that’s all of the discussions and what’s gone on in there so…[crosstalk 00:19:22] looking at that just because people will want…I know its the inevitable, well I can put it in these two places, which one do I put it in.


Danny Ryan:Just want to have, we can put a message up there that says now were using Yammer for this, communicate to folks what were using it for, just so they have some clarity.


Danny Ryan:Anything else before we wrap up?


Tommy Ryan:No, I think its good.


Danny Ryan:Okay, thanks everybody for listening and have a wonderful day. Take care, bye bye.


Tommy Ryan:Bye bye.


Additional Credits

Intro/Outro Music – Daniel Bassett

Danny RyanUsing Microsoft Teams and Yammer Together

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