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Microsoft Teams and Yammer Working Together: Why it Matters and How it Can Help You

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If you work with others frequently at work, you’ve likely heard someone use the phrase “teamwork makes the dream work” after completing a project. Whether their Shakespeare-level rhyming ability is met with groans or guffaws, they’ve got a point.

Teamwork is crucial for the success of any enterprise, and the same holds true for software as well. Quite often, softwares can be improved or tailored to specific needs with the addition of complementary software. Or, in the case of Microsoft Teams and Yammer, they can be part of the same overall suite of tools that are all meant to function as complements to each other.

So this brings us to the topic of a recent webinar of ours, “Microsoft Teams and Yammer: Better Together.” We were pleased to have a large response and it was clear that there is significant interest in the industry about how these tools complement each other. Below is a portion of that webinar transcript, which was presented by Naomi Moneypenny, senior product manager at Microsoft and our CMO Dux Raymond Sy. We hope you enjoy and learn something!

Dux: Hi everybody. Good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you are in the world, I’m so excited to be here today along with my good friend Naomi Moneypenny as we spend the next hour talking about Microsoft teams and Yammer Better Together. My name is Dux Raymond Sy, and I’m with AvePoint, and been very, very honored and grateful that I’ve been working in this industry in the last 15, 16 years serving as a Microsoft regional director and also a SharePoint MVP. So, Naomi, care to introduce yourself and get us started.

Naomi: I’d love to. Thank you so much, Dux. So really excited to be able to talk about this topic too, because you know it is near and dear to my heart, so really appreciate everybody joining today. My name is Naomi Moneypenny. I am a senior product manager at Microsoft, and I look after the employee engagement and social internet spaces at Microsoft, so I get to talk about some really amazing technologies that we have as part of our toolkit and really think about how we can use all of this amazing toolkit together and lots of different capabilities. So great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Dux: Awesome so for today we’re going to cover a lot of good stuff. We’ll get started talking about what the modern workplace looks like today. We’ll talk about inner loop collaboration, outer loop collaboration. How can we ensure governance, and finally how we can drag sustainable adoption around these great technologies. So to kick us off, Naomi why don’t you get started painting the picture of what the modern workplace looks like today, and how Microsoft looks at it.

Naomi: Sure. I think it’s a great question because we see that constant evolution inside of our workforce, so if we think about some of the amazing trends that are happening, we’re really looking at that millennial audience coming in with their influence around tools and technologies and how we use them every single day.

We’re also seeing that people are spending a lot more time working in teams and collaborating than they ever did before, so I think the number is something like five times as many teams as you are collaborating on before, and it’s really thinking about those different areas and how important it is inside of the organization.

When to use teams table

But when we think about that collaboration it really wants to think about the way that we use the tools for those specific purposes, and so when we look at Office 365, we see a rich set of capabilities and the way that we really think that work is engaging work or work is changing.

It really comes down to how we work now versus how we work in the future, and so when you think about what the world of work looks like right now, it’s really remote workforce, people trying to get things done from wherever they are.

So you and I are both traveling today and that’s what happens, right? And so we’re still working we’re still producing great content and still being productive members of our our organizations, but the teams and the way that we collaborate inside of the organization has fundamentally shifted because of that.

The other piece that I think is really important is looking at the other people inside of our organizations that may previously not have been part of our information workers, and so we look at first line workers, for example, we look at the way that people are connecting and driving ideation from the people who have the most touch points with maybe it’s a manufacturing process, maybe it’s customer service in a retail location. Wherever it is, we’re really being able to use the talent and the creativity of the people wherever they are across the organization.

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Dux: And that’s a very, very good point. I mean I’m sure everybody is enjoying the background and backdrop we have, but look, because of technology and because of what Microsoft offers, you guys provide essentially a complete collaboration solution.

Now, there’s really not a one-size-fits-all and I think this is one critical aspect of how work has changed, the way we collaborate, the way we communicate. It depends what we’re doing and the tools that we need varies, and I think that’s what Microsoft offers in a secure platform integrated experience and more importantly, especially these days, security and compliance is a critical aspect of these capabilities as well.

Naomi: Exactly and I think that built-in security and compliance aspect is something we hear all the news in the consumer space right now, it’s something we cannot underestimate inside of our organizations, and the challenge gets deeper and deeper, especially within the security area, because as you’re traveling to different locations as we have all of our mobile devices, we’re logged on with our work machines. We’re logged on with our home machines.

We’re logged on with our mobile devices, our tablets etc, and we have all of that access to that data, and we need that to not compete with the ability to be productive, so building in that security model, having one type of group that maybe a security group that goes across all of the different toolkits that we have, and then being able to reuse that security group, and have it be dynamic and be able to change when people leave or change different parts of the organization really, really key.

So we do collaboration and we’re building these things into the tool sets. It’s really important to think about how are we going to refresh this. How are we going to keep this secure and compliant inside of the organization, but then how do we make sure that it doesn’t get in the way of doing actual real work all the time.

Dux: Now, speaking of this toolkits, Naomi, can you talk to us more about how you think about these tools in the type of collaboration people do? I know there’s information out there. Microsoft has put out around this concept of inner loop and outer loop, and more importantly how other workloads fit into this picture.

