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SPC14: Microsoft’s Roadmap for Enterprise Social

Juliet Wei and Christopher Fiessinger, Microsoft Product Managers gave us a look into where Enterprise Social is headed.   Given the many questions on deeper integration between SharePoint and Yammer plus hoped for enhancements made this a packed session, even if it was the end of the day. They put the agenda as:

  1. Work like a network
  2. New experiences
  3. Journey
  4. Next steps

Getting started with Yammer is absolutely the single most important step you can take with social.Work Like A Network

Juliet wants to make the vision real by correlating the features that correspond to the vision.  The consumer world drives how we think about social while at the same time, our work tools don’t look a lot like facebook, twitter, or pinterest.  When you work like a network, you

  1. Listen to conversations that matter
  2. Adapt and make smarter decisions
  3. Grow your business

Quote: Getting started with Yammer is absolutely the single most important step you can take with social.  They find this because Yammer is social and uses Yammer Groups.   The new Enterprise Graph with a wide range of info served up in a relatively smart fashion.

The Foundation

In the past year, you had a lot happen with Dynamics integration, Yammer default in Office 365, Windows 8 apps, Yammer Enterprise in Office 365, and even simplified login.

Announcement: Yammer Enterprise will be available to Academic and Mid sized business customers of SharePoint

SharePoint Social or Yammer?

Go Yammer. It’s the tool that gets immediate adoption. It allows for rapid innovation and lets you connect with everyone.  You can now integrate the two.   It’s a simple integration but the login goes a long way.

However, Microsoft is committed to another SharePoint release.  They won’t be investing in SharePoint social.  The future is Yammer and Office 365…..with continued hybrid improvements.  Yammer will always be cloud. That gives MSFT more agility.  It also allows Yammer to support third party standards like FISMA.

New Experiences

This is a play by play so we can see what they mean by it.  Note that a number of features aren’t yet shipped.

  1. Inline Social
    1. Want to embed social in Dynamics Office 365, and other apps, services, or inline business systems.
    2. Social takes place everywhere and not just on the network
    3. Starting in Spring, will bring Yammer feeds and comments to Office docs.
    4. Demo
      1. One click, in Yammer in line to Sharepoint / Office 365.  It’s still in one page of SharePoint and not embedded everywhere.  The key to this is unification of the logins / identity
      2. MSFT is committed to integration between Lync and Yammer but nothing to show yet.
      3. Will be syncing data across the two profiles
      4. Office Online will have Yammer feeds.  Expect it by Summer
      5. The reverse will also be true, you can have a discussion in Yammer about a document
      6. the conversation in SharePoint will include images. You can post to multiple groups.
      7. Videos count as docs from a feed standpoint.
    5. Dynamic CRM
      1. MSFT bought a campaign tool and a social listening tool. It’s part of the Dynamics CRM brand.
  2. New Groups concept
    1. You can create a workspace for anything. It’s a team, emails, calendars, etc.
    2. Office 365 groups spans the entire suite. They are open by default.
    3. Because they span the suite with email, Lync, documents, calendar, email etc. you can keep context in whatever channel you want.
      1. This is key, pick an environment and work within groups. That conversation is kept.
      2. Create a new group in Office 365 and get
        1. new Teamsite
        2. New Yammer group
        3. a new group in Outloook.  This is the furthest along from a code perspective.
        4. Calendars and events for it all
    4. Demo
      1. Start with Yammer and show a group.
      2. He created a new group in Yammer.  Provide name, group members, and type (public or private)
      3. Then opened Outlook Web App
      4. See a group list in the left nav bar.  It’s the same group
      5. Clicking opens up the group inbox (e.g. feed)
        1. It’s a slightly different format
        2. Conversations show up as cards which can be clicked for a more full view
        3. Can play videos straight from Outlook and keep in the same context
      6. You can create a group from OWA
      7. Also built tighter integration between Exchange and SharePoint
      8. He showed attachments that are now either attach from hard drive OR attach and upload to One Drive. Then send link to the doc.
        1. That just cut down a  lot of steps to upload and share.
      9. You can open a document from Outlook.  It opens in Office Online and includes the feed.   This is ALL in the context of Outlook so the user never leaves his or her preferred app.  This also cuts down on clicks to edit.
        1. Real time authoring in outlook allows you to co-author.
      10. Each group gets its own calendar.  all the calendars can be overlaid.  Set up a meeting in one and it will show up on your Outlook calendar to accept.
      11. He showed the profile of anyone as fully integrated. You can see someone, their groups, browse their groups, subscribe to a group, etc.
        1. After subscribing to a group, you then get everything copied to a personal inbox
      12. Then moved to the SharePoint site for a group.  You see the new group has a SharePoint site
        1. Docs from One drive are in the SharePoint site
        2. You have access to other SharePoint apps, etc.
      13. Showed the OWA for iPad app
        1. The demo showed the same integrated social context we saw in Outlook, SharePoint, etc.
        2. it’s the email app so you have the same card view but optimized for tablet format
        3. Documents open up in the tablet.  You even see the Yammer feed to the side of the doc editor.
        4. Ditto for calendar
  3. New Office graph
    1. The office graph is an algorithm set of insights that pulls relevant content from everything connected to it.  Docs you’ve touched, people you instant message, people you call, docs you create, posts you’ve made in Yammer, etc.
    2. it’s purpose is to help you manage the problem of too much data and too little true knowledge
    3. One example, invited to a meeting, you see the meeting and you see the attendees with a full profile view. Nice context by time and by event.
    4. Demo
      1. Looks nice with a set of four columns in full view with cards stacked on top of each other in the columns
      2. Show videos, docs, spreadsheets, etc.
        1. Each card tells you why they included the recommendation
        2. Each card also notes any comments, likes, and the number of views
      3. The graph is predictive in nature
      4. Clicking on a card gives you an extended set of functions
      5. You also can filter by a variety of terms like shared with me, shared by me, presented to me, etc.
      6. Clicking on a doc in the card takes you into the office web app…….with the Yammer feed on the side
      7. Sneak peak: Will let you enrich the predictions based on events outside the social network.  A support ticket hits the feed / graph
      8. Note: this is only available in Windows 8 to start.  They will add the graph everywhere after Windows 8.
        1. Includes browsers and mobile


The four things to do to be successful

  1. Clarity of purpose
  2. Get Exec support
  3. Provide effective community management
  4. Inte
    grate social to other systems and events
  5. This is funny because it’s the same best practices for all social network products.

Next Steps

Go to a host of social sessions.  There’s a bunch of these sessions throughout the week.

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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