Slack vs Yammer: What to Use for Team Communication

Slack vs Yammer: What to Use for Team Communication

Slack and Yammer are great communication apps. At first glance, both seem similar in terms of features and purpose. However, when you really get to know them, it’s easy to spot the differences.

In fact, once you learn more about Slack and Yammer, you wouldn’t put them in one basket together again. Yes, the differences are that distinct…

Yammer is a vast platform that behaves more like a social network. On the other hand, Slack is purely a messaging app designed for small to medium businesses.

Let’s look into each of them further…

What is Yammer

Yammer is marketed as an “enterprise social network” to “connect and engage” members across the organization. This tool is included in all enterprise plans of Office 365 as well as that of Microsoft 365.

Yammer enterprise social network from Microsoft 365

Essentially, it’s a robust social and internal communications platform designed to facilitate collaboration and engagement between employees on different levels. Think of it as a gateway for team members of the organization to connect with each other.

Using it definitely feels like using your own organization’s Facebook. That is, you can create a post, comment and like on someone’s post, send messages to other users, and do other things you can do on Facebook.

Open and dynamic communication across your organization with Yammer

Because of Yammer’s similarity to Facebook, many organizations use it for sharing [almost] anything across the network, whether the information is important or not. There’s no need for internal organization-wide emails to spread information.

Everyone in the organization can basically see the announcement posted on the network — like how all your Facebook friends will see your post once you share it.

Why you should use Yammer

Even with the emergence of more sophisticated tools like Microsoft Teams, organizations, especially those who use Microsoft’s ecosystem, still use Yammer.

In fact, a survey of 10,000 users indicated that 75% of them believed that Yammer helped their teams to communicate more effectively.

Here are two primary reasons why…

Exclusive social network

Yammer is a private social network for organizations where users can freely share their ideas, messages, and others. You can use it to share anything you can think of and communicate with others creatively.

On the feed, you can post a question or a poll that your coworkers can answer or participate in — similar to Facebook or LinkedIn. This feature eliminates the need for sending emails back and forth across different departments.

How the news feed in Yammer looks like

You can also use Yammer to start your own network group and invite your team members or colleagues to join. This allows you to create a targeted announcement to specific groups of people or create a private space for your team within the organization.

This tool doesn’t only work for the one-to-many type of communication. Yammer has a messaging feature you can use to send a private message to anybody within the organization. Meaning, Yammer also solves the need for any messaging-specific app.

If you put all this together, Yammer gives you both a company-wide social network with an instant messaging feature.

Integration with Office 365

As part of the Office 365 suite, it’s extremely easy to share anything in Yammer from other Office 365 products. In fact, once you have uploaded a file on Microsoft’s cloud system, you can share it right away on Yammer.

For example, if you have uploaded a file on your SharePoint site or to your OneDrive, you can share that file right away in Yammer. There are buttons right within the tool that will allow you to open and share files directly from SharePoint or OneDrive.

See better results from seamless integration with Yammer

Furthermore, because of Yammer’s full integration with Office 365, you can search for anything right inside the tool and get results across different Office 365 products.

Once you share a document or spreadsheet, users can view the contents right inside the feed itself without having to download the file or open it through the browser. You can literally see and read a word document, spreadsheet, or slide.

What is Slack

Slack is one of the most popular communication platforms on the planet. Most startups have probably used Slack at one point or another (given that Slack started as an internal collaboration tool for a software company).

Slack is where work happens

The simplest description of Slack would be — a messaging platform and collaboration tool smashed into one. Think of it as an instant messenger on steroids that has thousands of integration options.

It’s an advanced communication tool that will allow you to share documents and files with your teammates while retaining a chatroom-like feeling. But one of the largest differences between this tool and Yammer is that you can use Slack for video or voice conference calls.

As a collaboration solution, Slack is great for consolidating all your organization’s messaging in one place and helping employees save precious time. It’s ideal for instant and quick messaging between team members in small groups.

Slack made the news lately when Salesforce announced its $28 billion acquisition of the platform. In about a year, Slack will again evolve into a yet undetermined monster platform now that Salesforce will be adding it to its portfolio.

Why you should use Slack

Although Salesforce will be combining Slack with its Salesforce Customer 360 software, you can be certain that Slack will still retain its core functionalities and uses. Meaning to say, the reasons why you should use Slack still remain, if not multiplied…

Here are two primary reasons:

Good for collaboration

Hands down, Slack makes it easy for your organization to stay connected with one another. This isn’t only in terms of being able to stay in touch constantly — Slack has collaboration tools to help facilitate teamwork.

Discover a new way of working using Slack

Voice and video calls are important features. You can host a meeting with your team or with an individual to discuss matters easier. This functionality, unfortunately, doesn’t exist in Yammer and in many communication platforms.

In addition, organizing your communication is easy. You can segment conversations into different channels according to different purposes (like for team projects, random topics, and anything you can think of).

Various members of your organization can also join or leave the channels as they like.

Powerful integration

Slack has one of the most powerful integration features amongst communication tools.

It allows you to integrate with thousand of software and apps like:

  • Dropbox
  • Google drive
  • Zapier
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Calendar
  • Trello
  • HubSpot
All the apps you need in Slack, from Atlassian to Zoom

Members of your organization will be able to share files through Slack and comment right away within the platform. There’s no need to open the apps on the browser when Slack supports it. This saves you time from opening other tools on your end.

A good example of this is how HubSpot works perfectly within Slack. HubSpot is one of the most popular marketing CRM tools in the market. Most companies use it for inbound marketing, sales, and growth.

Without leaving Slack, you can add a task in HubSpot from conversations in Slack. You can also get CRM notifications in Slack without the need to switch apps. This is valuable since you normally go to another app to see new updates.

There are also commands you can use to perform actions like searching for CRM contacts or create a task and associate it with a contact or company — all without leaving the Slack platform.

Slack vs Yammer: Which app wins?

The ultimate question remains — which one should you use for team communication?

Here’s the deal:

Slack and Yammer do not compete directly with each other. They are different platforms with different uses…

As for Yammer…

  • It’s specifically designed to work as an exclusive social network for your organization
  • If your need is large-scale communication (company-wide), Yammer is more ideal than slack
  • Though more of a social network, Yammer has a basic messaging tool that will allow you to send private messages to anyone within your organization
  • It’s also ideal if your organization is using the Office 365 suite and the whole Microsoft ecosystem as Yammer integrates perfectly with the rest of Microsoft’s products

As for Slack…

  • It’s definitely the best choice for team messaging and collaboration
  • Slack is ideal for communication within small teams to collaborate on work and completely wipe out the need for emails and other messaging methods
  • There’s also a voice and video functionality that will enable you to host meetings and facilitate decision-making events
  • It has an awesome integration with almost any app you can think of that’s related to productivity

Choose what you need

If you’re still not sure what to use, ask these questions:

  • Do you need the tool for company-wide communication or for small teams only?
  • Do you need a social network like Facebook or only a communication-focused tool?
  • Do you want more integration options with different apps in the market?
  • Is your organization running on the Microsoft ecosystem?

Use Yammer for company-wide communication, social network needs, and if your whole organization runs on the Microsoft ecosystem. Otherwise, Slack is better for communication and collaboration within small teams or departments.

About Ryan

As the Principal Solutions Architect at Mr. SharePoint, I help companies of all sizes better leverage the Modern Workplace and Digital Process Automation investments.

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