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If you are much like me, you had been most likely puzzled to determine certainly one of Microsoft’s first bulletins of 2012: Yammer groups are actually Office 365 Groups. For individuals asking when you should use Office 365 Groups versus Yammer, life just got much more confusing.

Lots of people responded with concerns and questions about how exactly this may impact their existing Office 365 deployment, what administration challenges might arise, plus much more. Christophe Fiessinger, Senior Program Manager for Office 365 Groups at Microsoft, and also the Office 365 team come up with an opportune FAQ to help you get began, but you will find certainly a couple of more concerns around strategy which are left unanswered.

For individuals who’ve settled right into a rhythm with Yammer and Office 365 Groups, pairing the 2 together might appear like mixing water and oil.


Since Microsoft acquired Yammer this year you’ve seen customers at both sides from the spectrum – some organizations chosen rapid adoption, yet others disabled their systems. As the platform enables for threaded conversations and a few light collaboration, it’s in no way a strong collaboration tool.

office 365 groups vs yammer
Yammer dashboard view

Yammer is perfect for broadcasting messages broadly to countless users, like Human Sources and operational teams announcing company-wide updates, sales teams discussing successes, or marketing teams reporting in the show floor in an industry event. The perfect tool for asynchronous communication, socializing ideas, as well as for gathering social sentiment, Yammer could be a keystone of the enterprise social strategy.

Office 365 Groups

Office 365 Groups, however, is tailor-designed for secure collaboration having a wealthy set of features. It offers users having a digital workspace for teams to collect within an random fashion, and communication is generally handled through familiar interfaces like Exchange/Outlook and new persistent chat tools, such as the lately announced Microsoft Teams.

office 365 groups vs. yammer
Office 365 Groups slide in the Microsoft Teams web seminar with Microsoft, Avanade, and AvePoint.

Document authoring leverages the very best options that come with SharePoint and OneDrive for Business with task management being bolstered through the new Planner. Office 365 groups really are a bundled and delicate offering from the Microsoft toolset for team productivity.

You will find immediate benefits because of this transformation, for example having the ability to directly get and connect to content from inside SharePoint or Office 365 and put it into Yammer. This is extremely useful in stopping multiple copies from the truth  from being produced. Included in the Azure Active Directory (AD) integration, new controls happen to be added for admins to manage who are able to create groups. The Azure AD integration also has a couple of perks like making certain that account information (including photos) are synced appropriately across services like Yammer, Skype, Exchange.

The Yammer and Office 365 Groups integration announcement might spark your curiosity about Yammer in case your business hasn’t already jumped on board. Should you fall under this category, my greatest warning would be to really define how you need to use Yammer and Office 365 Groups. For those who have a little, tightly knit group of five people that should collaborate quickly, then Microsoft Teams is probably a more sensible choice for you personally.

The Yammer group for the team ought to be the interface you utilize to speak outdoors they, department, and organization. Microsoft Teams, email, Skype, etc. should be employed to communicate inside the group. This reduces the chance of private content escaping .. Also, in document collaboration scenarios you need to use SharePoint-based tool kits instead of Yammer files. Just use Yammer files, notes, and conversations for very light work associated with the outward existence of your team.

However, if you are already around the Yammer bandwagon, top concerns will be around unveil and knowledge governance. Yammer groups can frequently be Large.

Office 365 groups vs yammer
Yammer groups can frequently be large. Work 365 Groups integration carries risk with duplicate workspaces.

This creates 2 potential problems. For those who have a Yammer group where your team interacts along with other teams, individuals people also get access to your Notebook, Files, Planner, etc since you are a part of one Yammer group.

To prevent this problem, you can produce a separate Group where your team creates draft versions of content, after which shares it towards the multi-team Yammer group. But now you must a sprawl and workflow problem.

You can either risk content reaching eyes that shouldn’t view it until it’s ready, or create duplicates of labor spaces which can lead to confusion later on.

office 365 groups vs yammer
What goes on whenever a user results in a group for collaboration? Slide in the Ask professionals about Office 365 Groups Web seminar with Microsoft, Hyperfish, and AvePoint.

Unless of course your business deliberately disables Office 365 Groups, Groups is going to be provisioned for each existing Yammer group in addition to whenever someone:

  • Results in a new plan with Planner
  • Results in a new distribution list as a swap
  • Results in a new SharePoint team site
  • Results in a new Yammer group

This could burden IT with getting to apply lots of granular controls and finely tune policies around the “who, where, and when” of Group creation. (Fortunately, AvePoint offers solutions right now to assist with automatic provisioning and governance processes.) You’re also at a complete loss if you are wishing to collaborate with exterior users and have multiple Yammer systems because this is not supported in the present release cycle.

With this particular new integration, the issue of Office 365 Groups versus Yammer is sort of null. Nevertheless the confusion is really not. The most crucial factor you should do is comprehend the strengths of each and every tool open to you and also to select the combination that works well with your organization’s unique dynamics.

We predict to listen to additional information concerning the finish goal from Microsoft within the coming several weeks, but for now, browse the Office 365 Groups Playbook to find out more!