Back in March of this year, the Yammer team announced that the integration with Office 365 Groups was rolling out. This organizational construct of becoming part of the Office 365 Groups service had the effect of adding joy and panic at the same time. The newly minted Yammer Group now gets a OneNote notebook, Planner, a SharePoint team site and a document library. The idea, of course, is to have these resources where the people are, in this case, a Yammer group.
This roll out, would be done in phases to give organizations time to understand the impact and to prepare accordingly. Phase One impacted net new Yammer groups and now with Phase Two, your Yammer groups that pre-existed the change, will get connected to the Office 365 Groups service. Yes, all those groups.
My first suggestion: do not panic. I know you won’t but it is worth mentioning. These new connected groups are an entry in a database. The services that get generated (mentioned above) do not have to be used but, they are there if and when needed. Microsoft is simply putting the capability closer to the point of need.
Here are some points worth repeating from the original post from Yammer:
- The first roll out applied to newly created Yammer groups. The “backfill” impacts all the rest of your Yammer groups (with exceptions…read on).
- It still holds that if you have disabled Office 365 Groups creation for your tenant, this does not apply. Your Yammer groups will not be connected.
After the post was published, Yammer followed up with some further clarifications.
- Office 365 Groups in Yammer do not replace Office 365 Groups created in Outlook or the conversations that take place in Outlook.
Secondly, connecting all your Yammer groups to the Office 365 Groups service provides an opportunity that wasn’t possible before. Haven’t you ever wanted to organize your Yammer groups? Or to create tree structures? (think Windows Explorer). With the data existing in the Office 365 service, it can be more easily consumed by other solutions. At tyGraph, we announced our tyGraph for Groups product at an amazingly fun SPTechCon in Austin this past April. Briefly, tyGraph for Groups gives you navigation, group creation, and the ability to create your own group taxonomies or tree structures with Office 365 Groups. And now that all Yammer groups fall into that category, you can arrange them in a way that meets your business need and then make that navigable structure available to your organization. And, as with all our tyGraph products, analytics and reporting will be available. If you are interested, you can learn more here.
I see this next phase of backfilling connectivity for existing Yammer groups to be an opportunity for business and IT to talk about making more sense of all the data you have to work with. To break paradigms about how your organization sees itself by re-imagining it with a different view of your Yammer groups. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this next phase.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to invite you to a webinar that I am co-hosting with Chris Slemp from Carpool Agency about this change. Our agenda will include:
- The latest information on the backfill of groups.
- The implications.
- A brief demo of tyGraph for Groups.
- And a discussion on how Carpool Agency can help you make the most of this change.
The webinar will be held on Tuesday, the 13th of June at 1PM EDT. You can sign up here.