The impact of social networking in business

Considering that most of us use some form of instant messaging to communicate in our personal lives to drive efficiency, it's important to ask: are we doing this at work as well? T-Mobile, Grundfos, and G&J Pepsi Bottlers are just a few industry leading companies that have implemented Yammer, a cloud software group messaging platform, across their organizations to drive benefits in employee engagement, knowledge sharing, and productivity. 

Yammer, one of the many tools a part of Microsoft's Office 365 Product Suite, is a digital communications program that allows employees to easily share ideas with their team, or entire organization. Think of Yammer as Facebook, but instead of cat pictures, Yammer is filled with communication that is crucial to empowering people in an organization. In fact, a recent survey of 10,000 Yammer users from Microsoft revealed the following results: 

Source: http://blogs.office.com

Source: http://blogs.office.com

Real-world examples of how businesses use Yammer

T-Mobile

T-Mobile uses Yammer to make communication between employees and managers more efficient: 

...for the first time, T-Nation provides a communication vehicle for employees in the field to share their customer service stories and provide feedback to their managers. More targeted communications around functional or geographically defined groups drive a sense of teamwork for everyone at the company. “Retail executives’ messages will surface in the retail group’s homepage,” says Jeff Whitney, Senior Program Manager, Channel Planning and Engagement at T-Mobile. “Or a call center manager can target a message about a meeting only for employees in that call center.”  Sack adds, “With T-Nation, employees have an intranet and mobile app that drive brand allegiance, cross-channel collaboration, and employee engagement. That’s definitely good for business.”

Grundfos

Yammer promotes direct communication throughout the entire company, like a network, rather than from top to bottom, like a hierarchy. The perfect practical example of this has been implemented by Grundfos, a global manufacturer with more than 1,000 employees: 

Introducing seamless business processes and ways for employees to connect will accelerate the pace of business as Grundfos expands into new world markets—but not at the expense of listening to local expertise. Today, employees from the CEO and outwards use Yammer enterprise social media capabilities to express themselves on aspects of the company within their jurisdiction, in a non-hierarchical forum. “The CEO has his own blog on Yammer, where he posts frequently about his experiences visiting customers and facilities around the world,” says Hartmann. “Employees can respond using the Yammer app on their phones.”

G&J Pepsi Bottlers

The last specific-use case I want to share, but this is by no means the last benefit of Yammer, is the ability to integrate Yammer communications with other Office 365 apps. G&J Pepsi Bottlers has done just that: 

...McKinney’s team members have done a creative mashup between Office 365 and Microsoft Power BI to enhance G&J Pepsi’s business and open up new business opportunities. The team created a Power BI application that pulls data from the company’s stock management application and adds a Yammer social networking element so that merchandisers can check on stock levels in real time, view historical sales statistics as easy-to-read charts, and participate in Yammer conversations about a product’s sales. “This app provides people with statistics plus social; people need both to make good decisions,” McKinney says.

Yammer is a versatile communications tool that is being leveraged by industry-leading firms to empower their employees to become more efficient and productive. By using Yammer or a similar product, your organization can reap these benefits.

Sources:

https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/tmobile-telecommunications-sharepoint-online

https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/building-a-connected-workplace-with-microsoft-office-365-to-engage-global-customers

https://customers.microsoft.com/en-us/story/gj-pepsi-bubbles-up-good-ideas-by-equipping-field-workers-with-secure-managed-mobile-devices