One of the areas around which we are seeing the most innovation within the Office 365 platform is also, arguably, the source of the most marketplace confusion: Microsoft's social strategy. With the release of the SharePoint 2013 platform, Microsoft heralded the creation of numerous native social features that were intrinsically tied to team and document collaboration. While not perfect, it seemed that Microsoft had finally moved down the right path, recognizing that end users and management teams alike wanted social. And then Microsoft acquired Yammer.
Rather than rehash that entire history, you can take a look at an article I wrote for the Microsoft Partner Network back in June 2013 (Yammer: One Year Later
) that explored the reasoning behind the deal, the tangible benefits, and the impacts of the move.
In the April 24, 2015 #CollabTalk tweetjam, our panel of experts and community participants didn’t dwell on the history, but instead tried to focus on the visible path forward. If you’
re unfamiliar with the model, these monthly tweetjams are a deep dive into important topics within the SharePoint and Office 365 community. For this month’
s event, you can find a list of panelists and the questions covered in this blog post
, and if you missed the real-time discussion on Twitter, you can also read through the play-by-play recap
For this article, I would like to focus on just a few of the interactions.
Probably the "biggest" question asked during the tweetjam was "Does Microsoft’s Yammer strategy meet your social collaboration needs?"
The participants were very quick to share their opinions:
Sometimes the questions asked are intentionally vague, leaving it to the participants to interpret and share their differing ideas. The group did not disappoint, providing some interesting perspectives on the question, "What impact will Yammer have on the overall Delve experience?"
While tweetjams as a model are not for everyone (the conversation flies by very quickly!), there is tremendous value in this kind of group collaboration. One of the best aspects of this format of conversation is the ability to share content in various formats, including links to websites, documentation, and especially to videos.
A great example is this video
shared by Microsoft Customer Success Manager (CSM) Noah Sparks (@noahsparks
) who shared links to a video by John Hagel, founder and co-chairman of Deloitte Center for the Edge, who often presents on the intersection of business strategy and information technology. In this clip, Mr. Hagel talks about "the big shift to meaningful work" that social technology seeks to help us do by making work activities more transparent and built around the individual (improving the user experience).
While the Microsoft social strategy still has a way to go, the participants generally agreed that the level of innovation starting to appear within the Office 365 platform is very exciting. Having said that, to meet the needs of many customer requirements today, there are also ample partner solutions available, with plenty of growth still happening in the SharePoint space.
I look forward to finding out more about the Microsoft roadmap next week at Ignite!