SWOOP Analytics explains why Microsoft Yammer & Teams make the perfect partnership for collaboration

July 28, 2020

The original article is published on the Microsoft Tech Community Yammer Blog.

At SWOOP Analytics, a Microsoft Partner, we’ve benchmarked hundreds of organizations using Yammer and Microsoft Teams, and millions of interactions world-wide, to know exactly what “good” looks like. We have the data to see what makes a highly productive team on Teams and a collaborative organization on Yammer.

Our Teams benchmarking found the best performing, and highly productive teams use Microsoft Teams for their day-to-day work, for collaborating within their own team, when you know the people you’re working with.

But what happens when you need to reach outside your team? When you need answers, knowledge or inspiration from a wider group? 

Chances are, someone in your organization has the answer to your issue, someone has encountered the same thing and if you can find that person and tap into the knowledge, your job could be done in a fraction of the time, probably at a fraction of the cost.

Microsoft has just made it so much easier to find the people and the knowledge you’re looking for, without interrupting your day-to-day work, by introducing the Communities app to Microsoft Teams.

When the Communities app is installed on Teams, it delivers Yammer inside Teams. You can navigate to all the Communities in your Yammer network and participate in conversations, join communities, watch live events, share announcements, pin conversations and mark best answers just as you would in Yammer.

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Yammer and Teams – better together

Yammer is for open knowledge sharing. A place to ask questions and find answers, to access knowledge across the entire organization, not just within your team.

Combining Microsoft Teams and Yammer with the Communities app means there is no more toggling between apps or confusion about where to post. Just add the Communities app to your Teams page by searching for “Communities” in Apps on the left-hand menu bar. You’ll start discovering communities, knowledge and conversations alongside your projects, chat and meetings.

“Collaboration always involves interacting with people you know, like the people in your team,” said SWOOP Analytics CEO Cai Kjaer.

“This is the core value proposition for Teams. But often you need to reach outside your core team to find answers. In this case, it’s all about collaborating with people you don't yet know and this is one of Yammer's superpowers.

“Together, Teams and Yammer are a formidable ally for business performance, and since most of our daily work is happening within a team, it makes a lot of sense to make Yammer available in the Teams mobile app.

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Communities app in Teams allows instant all-company communication

If teams are to truly perform online, their size should be limited to less than 10 members, says SWOOP’s Chief Scientist Dr Laurence Lock Lee. Following this rule, which is backed by decades of research, Microsoft Teams becomes the primary place where staff log in when they come to work. By adding the Communities app to Teams it allows teams to operate while remaining connected to the entire organization, something that’s become even more important during times of crisis when leaders need quick and clear communication with all staff.

And now with the Communities app in Teams mobile app, it allows employees to put out a call for assistance in Yammer during their day-to-day work, without fear of losing their place in their regular workflow.

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Do you behave differently on Teams and Yammer?

SWOOP Analytics conducted research using real-time data to explore whether the increased use of Teams resulted in a drop in Yammer usage.

In terms of activity, we found a high correlation between individual activity levels on Yammer and Teams, showing if you are highly active on Yammer, you will also be highly active on Teams and vice versa. Overall, our research found more collaboration is happening overall when both tools are utilised.

With the data to prove using Teams and Yammer together increases collaboration, it seems the most logical step to make the Yammer Community app easily accessible in Teams. SWOOP is also following Microsoft’s lead by integrating SWOOP for Yammer and SWOOP for Teams into a single navigable dashboard, which can also be accessed as an app within Microsoft Teams.

The new-look Yammer has also changed the name of “Groups” to “Communities”, something Kjaer says is a better reflection of the purpose of Yammer.

“Yammer was always about connecting people from across the enterprise, and re-framing groups as communities now makes that purpose even more clear,” he said.

The new-look Yammer clearly demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to the Yammer platform and the importance of an enterprise social network to run alongside day-to-day team work in Teams.

The ability to embed the new-look Yammer in Teams and respond to a post via Outlook on your phone or your tablet shows Microsoft’s commitment to make collaboration adaptable, flexible and focused by breaking down the barriers between apps.

About SWOOP

SWOOP provides collaboration analytics for Microsoft Teams and Yammer to give you insights to measure and improve your digital workplace relationships. SWOOP analyses the content and relationships in Teams and Yammer to help you adapt behaviours to reach better business outcomes and make informed decisions about collaboration effectiveness.

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