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Three Million Strong And Counting

By in Customer Stories on August 10, 2011

Recently Yammer employees got a Yam (a status update on Yammer) that we’ve surpassed 3,000,000 users. Instead of congratulating the 3 millionth user (although the idea did cross our minds), we’d like to take a minute to express gratitude to all 3 million of you. Each and every one of you has been absolutely instrumental in making us the company we are today. Although it’s not possible to talk about each of our great customers, I’d like to highlight a few success stories.

Deloitte Australia has long been on the bleeding edge of technology leadership and process innovation. CEO Giam Swiegers embodies the cultural leadership that’s necessary for teams to collaborate and communicate effectively, breaking down silos and flattening the organization. Check out this video where he talks about his presence on Yammer and taking action as a result of a discussion started by a junior employee:

 

Polycom prefers Yammer over email in their daily communication, says Caroline Japic. Polycom employees are able to ask questions and get answers that they need, creating access across the enterprise, as well as up and down the managerial levels. Caroline says that Yammer works at Polycom because it’s an already collaborative culture; as we know, existing corporate culture is absolutely key to the success of a platform like Yammer. Check out what she says on the CNN.com interview.

Capgemini has been able to actively share information across 25,000 users. With knowledge workers dispersed all over the world, many at client locations, the organization has been able to capture, share and learn cutting-edge information. Being able to capture and deliver this knowledge to clients has been a key competitive advantage for Capgemini. By asking questions on Yammer, experts and resources are easily sourced for projects, and innovation is encouraged. Check out the full story from Andy Mulholland and Rick Mans, as well as Rick’s slides on Capgemini’s journey with Yammer and best practices to adoption:

 

AAA has used Yammer to successfully break down silos in a geographically dispersed organization of affiliated auto clubs. While Yammer started out at a “grassroots” leveluntil the COO mentioned it at a townhall meeting, which spurred the adoption of the platform.  This story points to the impact that executive sponsorship can have on adoption. Similar to its peers, AAA was able to break down informational silos, aiding decision-making and allowing the best ideas to bubble up to the top.

Nationwide embarked on a company-wide move towards a more collaborative and flatter organization that shares information. As a result of their adoption of Yammer, Nationwide has been able to improve access to information and decision-making by sharing knowledge previously trapped in functional and geographical silos. Reps in the field are able to post photos from the road “bringing the field into HQ,” says Chris Plesia (check out this article for Chris’s best practices on Yammer). Encouraging innovation and working Yammer into onboarding has enabled Nationwide to compete effectively and reward its brightest ideas and thinkers.

Southern Company is one of the companies that has successfully rolled out Yammer to the whole organization, which consists of four regional utilities and a geographically-dispersed workforce of over 26,000 employees. Executive sponsorship here plays a big role, as the CEO fully supports the value of Yammer and sees it as a critical way to keep in touch with employees, says Lori Kasserman. Southern Company has also been able to manage its crisis communications across private groups on Yammer, and customer care specialists have been able to improve service by getting real-time answers to customer questions.

SuperValu is one of Yammer’s newer customers, and has just rolled out Yammer organization-wide to foster information sharing and team collaboration across all of its grocery chains. It’s also allowed for executives and employees, and everyone in between to engage in a true dialogue, contributing and harnessing ideas from all across the company. The executive team has been able to become better at keeping its fingers on the pulse of the organization as a result of this engagement innovation.

Pepperdine University: Students are our future, and we are equally thrilled at Yammer’s adoption in Higher Education. A shining example is the Graziadio Business School program at Pepperdine, led by Sue Gautsch. There are two networks at Pepperdine:  the student / faculty network empowers students to participate and share, while the faculty/ staff network allows to exchange previously siloed information. Check out this great video that Sue and her team put together on Yammer in Higher Education:

 

Yammer users range from the for-profit sector — including the companies above and Intuit, Mentor Graphics, IGN, Razorfish, Thomson Reuters, Xerox, Tyco, Tieto, Eventbrite, Telefonica O2, PayPal, Hill & Knowlton, ReachLocal, Rakuten, 7-11, just to name a few – and also to government agencies like NASA, Rijkswaterstaat and other agencies worldwide. It would be impossible to profile all these achievements in one post, and we are working on more case studies, interviews and blogposts to do so.

As an organization, we are committed to serving our customers. Here are some things we are doing as an organization to help our users succeed:

1)  Becoming a System of Engagement that works with existing Systems of Record (SoR) to socialize existing business data, examples of which are SharePoint integration and Activity Streams. Our announced Netsuite integration is the first example of such:

2)  Extensibility: To avoid the risk of becoming “everything to everyone”, while still recognizing different needs, we are hard at work on developing our APIs. We have hired a developer advocate and have created a Yammer Developer Center and Yammer Developer Network (YDN).

3)  Customer focus: We have launched our Customer Advisory Board and continue to grow our Yammer Customer Network (Yammer user community). We beefed up our customer service and external social initiatives, and continue to grow in those areas. We have also launched and grown the Customer Success organization, allowing our premium customers to work with a dedicated success manager to help launch, roll out and sustain engagement in their networks.

4)  International expansion: Yammer helps connect employees across geographical boundaries, and our users are truly all over the globe. To help support them, we’ve opened offices in London and Melbourne to support EMEA and APAC respectively.

Thank you, our customers, for your passion and shared vision. Thank you for supporting us from our humble beginnings, to today, and into the future. Without you, all 3 million of you, we wouldn’t be here. So let’s raise a glass to each and every one of you, and invite another 3 million new friends to join us!

