Talk:Use of Yammer for internal organizational networking

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See the original thread of this E-Discussion on D-Groups

Gauri Salokhe, 2009/12/09

Hi All,

Does anyone in this community have experience with the "paid" version of Yammer? Additionally, is Yammer actively used in any of your organizations?

Knowledge and Information Management Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO), Italy.

Dennis Arends, 2009/12/09

And now has quite a number specific groups. It has started not too long ago and not all staff are involved yet. But it seems to start working.

Cristina Sette, 2009/12/09

Dear All,

ILAC has published a new brief entitled "Working in virtual environments: Three practical collaborative web tools" by Simone Staiger-Rivas, Peter Shelton, Petr Kosina and Nancy White.

The publication can be downloaded from ILAC website

Programme Specialist, Institutional Learning and Change (ILAC) Initiative, c/o Bioversity International, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Italy.

George Mu'ammar, 2009/12/09

WFP uses Yammer in a very limited manner (hey that rhymes!).

There is a small group of users and there are some private groups. I believe that most of the activity is within the private groups. Unfortunately I must admit that all users are located in Rome HQ.

As an overall rating I would say that there is a far greater potential of usage considering that 90% of our staff are not in HQ!

Geospatial Analyst, World Food Programme of the United Nations.

Christina Schmalenbach, 2009/12/09

Yammer is being used quite actively in Oxfam GB - globally, i.e. not just by staff at headquarters.

Knowledge Management Officer, Oxfam Humanitarian Department.

Gauri Salokhe, 2009/12/09

Thanks George, Christina, Denis for your feedback.

Knowledge and Information Management Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO), Italy.

Ephraim Freed, 2009/12/09

Hi Gauri,

We aren't using Yammer, but have it in the queue of collaboration/communication tools to examine.

My understanding is that to get high value from Yammer, you need to combine two approaches: 1) allow fairly open use so that innovations can emerge and 2) align Yammer user groups around specific organizational objectives and communications needs.

For example: Christina from Oxfam Great Britain is in the Humanitarian Department, where real-time information around specific humanitarian emergencies can provide tremendous value.

Do folks who have used Yammer already see these two approaches as important to success?

Rosien Herweijer, 2009/12/09

We have used yammer in a small virtual team (Euforic - as an addition to other internal tools that we use to communicate and store information (mostly e-mail, google chat and wiki's)

Yammer served us as a virtual team's water cooler.....informal and a nice way to share jokes, moods, links and other nice-to-know-but-not-critical-to-the-work-or-learning-processes-kind-of-information. The intensity of use varied.

Ian Thorpe, 2009/12/09

Dear all

UNICEF is actively using Yammer and recently negotiated use of the paid version on the software. In our case this is managed by the Internal Communication team not the knowledge management team, and I've forwarded Gauri's query to them to provide further information.

I just wanted to share some information on how we use it from the perspective as a frequent user (but not the owner):

UNICEF has just over 1000 users signed up for Yammer including both HQ and Field locations. Most users have signed up but have made very few, if any postings. That said there is a small minority that actively use the tool and these include people from across locations (HQ and field) and job functions. The main uses people have made of Yammer so far seem to be:]

  1. Sharing information and promoting initiatives of own office or section (e.g. our change management team use Yammer as a means of disseminating their updates)
  2. Sharing interesting articles/links from the external world with colleagues
  3. Requests for information/help from colleagues - sometimes these are answered, sometimes not
  4. Less frequently people have livetweeted from internal or external meetings they have attended
  5. A number of groups have been set up both public and private - some of which are used (e.g. we have an active one on greening UNICEF) and others not.

We don't have any formal guidance on what to post and what not to post, oron who can create groups and what for. Right now any staff member can join and use it how they wish. The use of Yammer has mostly grown organically - with some light promotion by the internal communication team. Barriers to greater use are probably that many people are still not comfortable with either sharing/broadcasting information openly this way, and are not conversant with using web 2.0 technologies to communicate (we still mostly use e-mail as our "killer app"). It's worth noting that Yammer is much more popular with staff than Twitter and there does seem to be a strong desire for people to have a means to communicate with each other behind the firewall.

I hope this is helpful

Senior Information and Knowledge Manager, United Nations Childrenís Fund.

Gauri Salokhe, 2009/12/09

Hi Ian, Rosien and Ephraim,

Thank you very much for sharing your organization's experience with Yammer.

FAO has just about 90 users most of whom are from HQ. Most of these users have signed up but hardly use the tool except for a handful Web2.0 savvy colleagues. There are two groups from the field but both are inactive.

The feedback all of you have provided is extremely helpful as we explore the possible use of the tool.

Knowledge and Information Management Officer, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO), Italy.

Joitske Hulsebosch, 2009/12/09

The experiences of WFP with microblogging are shared in this blogpost:

Even though they don't use Yammer, I think it is still relevant for other organisations.