[As a heads-up, I’ve posted a long update to this original post after a week of dialog: Office 365 Network: What We Have Here is A Failure to Communicate Short version below 🙂 ]
It’s in Public Preview so expect a few bugs and the opportunity to give feedback on the experience which will continue to be iterated.
You’ll be able to access the content of the network from anywhere, without logging in. You should join the community though in order to participate, you can use your Microsoft Account or your work Office 365 account – great instructions are here.
This community is NOT FOR SUPPORT. This community is for peer to peer connections with similar folks to you and the Microsoft product teams, advice on how to use the products and services and learning from experts. Support tickets can and should be opened from the Office 365 admin console.
There are some great new features as part of the community to engage folks. You’ll be able to earn badges for participating, even by simple social gestures such as just liking posts, and you can personalize your home page.
Editing to add: Another reason I’m excited to see this change, is that it signals Microsoft’s commitment to massive open community. If you’ve been a part of the SharePoint community for many years, you’ll recognize the enormous shift that is happening right now from ignoring the community to embracing it. I believe the success of the Yammer acquisition was not as much a technology win but instead a mindset win. But this is not happening just for SharePoint and Office 365 more broadly, it’s across the whole of Microsoft’s stack. I believe this is due to Satya’s leadership on openness, willingness to work with partners that were previously competitors, in order to serve customer choice. But even seeing folks like CVP SharePoint and OneDrive, Jeff Teper, answering questions live and authentically from real users at Office 365 community events on Saturdays, is incredibly demonstrative of the power of customer led innovation and willingness to dialog.
Why Yammer Isn’t Being Used
I’ve been a huge and passionate advocate for using Yammer for many years. I’m an even bigger advocate for Office 365. I’ve developed even more advocates for the service and deployed it successfully for some of the world’s largest companies (at least a million users at this point). My company has a leading app for adoption and engagement of the Yammer service. But I am supporting this change of platform for these reasons:
- The old Office 365 network was on Yammer. Despite the millions of people who use Office, less than 100,000 people were on that network. Orders of magnitude not enough people. Community must be inclusive, and so many people need to be part of it. It was hard to discover the community.
- You couldn’t discover the amazing conversations via Google, Bing or your preferred search engine. The best way to help people with their issues is to make the learnings of others before them available to them when they need it.
- You had to be a member in order to consume the content. As community managers know, most people consume content without saying anything. Making them jump through hoops to get to consumption is unproductive.
Does This Mean Yammer is Dead?
Every day, and I’m not exaggerating, every day someone asks me if Yammer is dead.
YAMMER IS NOT DEAD
YAMMER IS A SERVICE FOR MAKING TEAMS & COMPANY CENTRIC COMMUNITIES MORE PRODUCTIVE
AS PART OF OFFICE 365 GROUPS, YOU’LL SEE FREAKING AMAZING INTEGRATION
(yes it’s taken forever, yes it’s worth it)
JUST LIKE SHAREPOINT, IT IS NOT FOR PUBLC FACING
(and by that I mean random folks on the interwebs, not known, invited people that you want in your community)
MICROSOFT IS STILL USING YAMMER FOR THEIR INTERNAL CORPORATE NETWORK
(which, for the record, has more people in it than the old external facing O365 network)
I’m going to write a whole lot more on this topic.
It’s time for the second wave of evangelism in this area.
Enterprise collaboration networks like Yammer are not destinations, they are services to put conversation where you need to consume and interact with it to get your work done.
You can comment here, or go join network.office.com and we’ll talk about it.