Photo credit: RobeRt Vega

2 Responses to Three Million Strong And Counting

  1. Aleksi Niemelä says:

    Hi! Thanks for the update. Great figures! Congratulations!

    I would not like to chime in by complaining. Nevertheless I feel few points should be noted. Yammer has been in business close to three years now. The basic product is awesome. The direction and strategy your executing by making the platform wider through third party extensions is great, and comes across as there would be quite a bit of thinking behind there.

    However, there are core features which are not there or not being developed like they, not only should, but need to be developed. Few examples:

    1) I might be making the situation too trivial, but let me characterize an enterprise user. He is an office knowledge worker. He has knowledge and the more he has the better. Yammer helps. However, he is a worker so he needs to get work done. Sometimes Yammer helps, however often Yammer is yet another tool, yet another interruption that prevents the work to get done. This is a major difference to the pastime social networks. A Major! Yammer markets itself very twitter, facebook like. Those player do not concentrate on enterprise. The more there are useless videos coming, unnecessary updates about personal status, less work gets done (but perhaps more pleasantly which is also a value).

    Yammer needs to focus on the core. Signal to noise needs to be and get quickly dramatically better! If getting a monotonical update that a file has changed would be that interesting, people would be subscribing to every Sharepoint site update feeds. It is not. It is a distraction. Unless that is vital information.

    In few years there has been no activity on this front. More than in other networks an Intelligent filtering is needed. And the more you add integrations to other streams, even more important it comes.

    You need hard core people to solve this. Removing spam can be regarded as a solved problem. But detecting important messages out of decent ones is a very hard problem. Brightest Machine learning stars are needed if you want to succeed.

    A decent Enterprise search is a very hard feature. Way harder than “Google for the web”. Your task seems way easier than Enterprise search, but it might be way harder than Google. Now you know who you need. You need stars brighter than Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

    This is the strategy you should be communicating! Most important updates of an enterprise is the killer feature. And it is desperately needed in organisations beyond few hundred active individuals.

    2) I’m sure you have studied how your customer base really uses Yammer, however I fail to accept mobile has so little value for you. This might be a personal issue, but very seldom I have time to sit down to use Yammer in the office, while on a move, be it a lonely moment in an elevator or in a taxi, I can easily distract myself a moment to check Yammer. Yet, the mobile experience is a horror. I use iPhone and I need to wait data transfer way longer than actually read. It is slower than I remember first dial-in modem experiences 20 years ago and the bar has risen quite a bit after that. You use precious bandwidth to unimportant things: reloading, pictures and styling instead of the core: key messages.

    Guys, remember signal to noise. Every second waiting on mobile is my opportunity to feel I should go away and use the time reading something else instead, especially interesting Enterprisey Tweets or something else from your competitors. I cannot understand how you can afford your precious 80% of Fortune companies employees time to be spent on “Yammer experience” of loading animation. It is not like this would be utterly hard thing improve — and you have had the three years already.

    3) You tout “Customer focus”. Yet even the most crucial features of Customer lifecycle management has not been thought out. You make it easy to onboard people, but you _definitely need to follow up_. People leave companies. Yet, those people are even more important. The lifecycle needs to cater to have decent experience of leaving (especially for those who still stay), and even better experience for Alumnis to keep connected.

    I could keep going, but let’s call it a day now.

    Again, I want to thank you for making the headway into enterprisey world and I wish all the best for the future! Although there are plenty of these little things that need to be sorted out, I truly hope Yammer succeeds!

    • Maria says:

      Hi Aleksey!

      Thank you so much for taking the time to contribute such a thoughtful comment, and thank you for your warm congratulations. Let me address each of the points you mention here:

      1) Regarding your point of signal-to-noise: we actually have a few developments on this front that you will be happy about. I can’t publicly discuss here yet, but we are definitely investing in ways to help discover and fetch the most critical business data to you. As the product evolves, we’ll get better and better at this.

      We’ll be definitely investing in this area, to make it as easy as possible for users to find signal. However, I’d also advise all users to develop their own set of best practices and follow relevant Groups and Topics to help navigate relevant content. Make sure that you your settings aren’t set to “Follow All” and only follow the people whose conversations you find relevant. A lot of the noise management also has to do with active community management and robust best practices. If everyone posts to the right groups and with the right topics, that makes for others to receive these signals. I’d be curious to get your take on these blogposts I’ve written on the topic: http://blog.yammer.com/blog/2011/05/information-overload-strategy.html and http://blog.yammer.com/blog/2011/06/social-etiquette-do-your-part-to-manage-social-noise.html

      2) Regarding the mobile experience, I agree there has been room for improvement. To that end, we built out our mobile team, and just released a new iOS and Blackberry apps that were a vast improvement above the past versions. A much improved Android app is due out in a few weeks. Please make sure to upgrade to the latest version. Mobility is a huge area of focus for us as you see here: http://blog.yammer.com/blog/2011/08/leading-the-mobile-collaboration-movement-with-new-apps.html

      3) Regarding user experience, I’d love to get clarification on that. You mentioned that we need to do a better job of keeping alumni in the loop. I’d love to know what you mean by that. Some of our customers (for example: Molson Coors) create external networks where they communicate with alumni. Because of privacy concerns, old employees’ access to their company networks is terminated, and they shouldn’t be able to access current company information. However, it’s up to the Company to think through how they want to engage their alumni.

      As far as better experience leaving: would love to know what you mean as well. In a premium network, the provisioning and deprovisioning of accounts can be automated with AD Sync, so you don’t have to remember to do it (especially if you are an admin for a large network). Would love to get your thoughts on how it can be better.

      Sincerely,

      Maria Ogneva, Head of Community, Yammer

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