Yammer is rolling out an exciting new feature which will provide the ability to add external collaborators to new conversations, existing conversations, and private messages within the Office 365 network. This will be first released for beta testing (for verified and registered admins).
The Office 365 community hosted an open discussion around this new feature led by Microsoft team. Folks on the discussion shared real time scenarios where this could prove real helpful.
- We have a new person joining our team. The manager announced it internally and the excitement and kudos poured in. But the person that we were hiring wasn’t on the thread. Everyone was sort of preemptively congratulating this person even though this person wasn’t on boarded yet. Once this feature turned up, we included the new hire on the thread, and this person was able to see all the congratulatory messages and even make their first post about how excited they are to join the team.
- We’re working with an external person on a project. One where it doesn’t necessarily make sense to spin up an external network. Doing so would just be overkill. We want to exchange files, have conversations, etc. The external person isn’t necessarily full time on the project and we only need their input infrequently.
Here is a list of top 10 quick tips you need to know about this idea – Flexternal
- People who you add to the conversation will be able to contribute and add others. However, they will not be able to add you to the conversations in their network. Only you can add others at this time.
- People can NOT be invited to Public or Private Group as a whole but just to a thread. They can be invited to public conversations, but only to single instances. So they have to be invited to every conversation you want them to see.
- If you remove an external participant from a thread, they no longer see the message in Yammer, but still can find the message within their email inbox. How much of that conversation is revealed in email? For instance if there were four posts on a thread, will all four responses show in the email or just part of the conversation up until they were removed?
Every comment from the conversation is sent individually via email. So one email will only include one comment of the conversation–not the entire thread. Let’s say you were added at the beginning of the conversation. You’ll get four separate emails. If you were added by comment three you will only receive comments three and four. Once a user is removed they will no longer receive email notifications. You also cannot view content in email. You need to sign into Yammer to view files or notes.
- What happens if the invited external does not already have a company Yammer network? For example, an individual contractor/consultant.
That external user can either chose to respond via email, or signup and join their Yammer network. Obviously they wouldn’t be able to join your network.
- What happens if I invite an external user to a conversation at the “wrong” email address. Will they have to create a new Yammer profile or would they be able to pull the conversation into their existing inbox?
Right now that person would be able to reply to you by email. There isn’t currently the functionality to pull the conversation into an existing inbox though.
- Will the network admin be able to easily identify/contact the admins of the foreign network posting to their users? The most obvious reason will be around spam and abuse.
Microsoft is working on including ‘report as spam’ button with this feature. That button will automatically provide this feedback to them and to the network admins.
- Will the email address of those posting into my network be clearly available in the data exports?
Yes – the mail addresses are available. People who will be posting into your network are the ones that are explicitly invited to conversations by other people in your network. Therefore it is similar to someone in your network cc’ing an external user in their email that is also addressed to others in the company.
- How will external messaging recipients be clearly identified in email interaction with a thread?
If you are responding by email, you’ll see the same external participant icon that you see on the web (the globe icon). When responding by email you’ll also get a warning at the bottom of the email that there are external participants in the thread.
- It’s not possible to disable this feature at a network level at this time. This means NO administrative override. However, Yammer External Messaging will clearly show the external party that has been added.
- Currently it will not allow users to communicate with Gmail/AOL/Yahoo types of email address. You have to use a corporate email address.