Yammer On Tour – Amsterdam 2013

Yammer is on tour and hit Amsterdam on February 28th. I had the pleasure to be there, get a shot of first class inspiration from Yammer co-founder Adam Pisoni, and listen to some amazing Yammer testimonials. It is those testimonials that provided me with some take-home tips on how to improve use and adoption of Yammer within my own organization.

Let’s start with the first testimonial by Frank Wammes from Cap Gemini. One of the things he said is that people are honest on Yammer. In his experience it is hard to get honest feedback in a face to face setting, but as soon as you post an idea on Yammer he gets honest feedback from around the globe. Which brings me to another important aspect of Yammer Frank mentioned. He described that when he is preparing for a meeting and he needs detailed facts on basically anything het just posts a question on Yammer and gets an answer within minutes. Through Yammer he can basically tap from the collective knowledge of Cap Gemini instantaneously! Wow, powerful stuff! The third thing that he mentioned, and I remember this because it is something we struggle with in my organization, is employee engagement. He stated that since they started working with Yammer people tend to stay at Cap Gemini longer… Think about that for a second… this means that Yammer really engages people, right?
So, the next testimonial was from Eline Kurvink from SKIM in one of the breakout sessions. The testominial was brief but contained two vital aspects: enabling international growth and enabling quick transfer of knowlegde. This point was made when SKIM was extending business across continents. Yammer enabled the new branches to tap from the knowledge already present within their Yammer network.
The third testimonial was by Mirjam Riedel from Kluwer. In short they decommissioned their intranet altogether and replaced it with a flick of the switch. I particularly like this approach because within my organization we spend a lot of time and effort on our new intranet. My position is: “Yammer = intranet”. To me there is nothing we need that cannot be achieved with Yammer. One of the issues within our organization is the matter of accessing business apps through our intranet. Kluwer’s solution: “All you need to do is make sure people can find the app-URL on Yammer.” Good thinking!
Finally Patrick de Winter from Shell showed us some of the ways they use Yammer. They distinguish four primary “use-cases” for Yammer (in my words…): business talk, coffee talk, engagement, innovation. Each use-case creates its own needs with its own networks and groups and they are all allowed and encouraged within Shell. Shell also provides in-house training sessions on the use of Yammer through… yep, Yammer :-). There are currently over 33.000 (!) people on the Shell network. Someone asked: “How can you structure this vast amount of information on Yammer?”. Answer: “You don’t need to, people pick and choose what they like.”. My point exactly!
The theme of the day was “Disruption” and this post would not be complete without one of the many quotes by Adam Pisoni on this subject: “Disruption is when someone else figures out how to provide the value you are providing better than you.“. May Yammer disrupt us all… :-)!

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