What is Microsoft Yammer?

9th February 2016


Microsoft Yammer gives businesses a private, secure, social network for employees to communicate with each other across the organisation.

In their personal lives, it's common-practice for people to use social networks to share what they are up to and chat to friends. Microsoft Yammer brings these well-known ways of communicating into the workplace; encouraging greater collaboration and improving productivity.

How does Yammer work?

As a private social network, Microsoft Yammer brings the ideas of a shared collaboration and discussion space into the corporate world. It’s core features are broken down into:


Every user has a profile which gives others details about who the person is, what their role is in the organisation, and any other personal details they wish to share (for example core skills, qualifications, or outside hobbies).

Filling out a profile makes it easy for colleagues to identify the right people to connect with.


A Yammer Group is an online workspace for people to share their work together and are usually centred around teams or specific projects. Within a group colleagues can hold discussions on how a project is progressing, make announcements that all members need to know about, access the latest relevant documents, and search for previous discussions.

If an organisation wants to speed up collaboration and keep employees on the same team up-to-date with new developments then Yammer Groups are a key tool to achieving these aims.


Public messages let everyone know what an employee is working on, and provide instant feedback or assistance. For sensitive discussions, private messaging is available. Like other social networks a news feed shows ongoing conversations and announcements from groups, or individuals, a person follows.

Yammer Conversations are the social glue of an company's operations. Letting everyone know what is happening and making it easy for workers in different locations to feel they are part of the same organisation.


The paperless office is still some distance away for many organisations but Microsoft Yammer brings it a step closer by providing an easy way of sharing Microsoft Office files, PDFs, images, and videos between colleagues. Whenever a document is updated everyone sees the latest version and can provide feedback or make notes. Also, important documents like employee handbooks can be tagged as 'official' preventing editing.

Social graph

Yammer brings business intelligence to organisations with the Social Graph.It makes it easy for people to find colleagues, documents, and conversations that are relevant to what they are working on. The Social Graph creates an intelligent news feed and uses contextual discovery to make sure the information someone needs right now floats to the top.

What are the benefits of Microsoft Yammer?

Better collaboration and communication are key ways of improving productivity and these are the areas Microsoft Yammer focuses on. Microsoft have produced several studies (pdf link) highlighting ways Yammer delivers better productivity:

  • Two-thirds of time spent on document collaboration is spent working with people who do not sit nearby in the same office (IDC, 2012). Yammer Groups make it easy for these people to work together.
  • 60% of employees work in multiple locations during a working week (Forrester Research, 2011). As a cloud service, Yammer means these employees can complete their work and discuss projects without returning to a central office.
  • 20% of the working week is spent searching for internal information (Microsoft, 2014). With Microsoft Yammer finding the documents, or conversations, needed to complete work are easy to find — eliminating wasted time searching.

It isn’t just large businesses that benefit from these productivity gains. Any improvement made by SMEs to how their employees work together has a positive impact on the bottom line by freeing up employee time for other work.

How do you log into Yammer?

If a businesses is using a qualifying version of Microsoft Office 365 package then a Yammer network is available for free to all employees, organisations using other email services (including Hosted Microsoft Exchange) need to sign up for Yammer separately and pay per-employee.

A global administrator for Office 365 needs to activate Yammer for the business domain (eg mycompany.co.uk) and our 24 x 7 UK support team are available to help set-up for SMS customers. Once activated employees access Yammer using the standard ‘My Apps’ section of the Office 365 web portal. Mobile apps are also available for iOS (iPhones and iPads), Android, and Windows Phone for employees who work remotely.

Because access to a company's Yammer network is only available to people who have an email address using the business domain (eg helen@mycompany.co.uk) nobody outside the organisation can see information posted on the Yammer network.

Who uses Microsoft Yammer?

Yammer is already used by more than 200,000 companies, ranging from large multi-nationals like DHL and Shell, down to small businesses running Microsoft Office 365 and integrating Yammer so colleagues can work together and keep up-to-date on what is happening in the business without having to come into a central office.

Which versions of Microsoft Office 365 are supported?

Select Business and Enterprise versions of Microsoft Office 365 include Yammer as part of the package.

  • Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials
  • Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium
  • Microsoft Office 365 Midsize Business
  • Microsoft Office 365 K1
  • Microsoft Office 365 K2
  • Microsoft Office 365 E1
  • Microsoft Office 365 E2
  • Microsoft Office 365 E3
  • Microsoft Office 365 E4

Special versions of Microsoft Office 365 for non-profits may also include Yammer as standard. Users on one of these plans should contact their supplier for more details. SMS customers can check with our sales team to see if their plan is included.

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