While helping customers succeed with Enterprise Social, one topic that regularly comes up is “migrating” from existing Yammer networks or legacy platforms. We typically see two migration scenarios in organizations: multiple Yammer networks, common in organizations with multiple email domains or subsidiaries, and legacy Enterprise Social tools that were used prior to the adoption of Yammer.
To ensure a successful migration to Yammer, it’s important to focus on what the objectives of Enterprise Social are for your organization, as this in turn determines how you would want your network to be structured. Additionally, having a clear understanding of the end state you want for your networks will help you in understanding your migration requirements. Based on our experience to date, our suggested approach is to take the following three steps:
1. Choose a network design that is suited to your end business goals
Enterprise Social provides an opportunity for your organization to do work differently and it’s important to consider how you might want to design your Yammer network. This may include using independent networks – one per email domain – to suit the way your organization wishes to collaborate. If your objective is broader cross-company collaboration, consider creating one central network, to which all company domains have access. External Networks are handy when a lot of work is being done with third parties and vendors. Whichever design you choose, we always encourage the largest potential network to maximize productive collaboration across your organization.
2. Start fresh with content
Our customers’ experience has shown that technical migrations of content are not generally recommended, as information on Yammer tends to be more ephemeral in nature – not necessarily needed as material for future reference. There is better potential for users to be invested in and engaged with the new network if they are empowered to shape its structure and content themselves.
3. Migrate organization behaviors to the new design
Make sure to understand how people have been using each network that you are migrating away from. Work with key people involved in groups and topics to understand what the target behavior might look like in the new network. Once the target behavior has been agreed upon, task these stakeholders with establishing that behavior in the new network, including uploading any key materials. Make use of Yammer’s Enterprise data export function to create a content archive, should this be required in future.
We have seen networks that take this approach continue to sustain engagement with minimal end user disruption, enabling users to focus on using Enterprise Social to improve the way they work.
For more information on the structural flexibility that Yammer offers, check out how Yammer Network Architecture can be configured to suit your organization’s needs. Need help with your network migration? Contact Yammer Support for assistance.