Last week I talked about visiting the Yammer on Tour (YoT) event in Amsterdam. Somehow it is still playing my mind. Not that I changed my mind about it but mostly because I'm wondering why it is so popular among the Dutch. Because if the announced numbers of 500.000 payed Yammer accounts in The Netherlands is right that would mean Yammer has a more than substantial penetration of the Dutch labor market of about 8.5 million... A penetration most software providers would kill for and more importantly one obtained without much marketing.
So why is Yammer so popular here?
First of all I think the Dutch are very outgoing and adopt social tools at an incredible speed because of that. Having an opinion and speaking your mind is something that is embedded in Dutch culture and taught from a very young age. The whole social revolution just taps into that. Something that is clearly visible with the adoption of all social platforms, not just Yammer.
But there are other factors here too I think.
As Yammer doesn't really need any IT department involvement to be kick started within an organization (anyone can just start a company community free of charge) you see a lot of instances where adoption is done bottom up. IT is not involved until a large part of the organization is already using it and is therefore put on the spot. Seeing it being used and accepted and not having had any time to investigate the need or workings for such an application they simply go with it and more or less accept it as is. All the factors and barriers that would otherwise have had to be passed in a software platform acquisition process are suddenly completely bypassed.
The gullibility factor:
Yep, it isn't nice to say about my own fellow country men but I feel gullibility plays a big role here too. I don't know how it came to be but at a certain point some government institutions started using Yammer for their internal social communications. Before you know it more joined, and more and now several really big and important governmental institutions are using it. Institutions that are handling highly sensitive personal and financial information. The Dutch in general put a lot of trust in their government so other companies seeing this and thinking "Well if they use it it must be safe" joined in and before you know it you've got a lot of companies seeing this as a perfectly safe option.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it isn't or that non of the organizations really investigated it. But I do get the impression a number of them really didn't look into it too hard.
The idea of information, in this case possibly even my personal information being discussed and shared over Yammer servers located in the US with the US data security regulations - regulations we all know do not necessarily comply with EU legislation - makes me twitchy at best. And as Yammer stated themselves, they are not planning to open any EU data center for the foreseeable future....
How delicate this is was demonstrated when at YoT someone, working for one of the these government institutions got up and asked "How do we control that information shared on the Yammer network stays compliant with the information in our regulatory systems, as we want to make sure our people are consistent in their communications to the outside world when using information obtained through Yammer?". The answer was (correctly) "Yammer is not for sharing the information but only sharing the location where it could be found".
The fact this question was asked though already shows that this really is an utopia.
I do believe that most people at all these institutions are probably using it responsible, but at the same time I can't help but wonder if this isn't just a short way out for a lot of these companies and institutions. They see the need (and yes, there definitely is a need for social business here in The Netherlands) and jump in at the first option they see swimming by.
If that really is a feasible option though remains to be seen. Yammer seems to be mostly a Facebook like tool and doesn't offer much more then a really nice way to start the internal conversation. Social business though is about more than that and gets its real value from collaboration. Something Yammer in my eyes still falls short at.
Not to mention the problems they could get themselves in for not complying with EU privacy act regulations.....
Not surprisingly thus that some of these major institutions, recognizing the sensitivities and lack of collaboration, are now turning to other tools like IBM Connections to handle their social business needs. How the smaller ones will fare though remains to be seen. It isn't easy changing social platforms once you've chosen one.
How to prevent the community manager from exploding
Fri, Apr 26th 2013 2:19p Femke Goedhart To all organizations who think they’ve got it all sorted out so nicely because they have a community manager MANAGE it all…
Calling them ‘manager’ doesn’t mean they can control everything their community does or say unless you actually:
give them managerial rights over their community members (which you can’t if the community is comprised of customers or external parties);
inform them of the things you are doing BEFORE you are doing them instead of just dropp [read] Keywords: community
From describing to applying – user training taken seriously
Fri, Apr 12th 2013 10:17a Femke Goedhart It still is one of the most common mistakes made ever… Implementing new or updated software without providing user training as the reasoning is: “Oh, we don’t need to train our users. They have been using this (or similar) software for years, surely they know by now how to use it“.
Well, do they really? I’ve recently been involved in several adoption projects where we trained both new users as well as users who had been using collaboration tools for years on how com [read] Keywords: collaboration
IBM Connections 4.5 and Connections Content Manager available
Fri, Mar 29th 2013 11:14a Femke Goedhart As announced the IBM Connections 4.5 release and the Connections Content Manager add-on were made available for download today through the appropriate channels. The following sites give information on features, links to relevant content and pricing:
blog by Luis Benitez with relevant video’s and links
Official IBM Connections 4.5 product page
Official IBM Connections 4.5 documentation wiki
Official CCM product page & pricing (US)
Enjoy! [read] Keywords: connections
IBM Connections 4.5 and Connections Content Manager release dates announced
Tue, Mar 12th 2013 4:38a Femke Goedhart IBM outdid itself this time by announcing the release of IBM Connections 4.5 and the new Connections Content Manager for March 29th 2013. Only 2 months after first presenting it at IBM Connect.
On top of the great new features IBM Connections 4.5 offers, Connections Content Manager will additionally offer document management functionality like checkin-checkout, nested folders, versioning & draft control as well as integrated access security to organize and control content within the IBM Conn [read] Keywords: connections
Job interview with a twist
Thu, Feb 21st 2013 1:56a Femke Goedhart Usually I don’t really buy into these as it is of course a clever way of advertising a beer brand, but… I do love the premises of taking a process like the hiring process that is so standard, mandated and rigid that it has taken out any chance of really showing your true personality as a candidate and twisting it around completely to become something in which you can’t help but show something of yourself. But more then that, I love the idea of the voting. Making the hiring proc [read] Keywords:
BLUG – speaking of social document management
Tue, Feb 12th 2013 5:12a Femke Goedhart Yet again Theo Heselmans and team have managed to do the impossible: get an absolutely fantastic line up together for the upcoming BLUG event in Leuven, Belgium on March 21-22.
I'm honered to say my session “Folksonomy versus Taxonomy, Social Document management in IBM Connections” about document management in general and the new integration of libraries in IBM Connections (CCM) in particular was accepted and I look forward to seeing so many from the IBM community in just over a [read] Keywords: connections
Blackberry I hate you… or do I??
Mon, Feb 4th 2013 2:54p Femke Goedhart Yes, you read it correctly. For the last few years I’ve been loathing my Blackberry Bold. It’s clunky, slow loading, the apps don’t do what I want them to do (heck, they won’t even update without requiring a full reboot which takes at least 15min), installing apps is an absolute nightmare and most of all I hate it’s really unhandy position of the mute, hold and speaker buttons on the ‘phone’ screen.
Why you ask? Well because the ‘phone’ app i [read] Keywords: ibm