Monday, September 11, 2017

Using Yammer to keep up to date

I’ve written two previous articles about how you can use various Office 365 services to keep you and your business up to date. You’ll find these at:

Using Office 365 to stay up to date

Using Microsoft Teams to keep up to date

I’ll show you how to do exactly the same thing but this time using Yammer and Microsoft Flow.

image

I am going to assume that you already have your Yammer network in operation (it does come free with most Office 365 suites after all!). So the first step in the process, as with previous articles, is to go and find the RSS feed for the item you wish to track.

image 

In this case I’ve created a new Flow and the trigger item I’ve selected is when a new items is created on the feed.

image

Once the process has started I’m then going to send that feed through a HTML to Text convert to make it easier for users to read.

image

I’m then going to take the result of that conversion and post it automatically to a location in Yammer. In this case, I have elected to post it to All Company but you may wish to create a dedicated Yammer group for these items (kind of like the dedicated channel I suggested when using Teams).

image

So when a new article is published like that above, it will appear on Yammer like so.

image

This should give the news much greater visibility and importantly allow other in the business to comment, add conversations and more value around the item. It also allows people to draw it to the attention of others using ‘@’ mentions.

You could extend this further by automatically adding appropriate ‘#’ hashtags to make search and categorisation easier. You are only limited in what you can do by your imagination.

I think this Yammer style automatic posting of new items works best for items that are relevant across the organisation or at least across a group wider than what you find in a Microsoft Team channel. However, all three that I have covered, Office 365 Groups, Microsoft Teams and this can be used where ever and when ever they make sense. They all have mobile apps. They all encourage participation and they all make the information searchable.

The idea with all these suggestion is to demonstrate how easy it is to bring the news you want directly to a common location in your business. Hopefully, it also demonstrates how powerful this can be when enhanced by comments from people inside your business. This concept applies for all business, large and small. It is the smart way to use the tools you have to fetch the information you need.

Remember, Office 365 is not just a single service like email, it is a toolbox that allows you to solve business challenges. Make sure you explore all it has to offer and implement it in ways to make your business more productive as I have hopefully shown here.