Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yammer - Platform Communications for the Enterprise

Yammer is a platform communications tool for the enterprise. It is Twitter for your firm. And it just won the top TechCruch award.

As a Twitter user, I have been keeping my eye out for something similar to Twitter for firm communication. Yammer seems to have squarely hit the target. From the Yammer website:
Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: “What are you working on?”

As employees answer that question, a feed is created in one central location enabling co-workers to discuss ideas, post news, ask questions, and share links and other information. Yammer also serves as a company directory in which every employee has a profile and as a knowledge base where past conversations can be easily accessed and referenced.

Anyone in a company can start their Yammer network and begin inviting colleagues. The privacy of each network is ensured by limiting access to those with a valid company email address. Information is never shared with third parties.

The basic Yammer service is free. Companies can pay to claim and administer their networks.

Yammer was founded by former executives and early employees of PayPal, eGroups, eBay, and Tribe. It is backed by venture capital firms Founders Fund and Charles River Ventures.
Since it is a communications tool, I would need someone to communicate with. So I enlisted my colleague David Hobbie (of Caselines). It was off to races. We used Yammer instead of email all afternoon (mostly). It also seemed like a great way to let my assistant know where I am and what I am doing. So, I added her. It has since grown to six people with nine more invitations sent out.

I also downloaded the blackberry application for Yammer. It works great. Better than any blackberry client I have found for Twitter.

I am not sure how far Yammer will spread beyond the knowledge management group for members or for use.

For more coverage of Yammer:


  1. Doug,
    Yammer sounds great. It seems like the main difference between Yammer and SocialCast, another micro-blogging platform for the enterprise, (read about it here folks) is that SocialCast is installed behind the firewall. I assume that you're not posting anything sensitive on Yammer, but are you concerned that it is web-based and not behind the firewall (I assume there is no VPN). Please keep us posted. Thanks.

  2. @lawyerKM

    My thought on yammer was to see if micro-blogging would work inside The Firm.

    Definitely no sensitive information in Yammer. But you should not put sensitive information in a platform communication tool.

    If it turns out to be useful, then I would evaluate other products.

    As of today it is just David and me giving each other status reports.


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