Microsoft Activates Yammer for All Office 365 Business Customers

Yammer on. Soon, all businesses with an Office 365 subscription can access the company's enterprise social networking platform.

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Microsoft Office 365, Yammer

Yammer, the business-focused social platform Microsoft acquired in 2012 for over $1.2 billion, is now standard issue with Office 365.

"Today, I'm excited to announce that we are activating Yammer for every eligible Office 365 tenant—new and existing—without requiring additional action on the part of admins," said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Office. "This allows all Office 365 customers to gain the full benefits of Yammer. It also marks the culmination of our foundational efforts—including moving Yammer into Microsoft managed datacenters and undertaking identity work with Azure Active Directory—to bring Yammer fully into Office 365."

Microsoft began chipping away at the walls that separated its Office ecosystem and Yammer nearly three years ago. During a Yammer on Tour event in April 2013, the company revealed some early technology integrations, including in-browser Office document editing within Yammer and instant one-click translation services in Yammer feeds, courtesy of Microsoft's Translator technology.

Now, Microsoft is turning on Yammer for Office 365 business customers in a staggered rollout.

According to the company's FAQ, new Office 365 subscribers will have Yammer functionality enabled immediately. During three waves, the last of which kicks off on April 1, Microsoft is activating Yammer on business plans with fewer than 150 seats and working its way up customers with over 5,000 licenses. Schools will also need to wait until at least April 1.

Administrators can get ready by ensuring "that Office 365 user accounts are created for them and Yammer licenses assigned to them," advised Koenigsbauer. "If you are not ready to fully adopt Yammer in your organization, you can un-assign Yammer licenses for those who should not access Yammer from Office 365."

Users will notice that access to Yammer's messaging and collaboration features has been to several more Office 365 services, with more to come.

"Every Office 365 user with a Yammer license will be able to easily access Yammer from the Office 365 app launcher or start a Yammer conversation from SharePoint, Office 365 Video Portal and, coming soon, Delve and Skype Broadcast," Koenigsbauer said. "This enables you and your co-workers to share ideas and work together in the open using Yammer's flexible workspaces."

Other changes include shifting Yammer's real-time communications capabilities to Skype for Business and moving to direct messaging (previously real-time messaging) for the Online Now feature. On the mobile front, the Yammer Now app will be deprecated on March 4.

In keeping with Microsoft's stance on cloud privacy, Koenigsbauer assured organizations that their Yammer-enabled Office 365 accounts will keep a tight lid on their data.

"Yammer is now covered by the Office 365 Trust Center, which offers the protection of international and regional standards such as the Office 365 Data Processing Agreement with European Union Model Clauses (DPA with EUMC)," he said. Other certifications include the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Office 365 Business Associate Agreement (HIPAA BAA), ISO 27001, ISO 27018, compliance with Section 508 for web accessibility and SSAE 16 SOC 1 and SOC 2 reports," he added.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...