After 2 years of pandemic living, organisations are struggling to get cut through when communicating to their employee base.

A Harvard Business Review article talks about 2 key areas to communicating through a crisis as being communicating frequently and providing safe channels for giving feedback.

So many organisations that we work with aren’t aware of the free, secure communication tools that are already part of their M365 investment.

Why have an Enterprise Social Network (ESN)?

During Pre-Covid times a substantial amounts of employee engagement happened outside of traditional work activities or tasks. When you’re in an office, you have the ability to have corridor conversations, kitchen meet ups and desk drop ins. In the new digital hybrid world of work this is where the Enterprise Social Network comes in. It allows for innovation, free flowing communication on an idea or topic, and a space to create and view company culture coming to life. It truly connects across the organisation and fosters a sense of community

Tools like MS Teams on the other hand are productivity tools to be used as a place to get work done and focus on small teams of people working collaboratively on a task or project.

Microsoft vs Facebook

 An important element in the decision around which tool to use, centres around what values you are looking to instil across your enterprise and how you want to take the employee base on this digital journey.

Microsoft’s ethos has always been built around building trust, combined with a very good ethical approach. They live and breathe productivity, that’s their background and they excel in this space. Yammer is a service that was founded as a business tool to help solve the problem of employee engagement, knowledge sharing and communication.

Facebook, on the other hand has chosen to take its consumer social network and try to fit it to organisations.  People are familiar with the way it works, but fundamentally it is rooted in how many people see content and how content can get attention, not productivity. The familiarity can also mean people see it as an extension of their personal Facebook rather than a business tool.

Both companies have arrived at a tool that has a similar look on the surface, but they are in fact coming from very different objectives, and sales and marketing viewpoints.

Migrating from Facebook to Microsoft Yammer

The fact that you’ve already got Workplace deployed is probably a good indication that you understand the value of an Enterprise Social Network and may potentially have a strategy for how the tool works within your broader technology and communication ecosystem.

If these elements are already in place, the important points around making the switch to Yammer include:

  • Facilitation of a Community Audit. Are your established communities achieving their purpose and maintaining the right level of engagement across the different Swoop

Analytics personas and against the Swoop Enterprise Collaboration Maturity Model

  • From this audit, understanding if there is content that needs to be migrated from Workplace to Yammer and defining and agreeing this process
  • Establishing a cut through change and adoption campaign to ensure employees understand the move and the benefits to them as individuals

We always use this move as a way to refresh your ESN strategy and potentially adjust it to ensure that it is remains relevant to your organisational objectives. We also look to have processes in place to ensure going forward changes can be made with minimal effort. This could include automating the establishment of new communities, with roles and responsibilities embedded throughout that process.

4 Key highlights of Yammer


  1. Rich integration with the rest of M365 allows employees to answer Yammer posts directly through Outlook email, notifications you may have set up in the MS Teams application, or through the Yammer app within Teams. These rich integrations allows for a seamless employee experience with minimal effort. We hear over and over the biggest sticking point for engagement with the ESN is getting into the platform.
  2. Delegation mode, which allows for employees to post on behalf of another individual. This feature will ensure that time poor Executives can create content for their support teams to post in a timely manner.
  3. Security is always at the forefront of Microsoft products and Yammer is part of this secured ecosystem. Content is secured through SharePoint and access is governed through your organisational enterprise security processes. Yammer data can even be included in Office 365 eDiscovery and Search results.

Securing data at this point in history needs to be carefully approached. This has been a major influencer in the decision on which tool to choose for an ESN, as Facebook data is housed outside of the customers tenant, while Yammer data remained secured within the customers environment, ensuring if you turn the tool off in future, your data will not have a breach risk.

  1. Easy access and login for all employees. Microsoft now allows for Yammer login for all licenced employees through a one-time SMS pin his ensures organisations don’t stumble on the first step of getting their people access to the tool and gives a smooth employee experience.

How can we help?

Engage Squared is a strategic Microsoft partner, supporting customers to launch and embed Microsoft tools, including Yammer. We are the Microsoft 2021 Australian Partner of the Year with gold status across 6 competency areas.

If you want to find out more about migrating to Microsoft Yammer and how it can help engage and connect your employee experience, review our Workplace to Yammer offer or get in touch directly.

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