Year of Yammer – what’s it about?

If you haven’t heard it yet, you will soon. The enterprise social buzz from Microsoft is that it is the Year of Yammer and we don’t have long to wait to find out whether this is hype or an absolute game changer.

I’ve been a Yammer community manager since before it was under the Microsoft banner. In that time it has evolved significantly, but also come with gripes and controversy.

Yammer coming under Microsoft came with it’s benefits, but also a long period of confusion and conjecture about the role of Yammer in the toolset, in particular when Teams was introduced.


The first time I saw Year of Yammer mentioned was in a tweet from Mike Holste (Yammer and Employee Engagement PMM at Microsoft).

While the tweet referred to features released at the time there was some definite foreshadowing with the appearance of the Year of Yammer hashtag.

Ignite announcement

Fast forward to October and things start ramping up for Ignite announcements and sessions. Microsoft drops a teaser video with very little information and Mike shares a post on the Yammer blog with a list of Yammer related Ignite events.

Absolutely no clues in the video or in the sessions as to what the Year of Yammer may be about.
Get ready for Yammer at Microsoft Ignite! #YearOfYammer


I know a fabulous bunch of MVPs, and follow even more. While I know that many have information about what is coming, it’s all under NDA so there was no chance of getting any teasers.

Loryan and Alistair of 365 Unplugged released a great video full of fun an d conjecture that will certainly leave you puzzling. Clearly throwing in a bunch of red-herrings and (I assume) avoiding dropping any actual reveals. To quote Loryan “This entire episode is kind of a waste”.

They put forward many tongue in cheek ideas for what could be happening, such as:

  • We’ll get lots of SWAG
  • Is Yammer going to replace teams
  • Will it get absorbed into Teams
  • Will Teams be integrated to Yammer
  • Linked in for work
  • Yammer could become ‘Social Teams’
  • Yammer will be LinkedIn social and use telephony so you can dial in from all the systems

Putting the teasing aside, they do say that what they have seen will make a difference. Touching on the topic of integration and that SharePoint is working better with Yammer (a big hint I think but also seen in recent releases).

See the video for yourself.

Ignite kick-off

Ignite is already underway and #YearOfYammer posts are popping up all over the place. Promotional material and SWAG is everywhere.

I really hope someone brings me some SWAG home.

My thoughts

Better integration with SharePoint is natural and something I’ve been waiting for. But… I think that any SharePoint integration will be in Modern, not in Classic. From a technical perspective it makes sense not to invest in integration for a product which is being deprecated. But where does that leave everyone who is not yet able to make the move to Modern SharePoint.

I’d certainly like to see more administrative features for Yammer to make community management easier. There has been some movement in this space but governance is still challenging, and more analytics above the basics.

Aside from technical improvements I’d like to see more information about rationalising how organisations can effectively use Yammer to maximise the Employee Experience as part of a full Digital Workplace.

I’m very much looking forward to seeing what

Share your thoughts

%d bloggers like this: