Just as Facebook races ahead in the consumer social networking market and builds bridges to the business arena with Facebook pages, other powerful apps in the Enterprise sector are revolutionizing internal IT operations.
One of these you probably already know about: Microsoft SharePoint Server.
This wonderful collaboration tool allows companies to store, share and track documents online. Further email integration with Outlook and even Exchange speeds up the flow and transmission of information inside (and between) departments in large organizations.
And, yes, Virtual Internet offers the above in the form of a hosted service designed specifically to boost IT productivity. If Hero is an overused term, Superhero may more adequately describe the accolades poured on IT heads that successfully integrate company policies via SharePoint. It is that popular and that useful!
But, while SharePoint is an amazing product, one of Microsoft’s best, there is another tool also making waves in the Enterprise software collaboration market. Its name is Yammer.
This slick, highly addictive tool bears an uncanny resemblance to Facebook in terms of ease-of-use and social engagement. But, in this case it caters for Business Enterprises ONLY.
Within seconds of signing up under your company email address, you can invite your co-workers who will then hit the ground running in either an online portal or a task bar tool that allows you to share thoughts, files, post voting polls or generally share company information in a secure web environment. The impact on productivity cannot be overstated. Plus, you can do most of this using the free Yammer version.
But, as usual, when you are sometimes faced with two tools that may slightly overlap each other in terms of intent and functionality, you may decide to forgo testing one (or sometimes both of them), in a bid to avoid making a decision!
This hesitation is natural but not necessary, since in this case Yammer and SharePoint have teamed up to do what they do best: Collaborate.
This means that since the latter part of 2010, SharePoint customers can access Yammer feeds from their SharePoint portal site.
Watch Yammer Video
Watch SharePoint Video
Curious about the features? Here are some of them:
- Put a Yammer feed on virtually any SharePoint page.
- View and switch between Yammer feeds directly inside SharePoint.
- Post messages, links and files to Yammer directly from SharePoint.
- Works with Yammer External Networks – your employees can securely communicate with external parties from inside SharePoint.
- Access profile information for Yammer members within SharePoint.
- Administrators control where Yammer feeds appear using SharePoint’s built-in Web Part controls and templates.
- Configure a Yammer feed to appear as read-only, and optionally make it visible to your SharePoint users without them needing a Yammer account.
- Search integration – Yammer messages appear alongside SharePoint search results.*
- Enable Single sign-on for easy access
- Document list integration – post files to Yammer directly from SharePoint document lists.
Ok, so there is one catch for Yammer users: It will cost $5 per user per month to upgrade to the package that allows this collaboration.
However, the rich feature sets provided under the Yammer Gold plan including keyword monitoring, single sign-on, custom branding and multiple domains may soften the blow for IT departments trying to squeeze every cent (or penny) out of each Dollar (or Pound).
Remember, that Yammer is also becoming hyper-popular due its rich mobile applications, which allow you to interact quickly with co-workers and keep track of important company conversations — instantly. This is an extra boon for both Microsoft Mobile and Non-Microsoft Mobile users. The reach of both products is magnified through the partnership between Yammer and Microsoft.
While by no means definite, there are rumors that Yammer may go one step further and integrate with Office365 SharePoint as well.
Both these products are prime examples of cloud-based services that are magnifying the productivity gains for users that embrace online collaborative tools WITHOUT the prohibitive costs of hosting software in-house.
To get started on Yammer Gold click here
To get started on Virtual Internet Microsoft Hosted SharePoint click here
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