Hey y’all, Dux here with another edition of Dux Quax! I recently caught up with my good friend Steve Nguyen of Microsoft and we chatted about everything on Yammer, other collaboration tools, and when to use what. Read the transcript, watch the video or do both below!

Dux: Hi, everyone! It’s Dux again, here at Microsoft Tech Summit in Sydney. Boy, it’s been a great day one, right Steve?

Steve: Beautiful day, yeah. It’s too bad we’re not outside, right? [Laughs]

Dux: That’s right. We’re in the inner loop, right?

Steve: Yeah, working the inner loop.

Dux: Steve, why don’t you introduce yourself, and then tell everybody the goodness of Yammer. What’s going on?

Steve: Steve Nguyen, Yammer product evangelist. I’m with the Yammer product team here this week, just to help a lot of our customers understand our vision, our mission, where we’re headed, where our investments are with Yammer, understand the value of what Yammer is within Office 365 suite.

Dux: Specific to Tech Summit, what session are you presenting?

Steve: We have a Yammer vision and product roadmap session this afternoon.

Dux: Speaking about roadmap, I know there’s still a lot of buzz out there, when to use what. The message that landed at Ignite, the inner and outer loop, I thought that was great. It was simple. Maybe, can you tell everybody what the concept is around inner loop and outer loop, and where Yammer falls into that?

Steve: You’re right. At Ignite, it really resonated with people, just understanding how people work in the construct of groups and teams, and so, we’ve really been talking about this notion of an inner loop and an outer loop, where your inner loop is this core team of people that you work with on maybe a day-to-day or hourly basis.

You have quick, rapid conversations back and forth with them. Teams is really optimized for that type of scenario. Then, there’s oftentimes that need where, you’re maybe, sometimes you get some tunnel vision in your small group that you’re working in, needing to break out of that, and get some broader, diverse ideas, from other people.

Broader ideas and suggestions, maybe, from across the company. Yammer’s the great place for that. Really, we’re thinking of Yammer as that outer loop solution, and a lot of our investments going forward are to enhance how people interact in that outer loop. Also, thinking about how people traverse between the inner loop and outer loop effectively.

Dux: We’re seeing the continuous innovation around Yammer. For example, I think I saw it recently, where the notes section, right? Powered by Office 365, Word, and all those technologies as well.

Steve: We want to get out of the business of Yammer doing things uniquely different. For example, file storage. There’s not a need for Yammer to store files, and have SharePoint do the same things. Things like getting rid of Yammer notes in favor of OneNote.

We definitely want to leverage the best of breed across Office 365. Stream is another great example of that. Stream is doing some amazing things. We announced Stream integration, and we released Stream integration earlier this year. We want to do so much more with things like that, with Stream.

Dux: Awesome. With respect to that, all these integrations, and being tighter, if you may, with Office 365. What’s the feedback in, from customers? I know last night you had an event here in the city, and it seems like it was a great event. You had a customer bit there, talking about what they’re doing with Yammer.

Steve: One of the things I didn’t mention at that event is, we are working hard to make sure that Yammer feels like a core part of Office 365, and we’ve gotten some great feedback on the improvements that we’ve made on that front, to make Yammer feel a much stronger part of Office 365.

We think we’ve made a lot of progress on that in the past 12 months or so. One thing that I like to convey to people is that, if you strip back all of those features of Yammer, the stories that we hear from those customers, the things that, stories our customers get passionate about, is not necessarily the features, but it’s how people use Yammer to connect, and find other people in their organizations, find expertise.

That’s really what Yammer is about. That’s our mission, is to connect people and information across the organization.

Dux: Steve, one of the concepts that I always describe with Yammer is, with me at least, in our organization, is this idea of serendipitous collision. I don’t know if you read the book from Tony Hsieh. He used to run Zappos. His whole point is, when people get together, and walk around the office, and hear conversations, jump into ideas, that moment of serendipity, that’s something that, at least for us at Ave Point, we get from Yammer.

One group here in Australia talking about a project, and then I sit and watch in EC, and I see that. I can jump into it, and in that experience alone, it’s priceless.

Steve: That’s one of the reasons why I, maybe think I’m biased, but, that’s why I keep saying that I believe that Yammer is one of the most transformational pieces of Office 365. It allows for those serendipitous collisions to happen. It allows people to find information in people that they didn’t know existed within their company as before. Those are the stories I love hearing about from [INAUDIBLE 00:04:41].

Dux: Especially at Microsoft, I know you guys use Yammer a lot. I’m sure you have a lot of different stories around that, too, but I’m very excited about Yammer. I’m very excited about all the new innovations. Even with SharePoint, the modern experience. There’s Yammer integrations to it, as well.

Steve: I don’t want to downplay the features and things that we’re building, for sure. To your point, we want to help make some of those, the ability to discover, the ability to make connections. We want to make that better.

We want to help people do those things faster. For example, we’re doing a lot of effort to bring Yammer into the Microsoft Graph, so that people can discover and find information, we can route people, we can route content to people more quickly using the graph. We’re very interested in using artificial intelligence and data to connect people better.

Dux: Listen. For folks that are watching, who hasn’t used Yammer, or is trying to figure out how to use it, what’s a first step? What do you recommend? What do you suggest?

Steve: First of all, is having a clear purpose. That’s oftentimes what we’ll talk with our customers about. Have a real problem to solve. People don’t just have an enterprise social problem, per se. They have a problem with leaders not being able to connect with employees.

They have a problem with, maybe, people not being able to find the right experts. Think about, what are those communities? What are those places in which you want people, to your point, to be able to collide and find each other? Have a very clear purpose for how and why you want your people to connect and engage.

Dux: Again, check it out. It’s a phenomenal platform. Like I said, serendipitous collision. Maybe that’s a new hashtag.

Steve: There it is, yeah.

Dux: Thanks again, Steve. It’s always a pleasure.

Steve: Thank you, Dux.

Dux: Thanks, everyone, for watching. Until the next one, bye!