Notes from Yammer Conversation during MS CIO

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Notes I took during the Yammer Conversation during MS CIO

Saw what was happening with Twitter and Facebook – hypotheses that this was a new way of moving info around, and how valuable that would be applied to the Enterprise context. Lofty idea of taking social and applying to Enterprise. Realized to compete with MS and IBM you need a unique distribution model

Key innovations

Freemium Model – allowed to sign up for free and pay for premium version

Cloud – collect info on use of Yammer and make decisions

Base networks on Email domain – like FB was originally based on college campuses, so domain based network structure

Kept at it for a few years, 2010 we had competition, SalesForce Chatter, Newsgator, Jive, our differentiators allowed us to catch the eye of Microsoft

Getting into the space and doing something new with Social, filled gap Microsoft had, but they filled everything around it.

Recently acquired, but already very ingrained.

Why was MS so excited?


Looked at what companies, do what their pain points were

Backed into how we’ll make the best use of it. Fun journey, well into it now, have grown the activity quite a bit.

Fun to watch our Executives start to look at it, to get insight into what the company is thinking, making them more connected to bottom-line employees and get them more connected to each other.

When Steve Ballmer announced major reorg, what was gratifying for me was they came out publicly and said Key Values we have to instill cross Microsoft



More open communication

Lined up completely wit Yammer provides, which is exciting as we roll it out.

MS has bought in – how do other companies use Yammer?

BRIAN PRODUCT TEAM joined in Customer services, and helping customers use Yammer

Saw many things across industries, diff business use cases

ability for Yammer to connect the “knowledge workers” with “front line employees” think restaurant chains – have a corporate division, but most employees are out working with customers face to face

Really focused on Mobile Strategy – how can we get Yammer out there to people who aren’t typically connected to the corporate office?

Video example – Red Robin burger chain – use to connect the corporate office with the employees. EEs share feedback from Customers with corporate. Modified their approach to a new burger on the fly.

Red Robin C

Chris Laping SVP & CIO – wanted best cost savings, couldn’t negatively affect customer or EE, couldn’t be a one hit wonder, had to be sustainable

With Yammer, put the challenge out to 25,000 customers at one time

Surveys are a one way communication. When you do it in a form like Yammer, it’s multi-directional, and people like that idea.

Talking about it on a social network really engaged the audience, and company

“agave people the ability without being second guessed or judged, to put ideas on the table to help the customers and team members without compromising quality” –

Huge Success Story – connected EES that weren’t previously connected.


Culture Change – have to figure out when do I IM someone instead of email? There needs to be a lot of education. Have to beef up the Change Management muscle to deal with those issues rather than the technical ones.

“If I knew then what I know now”, what would you do differently?

– Several months ahead of time I’d have sat down with the C suite or as many execs as we can get into the room, ask why are we going to use this at Microsoft,? What are the new programs that we are going to integrate with Yammer, how we’ll get value out of this and why? Identify Specific Business Value – whether it’s connecting with colleagues from across the world, or whether collecting data with it. We’re doing it on the back end now and I’d have done it up front if I had to do it again

YAMMER learned a lot as well BRIAN MURRAY – Yammer network 400 people merged into MS 90,000 people, so we learned more about what big companies are going through. WE looked at it through the lens of a small company. Chris opened our eyes to the concerns and issues with working with a huge network.

Yammer is a communication tool – helps people move information more fluidly than other tools allow for. Yammer helps open up dialogue. If everyone on your team communicates through Yammer, daily status updates, Q&A, not only the people talking benefit, but the other people seeing the discussion benefit. Cognitive awareness across the team. Helps me have a pulse on what’s happening at the organization.

CHRIS – MS – used to have an email group called “idunno” where people would post when they couldn’t find something. Now Yammer is the “idunno” solution, where you can post


Best to roll out to a test group or full company?

Want to

Yammer started with Freemium model – intent is to show what the product is like before making a financial commitment

Little diff between fermium an d

Differences are admin, reporting

More people on it the better – dive in, start playing around, don’t make too much of a commitment at first, and as you build awareness with your core team, start rolling it out internally

Pick a scenario – run a company meeting off Yammer, pick one scenario or one team and see how that looks and feels and then see what that looks like


BRIAN – Seeing more of Yammer integrating with products, like CRM and Dynamics

CHRIS – If we do our job right at MS, a couple of years from now, you won’t know or care if it’s Exchange, or Yammer or SharePoint on the back end. You’ll have more conversations, they’ll be more open. The more natural and seamless that all is, the better. Will increase adoption not just of social but of everything in general

Social seems to have been around awhile because there’s so much hype about it. But until things like email start blending together, that’s when we’ll see it’s really integrated.





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