Christophe Fiessinger is a senior product marketing manager focused on enterprise social across Yammer, Office 365, and SharePoint. (@cfiessinger)
Team collaboration often focuses on documents, and the easier it is to communicate about those documents, the easier it is to move projects forward. Having two-way conversations about documents in real time, from within the documents themselves, can not only enhance communication, it can also improve employee engagement and spark innovation. Such productive social conversations about team documents are now possible in SharePoint Online. You can start a Yammer conversation for any document that is stored in a SharePoint Online document libraries or in SkyDrive Pro just by clicking Post, the new command that’s available in document library callouts and search results for Office documents. By using Post to communicate with your peers about a document, right from with the context of that document, you can improve the discoverability of deliverables.
The new Post command in the document item callout within SkyDrive Pro
Starting a conversation is easy. Click Post to launch a window where you can type your message, @ mention colleagues, assert key #hashtags, add topics pertaining to the document, and select a specific group where you want to start the conversation. Your post, when it appears in Yammer, contains a link to the document stored in SharePoint Online, using the title of the document as the hyperlink text.
The pop-up window that appears when you click Post
The Post command is available for any file types stored in document libraries. Once you have shared a document, you can start a conversation about it with your colleagues. The content you’re discussing does not leave SharePoint Online, so your company’s content management governance policies (for example, a document workflow) remain intact.
Once you post, your colleagues can provide feedback easily using Yammer. For instance, I used this new feature to share a draft of this blog post written in Word and stored in my SkyDrive Pro (which is governed by Microsoft IT) with my Microsoft colleagues to review!
The document conversation that appears after posting to Yammer
You can use the new Post command only after the Office 365 tenant administrator has enabled Yammer as the default social network. To enable Yammer in your tenant, see this post: Make Yammer your default social network in Office 365.
As discussed in our last road map update on June 25, Advancing the enterprise social road map, we’re delivering two exciting innovations in the coming months, seamless navigation and single sign-on between Office 365 and Yammer. In the meantime, happy social posting!
-Christophe Fiessinger @cfiessinger
- Pick your enterprise social network: Yammer or Newsfeed? article on Office.com
- Yammer App for SharePoint: Add a Yammer feed to a SharePoint page article on Office.com
- The Social Journey article on Yammer.com
Frequently Asked Question
Q. Can I start a conversation from any document type?
A. Almost any. You can start a conversation from almost any document type, except for the following: folders and OneNote notebooks. To post to Yammer from any document type, however, you must first have shared that document.
Q. If I start a conversation for a document that is not shared, will Yammer group members be able to access it?
A. No. The Post action will not modify SharePoint nor Yammer permissions. For now you are expected to adjust permissions manually if you want to provide access to a file stored in SharePoint using another process, such as the new SharePoint Share process, for instance.
Q. Does this new Post to Yammer functionality apply to all SharePoint Online plans?
A. Yes. This new Post capability works with both Yammer Basic and Yammer Enterprise. For additional information, see Yammer Plans & Pricing.
Q. What about the Follow document functionality?
A. Once a customer has chosen Yammer as their social collaboration tool, following a document in SharePoint Online becomes less important, because Yammer gives you the ability to follow files and topics. Customers using Yammer should encourage their users to use the Post command instead of Follow. Follow function for document library items can still be accessed from the ribbon and all of your Followed documents can be accessed from your SkyDrive Pro menu.