We are about to adopt Linchpin Intranets and think of discontinuing our internal use of Yammer. Is that a recommendable thing to do? What are advantages and disadvantages?
Microblogging is a pretty useful activity within companies. While you can argue, that most stuff posted on facebook is not especially valuable for a lot of readers the adoption of microblogging within the company can yield high returns both through increased transparency and more efficiency.
Both Yammer and Microblogging for Confluence offer this result for companies. If you already use Yammer internally, it’s not easy to decide, whether to go on with this usage or adopt the features in Linchpin Intranets and stop using Yammer.
Making microblogging an integrated experience is easier for non-technical users.
The app for Confluence naturally lives in Atlassian Confluence. It is leveraging the same powerful rich text editor and thus integrates with all macros and also with other Atlassian Software like Atlassian Jira nicely. Especially people who have a strong desire to boil down complexity and get one unified platform do more jobs will find this integrated solution much more attractive. Especially a workforce that is not very tech-savvy may benefit here a lot.
Complete documentation of all microblogging content in the intranet (searchable, etc.)
Yammer used separately to Linchpin is a silo. All data stored there is not available in the intranet and thus less permanent and persistent. Using microblogging directly in Confluence also allows tagging, mentions and other Confluence elements like linking to work seamlessly.
Yammer is pretty expensive
Yammer is nowadays part of the Office 365 offering of Microsoft which ranges between 5 USD to 12.50 USD per user and month. Microblogging for Confluence ranges depending on the user tier between 0.40 USD to 1 USD per user and month. That is a significant difference at scale, that contrasts the upsides of Yammer’s maturity (see below).
Future of Yammer is unsure.
Microsoft has recently heavily invested in Microsoft Teams which is a group chat software rivalling Slack. Enterprise Messengers like Slack, Microsoft Teams, HipChat and Stride by Atlassian. It is very likely that Microsoft will not invest in Yammer as heavily in the future. This is especially problematic if you take into account how much on-going mandatory costs are involved in using Yammer.
Yammer is the more mature product for microblogging.
The company has been sold to Microsoft for 1.2 billion USD for a reason. Their offering is mature and attractive. Linchpin and Microblogging for Confluence is attractive too. But it was built long after Yammer “built the Enterprise microbloggin” as a use case.
Yammer has better mobile apps.
At the time of writing this the Yammer mobile apps are snappier and better than the Linchpin Mobile experience.
If your usage of Yammer is very high, then it may be a better idea to keep on using it. Here are some factors to test this:
- A high usage would include more than 40% of your employees using the software.
- More than 500 users use the software more than twice a day.
- Your users in the company are very tech-savvy and have a very low barrier when it comes to lower software maturity.
- High usage of Yammer on mobile devices?
How important is the money for you? Yammer is a very expensive experience. While it may offer some upsides, it duplicates a lot of features on Atlassian Confluence and Linchpin while not always being the better product.
If you should decide to actually move from Yammer to Microblogging for Confluence here are some suggestions:
- Do not move any content over. Microblogging is not as fast expiring as group chat, but it’s not for permanent documentation either. Just keep Yammer for reference around as long as you can.
- You may want to consider to reduce the amount of people of Yammer to a very low amount, so that you can keep it as a repository of knowledge and searchable place in case you need it.
- Start fresh with Linchpin and Microblogging.
- Take over the most active rooms from Yammer as topics in the new microblog.
- Help users to understand why you are making the shift and give them the numbers. It’s easier to adopt a software that is a little less mature if you see the reasoning behind it.
- Highlight where Linchpin and Confluence actually beat Yammer easily so that people get the upsides: collaboration on text, rich content, wiki-based collaboration with versions, permanent documentation and knowledge, integrated microblogging experience, …