Ever since Microsoft acquired Yammer back in 2012 for a trifling $1.2 billion, they have gradually been working to merge the social network enterprise application with the functionality of Office 365.
The latest feature in the stream of Yammer-related updates that have been rolled out in the last year is a function called “document conversions.” When activated, document conversions allow Yammer users to collaborate on Office files—Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.—in real time.
“Document conversations enable people to share their ideas and expertise around Office documents, images and videos right from within the content they are editing or reviewing,” said group product manager on the Microsoft enterprise social team, Christophe Fiessinger, in a statement.
On top of supporting Office file types, SharePoint documents are also able to process roughly 30 other file formats, including PDFs and .mp4 multimedia files. To leverage document conversions, Yammer must be designated as the default social network of your Office365 platform.
Said Fiessinger: “Imagine being able to ask questions, find expertise and offer feedback about content without having to leave the application you’re working in!”
Microsoft announced that the document conversions update is being made available to users throughout the course of the summer.
Making Yammer Work for Your Business
The real power of Yammer lies in its ability to leverage social networking in a way that completely revolves around your business. By building a secure Facebook-esque experience for users in an enterprise, business managers can establish an efficient, productive and user-friendly platform for internal and external communication.
Some of the benefits and features of Yammer include:
- Group conversations and private messages for segregating discussions that are relevant only to specific teams
- File sharing
- Hashtags to assist with Yammer’s robust search functions
- Database of user contact information
- Team collaboration
- Easy integration with SharePoint, Salesforce.com and other platforms
- Less email (Yammer claims that companies using Yammer generate 40% less email)
While it is possible to integrate Yammer into SharePoint 2010, or even SharePoint 2007, having the latest SharePoint 2013 release is highly recommended in order to experience the maximum benefits that Yammer has to offer. Yammer is compatible with Office365, as well as on-premises versions of the SharePoint Server and standalone SharePoint solutions.
In addition to improved social networking in the workplace, Microsoft focused on several other critical business functions in their latest SharePoint version. Be sure to check out our article “7 New Features in the Microsoft SharePoint 2013 Upgrade” in the Innovative Architects Knowledge Center.