Will SharePoint and Yammer struggle from PLM problem?

As you probably know, enterprise social vendor Yammer is now part of Microsoft SharePoint division. As always, after integration, the question you want to ask is how both products will interplay together. Immediate after acquisition, I posted – Will Microsoft-Yammer kill social plm? – not yet… One of the conclusions I’ve made was about the ability of a collaborative system to provide a right context for communication. Few days ago, my attention was caught by Microsoft SharePoint Blog – Productivity Improvement with Yammer and SharePoint 2010. Chris Buckley brings a very simple use case of communication between SharePoint and Yammer.

Here’s the use case: You add a document to SharePoint, or maybe you’ve found a useful presentation or site within your company portal and want to share it with your team through a Yammer group on your company network. You can push a document with the comment from SharePoint directly to Yammer – adding tags and mentions, and bringing it to the attention of your followers or the relevant group.

I believe, the scenario is very applicable in the context of collaboration between engineers and other people in manufacturing company. This scenario made me think about the efficiency of communication. Sharing of document in Yammer can connect it contextually to communication that happens between people. On the other side, I’d expect to be able to share a part of the document or to highlight a specific contextual fragment. Otherwise, the communication reminds a traditional email.

What is my conclusion? The ability to share a context between multiple systems is critical for communication. So far, I can see very little attention in SharePoint and Yammer integration. Maybe SharePoint 2013 will bring some additional capabilities. Many PLM systems are trying to improve the way people collaborate today. However, the majority of them are struggling with the ability to share information in the contextual way. Similar to SharePoint / Yammer. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

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