Yammer dead? No way! No other tool can fix real life business problems like Yammer can

Blue Meteorite has 100 employees working permanently in five different geographical locations: two locations in Finland, one in Norway, one in the USA, one in Canada.

We are big fans of ESN (Enterprise Social Network) and have used Yammer since the year 2011, that is before Microsoft acquired Yammer.

We believe that no other solution in the current Office 365 ecosystem can match Yammer as an ESN tool. In this post, I want to give you a couple of recent, concrete examples of #yamwins from our daily life. (What is a #yamwin?)

Obviously, the following examples and benefits apply for any Enterprise Social Network, whether it’s Yammer, Facebook at Work, Jive, IBM Connections, etc.

Example 1: Yammer helping a sales person

One of our account managers was closing an important deal. All looked pretty good. However, as is typical for a late stage of a sales case, the customer had their last-minute doubts and questions. The account manager wanted to answer the customer as quickly as possible, but he wanted the answers to be accurate and without errors.

The account manager knew that our employees were too busy to participate in any meeting with such a short notice. And most importantly, he didn’t know whom he would invite to a meeting, because he didn’t know who in our 100-person team had the best answers to the customer’s questions. So he decided to throw the question at our Enterprise Social.

During the first two hours, our account manager received 8 comments to hist post, from three different people. Thanks to those comments, he was able to get back to the customer with accurate answers in no time. Then the customer asked him some additional questions, so he continued with Yammer. Eventually, there were 28 comments from 9 distinct helpers. This thread included several additional questions copy-pasted from the customer into Yammer. The account manager found the answers in Yammer so high quality that he also copy-pasted the answers from Yammer back to his customer.

Example 2: Yammer improving quality assurance

In our Valo Intranet product development, another product release was closing in. We knew that this release would be one of the biggest in our history. We wanted to go the extra mile in order to ensure high quality and best usability. The product team launched a bug hunt powered by ESN.

The product team announced in Yammer an internal bug hunt competition: Whoever found the most number of issues or improvement ideas in the test version of our product during the next two weeks, would win a prize.

As an end result of this crowdsourced QA, we had discovered 21 new findings, among them many brilliant, new ideas. Most of them found their way onto the product backlog. We feel that this competition took the quality and usability of our product to a whole different level. This is a great example of how gamification can give results in the workplace.

Example 3: Yammer for the tech lead

Our product team was concerned about a performance issue in our product. Related to this issue, we wanted to learn two things: 1) How widespread the problem was among our customers, 2) Who in our company would have available time to fix the issue?

Again, we asked Yammer: How many of our customers are experiencing this issue? Within just a couple of hours, we had gathered a complete set of answers from our service managers, confirming that the issue was widespread. Then the next step: Who has time to fix it, and what should the solution look like? Again, in a matter of hours, the tech people across all our locations had come to a conclusion about the most robust solution, and we already had a virtual team working on the solution.

Conclusion

Yammer and other ESN tools are great business enablers. The above examples were just the tip of the iceberg of the business benefits we have achieved with it. I hope our examples help you understand the potential these tools have.

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Valo Intranet leverages Yammer as the social engine. Yammer provides the discussion boards in Valo Workspaces, and Valo highlights activities from Yammer such as announcements and praises. Valo also integrates with the other recent solutions in the Office 365 ecosystem, such as Groups and Teams.

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