How is enterprise social augmenting Office 365 collaboration?

Microsoft is continuing to refine the role of Yammer and Skype for Business in Office 365, and the two services each have a district niche, according to one expert.

Yammer's features include status updates, short messaging, and using short messages or status updates with artifacts that might be aimed at Office 365 collaboration, whether in SharePoint or another application. In the last 18 months or so, Microsoft has done a fair bit of work to integrate Yammer much more elegantly into SharePoint, creating discussions that are Yammer-centric, for example.

The changes happening in SharePoint Online are less about SharePoint itself and more about the constellation of products in Office 365, and this case is a good example: Yammer is an enduring conversation tool. Office now has integrations with Yammer, so I can begin to see these Yammer conversations progress through any of the tools I use to create content. We're beginning now to preserve conversations around these artifacts, through the tools we're used to working in, but still with the benefit of having that Yammer conversation preserved in a way that is searchable and discoverable by others.

Skype for Business is more like a real-time communications tool. It's not meant to have this preservation of the conversation, it's more real-time, "I want to discuss something, I want to message back and forth with others," and it's also got telephony built in. So, I can have a verbal conversation in addition to this built-in IM capability.

So, these are two very different kinds of Office 365 collaboration services positioned somewhat differently. One integration is that I can initiate a discussion from Yammer, from SharePoint, and in that way there's overlap -- not in the sense that they do the same thing, but in the sense that if I need another tool to complete a communication with a colleague, I have that access and that visibility in the tool I'm in, at the moment, without having to find it someplace else. I think that's interesting.

Next Steps

Plan your move to SharePoint 2016

Confusion surrounds overlaps between Yammer, Office 365

Office 365 gets collaboration improvements

Dig Deeper on Enterprise SharePoint strategy