In my job, I get to meet all sorts of diverse companies.
And they’re all looking for a way to transform:
They want to improve their comms and their culture – how they collaborate and how they share.
And when we’re in the room with them, showcasing Workplace by Facebook and everything it can do, most of our clients seem to get it.
They love the product, and they can instantly see the value they’ll get from it on their journey to digital transformation.
But some clients take a little convincing.
And there’s one topic that keeps coming up again and again:
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Yammer is a Microsoft product that aims to be a social network to help businesses with their collaboration and internal comms.
It launched about 10 years ago as an independent product, before being quickly snapped up by Microsoft (for a tonne of money).
Microsoft recently started including it along with its Office 365 bundle – which means lots of businesses already have access to Yammer for free.
And that’s exactly why we keep getting asked about it.
More specifically, what we hear is…
‘Why should we pay for Workplace when we already have Yammer? Isn’t it the same thing?’
And at first glance, that seems like a fair question:
A huge majority (around 80%) of our clients use Office 365.
They’re already paying for Yammer as part of their standard bundle.
So why do they stop using Yammer – and pay extra for Workplace by Facebook?
In my experience, Yammer just doesn’t work out.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not a Microsoft hater.
Office 365 is a great product – and we use it ourselves at Coolr (plot twist!).
And technically, Yammer is fine:
If you were to lay out the features of Yammer and Workplace side-by-side, you would find a lot of overlap.
But time and time again, we see companies struggling to get any significant take-up with Yammer.
Whereas with our clients, we regularly see companies getting 80-90% of their people using Workplace from the beginning.
The first reason is familiarity.
Workplace and Facebook look so similar that most employees know intuitively how to use Workplace.
There’s a user base of 2 billion people on Facebook – and swapping them over to Workplace in a professional environment isn’t a big leap.
And the second reason is that people are genuinely excited to move over to a ‘Facebook’ product when their company launches Workplace.
There aren’t many enterprise products that get their users excited.
So when we see this with Workplace, we know it’s something special.
Our clients’ employees know it’s a best-in-class consumer product.
And they know that the experience will be smooth, easy, and rewarding.
Of course, there are companies who have made a success of Yammer.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a long-time flagship Yammer customer, are often held up as a shining example of what Yammer can do.
But GSK have just turned their Yammer off!
They’ve swapped their 120,000 employees onto Workplace.
And that should tell you everything you need to know.
When it comes to communication and collaboration, Workplace simply is the best in its class.
It’s the one social network that employees are excited to see, and it’s the one social network that actually gets used effectively by the nearly the entire workforce.
So is this the start of the end for Yammer?
That I can’t answer.
But what I can tell you is the same thing I’ve told many of our clients who don’t seem ready to swap.
Give me a call in six months when it isn’t working out for you and we’ll fix it with Workplace by Facebook.