This post was written by Maria Ogneva, the Head of Community at Yammer
Apple announced its iPad2 this week, and it’s thinner, faster, lighter and slicker than its predecessor, with front and back cameras for video conferencing. Even with the first iPad, business users have been the most significant user group, according to Forbes. Usage and testing started out with about 50% of Fortune100 companies, and now it’s as high as 80%. Improved size, weight, speed and video conferencing capabilities will make it even more desirable for business travelers. At Yammer, we are building an internal social network that’s powered by humans; it exists to fuel human communication in the workplace. Since today’s workers are increasingly mobile, we are always cognizant of solving their pain points where they are; since they are using the iPad, that’s where we are going to be. And so, we are very busily developing a Yammer iPad app that’s powerful and flexible, with the mobile worker in mind.
As businesses struggle to always be “on” and employees are always on the go, mobile applications have become ubiquitous in the workplace. Due to the demands of the modern marketplace, we are no longer clocking in and out between 9 and 5. Globally distributed teams and traveling teams need to collaborate better. Even internal teams who stay “put” undergo significant changes to their internal process in response to the immediacy and transparency of the social web. Thus, a need for mobile collaboration devices is more pronounced today than ever. A recent CMS Wire article states this type of collaboration as one of the top 3 things that must exist on a mobile device:
“Mobile devices must… Allow people to follow what their colleagues are working on with “Twitter-style” updates, within the secure confines of the corporate communications environment”.
I go to conferences all the time, and I’ve been able to observe that a significant portion of all note-taking, tweeting and web-based activity is done via an iPad. Although inadequate for hard-core content creation, iPad is wonderful for native apps that provide a rich feature set without having to browse mobile web — such as checking and responding to emails, tweets, Facebook messages, and perusing publishing apps like Flipboard. This is why we are hard at work creating a native Yammer application for the iPad that will have some of the major functionality that you are used to in the web application and desktop app.
The Yammer iPad app will give you a clean left toolbar to access the most common functions, such as: my feed, direct messages, @ mentions, unread message counts, RSS feeds, bookmarks, groups, profiles, company directory, and others. Each message in the feed is fully threaded can be expanded to include all responses within a thread, with the ability to drill down on each team member’s profile view. The new app will track and display read vs. unread messages. Just like with the current iPhone app, you can toggle between networks.
Imagine a scenario where you are flying to a conference and need to take a quick pulse-check on the major happenings in the organization — you are demoing the product, and need to make sure you have the freshest news. The Yammer iPad app can provide you that gut-check while you are still seated in your airplane seat. What if you are traveling to see a client and are stuck answering a difficult question? What if you have just one hour to find an answer and don’t even know who in your organization can provide that answer? Just pop the question in the Yammer app, @ mention some people you think may have the answer, and watch the smart responses pour in. Maybe you are in charge or your company’s website, and someone discovers that it’s down while you are traveling by a commuter train. They can post a yam, which you can discover immediately and alert the right people to take action before you get to the office. Or maybe you are a social media junkie like me, in charge of the company’s social media health… You can use Yammer for crisis communication in the unfortunate event the site goes down, always having the right answer for your Twitter followers.
These use cases are many, and you are only limited by your imagination. What would you use your Yammer iPad app for?