The popularity of social collaboration tools is rising in many companies. According to research firm Gartner, 50% of large organizations will have internal social network-like networks by 2016, and 30% of those networks will be considered as essential as email and telephones are today. With this data in mind, the question is how business leaders in these organizations will drive adoption and measure the effectiveness of these tools.

Many businesses choosing to adopt social collaboration tools to enable effective communication across their organizations don’t need to look much further than Yammer. Founded in 2008 and now owned by Microsoft, the freemium enterprise social networking service promotes the idea of internal and external teamwork, connection, and collaboration for greater productivity.

If you’re looking to implement Yammer, there are numerous considerations prior to installation. In today’s blog post, we’ll explore these concerns in greater detail and explain why they matter.

1. Develop Use Cases

Before looking at any social collaboration platform, you develop use cases. Start by brainstorming simple, high impact problems that present themselves as opportunities that can be solved through an implementation of Yammer. Additionally, you should also loop in stakeholders to identify how these use cases may assist their business activities. Ensure that these use cases are concrete and which ones have the most value to achieving organizational goals.

2. Assess Cultural Readiness

Not every organization is ready to be socially collaborative. Seek out feedback from those who harbor natural fears or objections to having a social collaboration platform. These will contribute to your understanding of any roadblocks as well as influence Yammer deployment.

3. Make Sure Yammer Fits with Your Current Ecosystem

Effective organizations have technology that effectively works together. To avoid technology conflicts, have a conversation with your information technology team and examine any crossover with alternate systems, such as email or CRM. You should not have to spend more money to receive similar functionalities.

4. Choose Your Flavor of Yammer

Yammer is available in both freemium and enterprise stock keeping units. Take a look at your Microsoft license agreement or explore if your organization can afford the enterprise version. With the freemium version, you’ll have fewer administrative controls, which can make community management more difficult.

5. Identify a Community Manager

Identify a community manager and strategy to garner executive and employee support. Community managers are essential to organizational adoption of Yammer and will be the face of the technology. They can also assist employees in learning the platform while answering any questions.

6. Encourage Adoption

Identify influencers within your organization to share their ideas and communicate within Yammer. It is essential for employees within the organization to view Yammer as a communications hub and be connected at the source. You may also want to encourage adoption by launching Yammer with an initial cohort, and gauging the reaction.

7. Be Prepared for Change

As you’re shifting the paradigm of workplace communications, be ready for the operational, cultural, and technical changes that come alongside a Yammer implementation. Seek out change management expertise and executive support to assist in the adoption process.

Take the Next Step

Are you looking to adopt Yammer in your organization? Take the next step by seeing how social collaboration can positively impact your business by exploring the new Marketplace. Best of luck!

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