Social in SharePoint 2013 – Life isn’t easy right now

“Yammer is going to be the Social platform for SharePoint Online 2013”

This is my personal statement and I am willing to place a bet on it. Microsoft didn’t spend 1.2 billion dollars to give customers the choice to just keep using the out-of-the-box SharePoint Social features and never use Yammer.

I am struggling with advising our customers how to deal with the current situation were Yammer is still separated from SharePoint Online. At March 19 an article from Jared Spataro was published about the integration between SharePoint and Yammer:

Jared released the following statement:

“In my customer meetings over the last few months, people have often asked, “What should I use for social? Yammer or the SharePoint newsfeed?” My answer has been clear: Go Yammer!”

Many of our customers aren’t using Yammer. They also don’t want to use Yammer because its not integrated with their SharePoint Online collaboration portal. They don’t want to use an external application separated from their current main collaboration portal. There are also customers who want to have more control over the location of their data. Yammer, at this point, only has servers spread out over the Unites States of America. Not every customers likes this situation.

Jared admits not every organization wants to use Yammer and releases the following statement:

“For all my exuberance about Yammer, I recognize that some organizations just don’t feel comfortable with multi-tenant cloud services.  For these customers, our guidance is to use the SharePoint newsfeed.  It provides rich social features integrated with a broad set of SharePoint capabilities.”

What happens if a customer starts working with the SharePoint Online Social features and after a couple of months they decide (or Microsoft makes them) to switch to Yammer? Can the customer migrate all their Social data (hash-tags, mentions and updates) to Yammer? I haven’t read anywhere if this is possible!

What about not using the SharePoint Social features and just wait until the Yammer integration is finalized? I haven’t found a solution to hide or deactivate the SharePoint Online Newsfeed so let’s say you want to use Yammer but only when the integration is finalized, you don’t have an option (at least I didn’t find one) to hide the out-of-the-box SharePoint Newsfeed and wait until Yammer is integrated. It’s impossible to prevent your end-users working with the Newsfeed. What happens if they loose all their data because there is no migration path? That will destroy the adoption of SharePoint Social in your Enterprise.

I really urge Microsoft to release a statement and address all these concerns because customers need to know what to do and Microsoft partners need to be able to advise these customers. I would love to hear your thoughts. Let’s discuss at the SharePoint Community.


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