Naomi: Yes, absolutely. I’d love to. So I think it’s again, because there’s such a broad range of capabilities in Office 365, sometimes it can feel a little bit confusing, and so we want to think about very clearly. At the beginning we really started with email.

It’s that targeted communication. It’s that one technology that most people in your organization have access to, but it’s also the source of a lot of grief and stress in our organizations, because we can’t keep up with it. So the volume of email coming in. I know everybody struggles with this every single day, and so that volume of email, and sometimes it can be that sheer volume problem, but then other times it can actually feel like email isn’t fast enough.

It’s the other part of it. It’s like feeling that the messaging that you’re going backwards and forwards, and you’re doing collaboration with your project team, and it’s like it’s not going fast enough for what I need, and so when we think about this we really think about the sort of the next piece of it, which is really the scenarios that you’re working on inside of your organization, and so when we think about inside of the company we want to connect broadly across the organization.

We want to connect different functions. Maybe you want to drive better employee engagement by being able to connect our leaders with employees and make that transparency and the top of mind really happen so that those open conversations can occur, and then we also think about how do we transcend organizational structure and the way that people do learning and development.

So maybe communities of practice. Maybe it’s something like all of the project analysts and the company together. Maybe it’s all of the financial folks in the company or people who are just working in the same area.

So whether you’re learning about different practice areas and you’re building expertise, or you’re building a community of interest, women and technology or whatever it happens to be. That also can be a great loop, a great part of that organizational scenario, and so when we think about that outer loop scenario, we think about Yammer is paying that primary sort of interface for that, and that’s not to say it isn’t backed by lots of other technologies in Office 365, but it’s kind of that place where you can connect people across the organization to maximize the creativity that they have, and sort of really use that as a place to drive more innovation, drive more ideation and drive more agility inside of the organization.

But then when we really want to think about what we’re doing from a collaboration perspective every single day, that’s where I really use teams, and so with teams there is my hub for collaboration, and it’s really thinking about how do I get to my project deliverables, how do I work with the core group of people that I work with every single day, and so this is the part where if email doesn’t feel fast enough, this is what teams is all about right.

So because it’s like rapid iteration that we have, both understanding for example, “Hey Dux, did you update slide five?” “No, I didn’t. I’m waiting for the numbers from Sarah” is all of those kinds of collaboration, but may not be useful to anybody else outside of our project team, but inside of that core team it is so important, and so having all of those things in one place. The content that you work on, the files that you’re working on, your planner board, your ability to have meetings directly inside of that place as well. Everything sort of in that one central hub really helps me to get my core work done faster.

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So when we think about it, it’s really looking at both the collaboration from what you do across the company, how do I broaden and connect inside of the organization, and then how do I really focus down in what we’re doing inside of the core deliverables you have every single day. I mean the center there, because it’s Office 365.

This is one of the great things about having that collaboration platform that really helps to provide that universal toolkit. We have both SharePoint, which is really your backing for your intranet, your content management system, all of the files you need to have stored, the pages, how you put news out inside of the organization, and then we also think about stream as being a core component there too because video just like you and I right now…

Dux: Exactly.

Naomi: Video is really that core component inside of the organization, and it’s really kind of the new form of document. So when we think about that too, having those things like recordings that are coming from teams.

If you’re recording meetings, for example. You want to have those recordings be available in stream, and then, for example, in Yammer if you’re doing leadership connection and broadcasting out with a sort of all-hands type of meeting, having all of that video content be accessible as well, and so we really think about that core set of areas, the pages, the content, the documents, the news you’re working on, as well as the video. So hopefully that gives you a view of kind of what we’re thinking about from every type of collaboration inside of the organization.

Dux: This is fantastic Naomi. One quick question. We have Skype come into play here.

Naomi: Yes, it’s a great question. So Skype for Business is really merging into teams. So if you’re in the Office 365 environment, you might have seen some of our recent announcements at Ignite and at Enterprise Connect, so teams and Skype for Business basically are coming together, and so those familiar experiences you have like being able to do video recordings, doing meetings, doing chat, IM, all that will be inside of teams as well, and then for our customers who are on-premises, there will be a new release of the Skype server as well.

Dux: Fantastic. No, Naomi, we really appreciate your time. So friends who are watching this webinar, what I’m going to do next, I’m going to deep dive into teams in Yammer, and before I do that, I know Naomi you’re off to another meeting, so any last words that you want to share with everybody before we continue on?

Naomi: I think it’s just important to think about the use cases, and I know you’re going to deep dive into this and the scenarios that you’re doing every day, how we can use those best technologies. Think about the scenario and the use case, and how we fit the technologies to that. Not trying to look at the technologies and be oriented around those.

So people get hung up sometimes, is this inner loop is it outer loop? It doesn’t matter, so long as it works at your company, [laughs] and so really thinking about what’s the best set of technologies you can put forward to make people connect and collaborate, engage across the organization.

Dux: Awesome. Fantastic. Well thanks again Naomi, and we look forward to connecting with you, and for folks not following her on Twitter, make sure you look up Namoi Moneypenny on Twitter. Thanks Naomi.

Naomi: Thanks so much, Dux. Bye bye.

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