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YamJam12: Yammer Opens Up the Enterprise

Funny story: last year when I was working as a staff writer for a digital tech rag, I attended a mini conference put on by Yammer for their three newest business integration tools. I’ll admit it was a little different to see an event thrown for something a press release could have covered, but it was nice to get the face time with Yammer’s people and fellow journalists. One very popular tech blogger (who shall remain unnamed) didn’t feel the same. “I don’t know why I came to this thing,” I overheard them say in the elevator. “I only go to press conferences thrown by Twitter or Facebook.”

Fast forward a year and some change and hel-lo YamJam 2012: Yammer’s first annual conference.

The Enterprise Graph

In the midst of a great expo and several informative breakout sessions, the Yammer team was undoubtedly most excited to reveal the Enterprise Graph.

Yammer’s been called the Facebook of the Enterprise several times in the blogosphere, and it looks like founder David Sacks is totally on board with that job. The new Enterprise Graph is essentially a platform that will enable developers and customers to “seamlessly connect people, conversations, and data across all their business services.” In other words, it’s like the business version of Facebook’s Open Graph.

Key components include:

  • Embeddable feeds: Embeddable feeds are available for most business objects, such as a record, a document, or any other piece of data.
  • Embeddable Follow and Like buttons: You can now embed Follow and Like buttons inside business application to track updates from business objects.
  • Pages: These are profiles for business objects. They show recent activity, followers and conversations.
  • App Directory: Third-party applications now appear in the Yammer App Directory.

Yammer Solves “Social Network Sprawl”

Yammer’s update attempts to solve one of the biggest bottlenecks of collaboration/social business success: people are interacting with multiple tools and networks inside of their company, and as we discussed back in July, those networks and tools often vary by department (Three Truths about Business Collaboration).

While it’s great to have a tool for every job, the disparity this creates between colleagues makes getting everyone “on the same [digital] page” virtually impossible. An effort like Yammer’s looks like it could end up being key in finally bringing everything and everyone together.

Yammer’s managed to do some really great things for the enterprise so far, and Microsoft’s faith in the company suggests that there’s a lot more to come. So personally, my hopes are high. What about yours?

(P.S. to the person I overheard in the elevator last year: maybe next time don’t dismiss a smaller company?)

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