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Users Clammer for Yammer but will Corporate IT Follow?

We're Yamming at work, yamming til the break of dawn

We're Yamming at work, yamming til the break of dawn

Yammer is the hot Web 2.0 application of the week - having been recognised at TechChrunch50. This service is very similar to Twitter; its a micro-blogging application. The functionality is almost identical.

The big difference here is that Yammer is aimed at the Enterprise; and they have done a very clever thing. Groups are created around email domains, which means that Yammer is piggy backing off of enterprise IT environments.

Yammer is providing a private company networks as a managed service. You can't sign up for the service with a personal email address.

The Yammer private network facilitates internal communications within individual companies. For a fee (1 dollar per user), corporations can opt to ‘Claim Their Network', which entitles them to the following services:

Manage Content and Members — Remove a member from the network or delete any message.
Password Policies — Determine the minimum character length and complexity for passwords.
Session Settings — Require email confirmation when logging in from a new browser.
IP Range — Assign an IP range for your network, restricting access to your office network or VPN.
Custom Logo— Brand your network by uploading your company logo to appear at the top of every page.
Assign Administrator Privileges — Grant additional administrative privileges to any user on your network.

This is an ingenius business model but it remains to be seen whether it will generate much goodwill for the company. As with many Web 2,0 applications, Yammer provides users with control, at the expense of Corporate IT. I am not arguing that this is a bad thing but to then effectively hold the company to ransom may be perceived as a bit rich by potential customers who can easily shut down access. Naturally, business leaders will be concerned about internal messages and company information residing on the servers of a third party and a start-up at that.

My team of seven jumped onto Yammer mid-week and found it useful as a means of sharing links between our small group, sharing updates, chasing deadlines, maintaining morale :-) As with Twitter, users can opt to follow individual members to ensure that they are only on the receiving end of information that is relevant to them.

It seems pretty obvious that the business model helped get Yammer over the line at TechCrunch50 given the fact that this technology already exists and has been relatively well adopted. It will be interesting to see how this goes down and how transparent Yammer is in the coming weeks and months about enterprise adoption. I'd question the suitability of the name - Yammer - for the corporate sector.

Finally, just wondering, is an individual message a Yam. Did I just yam? Or am I yamming?

Micro-blogging for the enterprise

Micro-blogging for the enterprise


Daniel Young, PR consultant, writes on the impact of new technology and the Internet on PR and corporate communications. Daniel is based in Australia.

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