Using Yammer to connect and share

Increasing numbers of professional staff at Flinders are making use of Yammer, a free private social media network for companies which has been described as “Facebook for business”.

Access to a Yammer network is determined by a user’s Internet domain so that only individuals with appropriate email addresses may join their respective networks.

Yammer breaks down internal barriers by connecting people to each other and to the information they need. This way, employees can quickly find experts, get answers, and accomplish more.

Flinders employees are scattered across a number of geographically separated physical locations, and many may work in multiple locations during the working week. To keep up with a dispersed and mobile workforce, Yammer provides organisations with the tools they need to work with teams from wherever they are. Yammer helps staff get connected to the right people, share information across teams, and organise around projects.

Yammer is a Microsoft company, though not yet completely integrated into Office 365. When staff launch Yammer from within Office 365, they are redirected to an online page where they can sign in with Flinders credentials.

The use of Yammer can assist with:

(a) reducing email traffic to be dealt with on a daily basis;

(b) eliminating the need to send operational updates around by email;

(c) allowing for an easier chain of conversation with multiple people involved ;

(d) allowing for direct messaging to people, closed groups/teams, and the entire University Yammer community; and

(e) allowing you to set up working groups for cross-team collaborations.

Staff can set up groups for their teams in which they can post information relevant to their own areas – for example, daily updates on projects, running late back from a meeting, or calls for help.

Email should still be used in any situation where you require a formal record of the conversation.  As with all social media, Yammer is not a secure method of communication and should not be used for private or sensitive information.  However, Yammer provides an opportunity to embrace the new opportunities social media provide.

Five quick tips to get started with Yammer

  1. Sign in to the Flinders University Yammer network using your Flinders University email address
  2. Download the Yammer notifier to your desktop
  3. Customise your Yammer profile
  4. Follow relevant topics and people
  5. Add the App to your phone – for instant messaging and notifications (download for free from the App store or Google Play)
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