Which is better for collaboration – Yammer or Microsoft Teams?

Fundamentally, both Yammer and Teams (and email) are about conversation – but they support different types of communication and are for different audiences. The choice about which app to use depends on both.

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Fundamentally, both Yammer and Teams (and email) are about communication – but they support different types of conversations and aim for different audiences. The choice about which application to use depends on the nature and audience for your conversations.

Yammer is designed to support broad, open, cross-functional communities of any size. Yammer’s strength is in supporting groups of people who may not know each other but share a common interest or skill. Yammer is ideally suited as a platform for communities of practice or interest with a conversational space for the exchange of knowledge. With its broad focus, Yammer also supports leadership engagement in a two-way dialogue.

Many organizations, including Microsoft, use Yammer as a foundation for making an “executive connection." Yammer integrates with both SharePoint and Teams and even Outlook. You can add a Yammer web part to any SharePoint site to bring Yammer conversations into SharePoint. You can also add the Communities app to Teams to bring Yammer into Teams or add a Yammer community as a tab in an individual Team.

Teams, the company's hub for teamwork, is designed to support private work teams focused on a project, a deliverable, or workgroup collaboration. In general, Teams is used to create private spaces accessed primarily by the members of a work or project team.

There is a fundamental difference between the types of conversations in Yammer and Teams. Yammer conversations often have a long “half-life.” These conversations may last months, they may never actually expire (unless you have a retention policy established). Teams conversations, in contrast, are by nature meant to be quick. Teams conversations are designed to keep work moving forward – and they take place in a bounded scope, either a 1:1 chat or a channel. Yammer conversations are open by default and as such, allow you to have conversations that go across teams and workgroups – to support the fabric for knowledge sharing across the organization.

Consider the following as you think about whether a Team or a Yammer community is most appropriate for your collaboration and conversation experience:

Teams

  • Driven by deliverables with shared results;
  • Membership defined by task, assigned;
  • Roles for members typically remain consistent;
  • Often dissolved when mission is accomplished.

To support teams and teamwork, use Microsoft Teams.

Communities

  • Created organically with many objectives;
  • Membership defined by knowledge, voluntary;
  • Members take on new roles based on interest and need;
  • Exists while members believe they can contribute or benefit.

To support communities, use Yammer.

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