Yammer Rolls Out Seamless Activation in Office 365

This last Monday, Juliet Wei, Sr. Product Marketing Manager of Yammer at Microsoft made an important announcement for all Office 365 tenants with a Yammer subscription. Yammer will be automatically activated without any assistance required by their tenant’s administrators. If you are already a member of the Yammer Office 365 Network, you can read Juliet’s post in its entirety, or check out “Yammer integration with Office 365” at Office Support.

This recent statement primarily affects those of you that have not set up your subscription to Yammer in O365, or will create a new O365 tenant that includes a subscription to Yammer. After working through improvements in security and compliance, Yammer has met all of Office 365’s standards and is ready to move forward with this change. Microsoft will automatically activate Yammer for you if you have a subscription that includes Yammer, thus eliminating the additional steps. Although this does not mean you have to use Yammer, it is certainly nice to know that the process is now simplified.

What is the timeline for this update?

For all Office 365 subscriptions created on or after February 1st, 2016, you are already set. As Juliet stated, “Yammer will be seamlessly activated on any newly created Office 365 tenant with a subscription that includes Yammer.” But what about those of us that already have an O365 tenant that includes Yammer that hasn’t been activated it yet? Not to worry, Microsoft is going to auto activate Yammer in three waves starting February 1st with the final wave starting April 1st, 2016 (no joke). Activations will start with smaller tenants and over the following weeks continue on to larger and larger tenants until they are complete.

In addition, it seems very promising that Yammer will be more tightly coupled with Skype for Business for real-time communication. I see that as a great improvement, but it does mean that the “Yammer Now” mobile app is being deprecated on March 4th, 2016 and direct messaging in “Online Now” will be removed in favor of direct messaging. Side note, it would be even better if the Skype for Business mobile app got an overhaul as well, it could use some help.

And for those of us that do not yet have Yammer activated in their existing tenant?

First, don’t worry, there is nothing you need to do, O365 will take care of the process, but if you are not ready to adopt Yammer, you will want to make sure that you un-assign Yammer licenses for your users in your tenant. Once Yammer is activated in your O365 tenant, those users that have been assigned Yammer licenses may begin access Yammer directly from O365, including accessing Yammer through the App Launcher as well as start Yammer conversations within Office Apps. But what if your tenant network has not been set up yet? The continuous activation will automatically create a Yammer network that has domains managed in your O365 tenant. Administrators, don’t worry, you will still have control to manage your Yammer service within O365.

Final thoughts

Microsoft and Office 365 continues to improve Yammer which is always good to see. There was a lot of chatter around this announcement and the overall tone is positive. I would still suggest that if you intend to use Yammer in your O365 tenant, you should spend time configuring it to your particular organization, however, at least the first steps will be already handled for you.

If you have not yet joined the Office 365 Network on Yammer, I would recommend you do it soon.

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