You’ve read up on both SharePoint Social and Yammer and closely examined the use case scenarios, and you’ve made your decision that Yammer is the right social tool for your organization. Whether on-premises or in the cloud, the key to a successful launch is a seamless integration with SharePoint 2013.
Yammer and SharePoint 2013 on-premises
In order to use Yammer with SharePoint on-premises, some out of the box SharePoint social features must be removed and replaced with equivalent Yammer features. Before transitioning off native SharePoint social capabilities, it’s important to have a plan in place for disabling features and modifying existing sites. For example, hiding user interface controls that provide social features requires a custom CSS file. Microsoft’s full list of features to hide can be found here; below, we offer a summary view of those features that need to be removed, and those that remain the same when making the switch to Yammer.
|Features to be removed:||Features not impacted:|
|Viewing or posting to conversations in Newsfeeds on My Sites and team sites||Following documents|
|Viewing activities in the Newsfeed||Following sites|
|Viewing activities on profile pages||Changing activity settings on the Newsfeed Settings page.|
|Viewing the I’m Following Web Part on My Sites||Updating information on the Edit Details page|
|Mentioning users from their profile page||Posting on a note board|
|Following people||Using community sites|
|Viewing Trending #tags on users’ Newsfeed page||Liking or rating documents in a document library|
A quick checklist for Yammer and SharePoint 2013 on-premises integration:
- Hide the OOTB SharePoint social features
- Enable connection between SharePoint and online App store (set up DNS entry)
- Get the Yammer App from the SharePoint App store
- Install the Yammer home feed
- Configure the Yammer group feed on the team site (log in with Yammer account)
- Review detailed Microsoft instructions
Yammer and SharePoint Online/Office 365
Yammer and Office 365 are the primary beneficiaries of Microsoft’s investment in social. In Office 365, you can make Yammer the primary social experience for all users, replacing the SharePoint native Newsfeed and changing the Office 365 global navigation. As Microsoft continues to focus on Yammer and Office 365 integrations, you can expect more updates. They recently released a new feature, Yammer document conversations, embedding the collaborative capabilities of Yammer into Office Apps. This enables users to share their ideas and expertise around Office documents. One caveat – you will need to enable Yammer as your default social network. For more information on this release, see the official blog post.
Yammer and SharePoint online/Office 365 integration steps:
- As Office 365 global admin, download the Yammer App from the SharePoint App store
- Install the Yammer App in to the SharePoint environment
- Make Yammer App available to sites with their site collections
- Add the Yammer feed to a SharePoint site
- Sign in with a Yammer user name and password.
- Choose the type of Yammer feed to display on the site
Keys to Transitioning from Native SharePoint Social to Yammer
- There is no direct path for migrating data from native SharePoint to Yammer.
- Decide what to do with existing conversations/newsfeed activities as part of the Yammer rollout
- Determine approach (e.g. manually transfer content from feeds by copying/pasting into Yammer groups)
- Modify Site Templates to include the Yammer App as users create new sites
- Like any other enterprise social implementation, a it is critical to establish a change management process
From a social enterprise perspective, SharePoint is renowned first as a collaboration platform with added-on social features and functionality, while Yammer is known as a best-in-class social networking platform. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. Finding the best fit for your organization will help ensure that your social networking solution is highly adopted – driving collaboration and employee engagement.