Microsoft Readies Yammer Updates to Make Workforces More Responsive
Yammer teases new mobile and collaboration features that make it easier for users to act on the collective wisdom of their colleagues.Yammer kicked off on Oct. 15 a one-day event in San Francisco called the Working Social Tour to preview some of the new innovations that the software maker, a part of Microsoft since it was acquired in 2012 for $1.2 billion, is baking into its enterprise social networking platform. In a sign that Yammer's reach is spreading at Microsoft, the event, formerly Yammer on Tour, was co-hosted by Office 365, SharePoint and Dynamics. Pavan Tapadia, Yammer's chief product officer, told eWEEK during a phone interview that future integration efforts include more seamless collaboration and information-sharing experiences that leverage Office Web Apps. Providing a smoother, more unified and nondisruptive approach to working with Office documents from within Yammer is part of the company's goal of "helping teams work better together," one of three themes that guided the latest round of updates. Expected to roll out during the next month, the updates are also meant to further dissolve the technical barriers between users and help them take action quicker with optimized, mobile-enabled workflows. Taken altogether, these approaches support Yammer's vision of "trying to make companies more responsive." To help bring email users more easily into Yammer conversations, Tapadia reported that his team "added a bunch of features to use Yammer and email together." The new email interoperability features allow non-Yammer users to participate in group discussions, wherein a Yammer group works like a distribution list.
Under the new system, it is now possible to "@mention" an email user. "Each post will be delivered to their email inbox," informed Tapadia. Yammer has also made enhancements to email forwarding and the way it handles email history, including an option to append the whole email chain as an attachment.