Last week, over 800 attendees from all over the world, including Japan, Canada, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, gathered at The Westin St. Francis in San Francisco for two days for Yammer’s first customer conference.
Day 1 – Monday
Yammer Founder and CEO David Sacks kicked off the action-packed day with the opening keynote, laying out Yammer’s vision for the future of enterprise social networking with the announcement of the Enterprise Graph. During the keynote, Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Office Division, joined David onstage to discuss the reasons Microsoft acquired Yammer this summer. Sue Landry, Managing Vice President at Gartner Research also spoke in the keynote, tracing how enterprise social networking is evolving from a standalone social environment to becoming an integral part of the enterprise app ecosystem. David concluded the keynote by demoing three new features that are core components of the Enterprise Graph: Pages, Social Plugins, and the App Directory.
After the opening keynote, attendees heard from customers at Tyco, PG&E, and Razorfish about their experiences with Yammer in a keynote panel moderated by David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect. The panelists shared these key insights:
- Yammer often begins as a grassroots initiative, but executive advocacy makes a huge difference in driving adoption. The key is to show leaders the business value of Yammer.
- Coaching employees in how to talk and get work done on a network is also an ingredient for success.
- When fully embraced, Yammer lets companies focus on their core business rather than build and maintain applications.
- A fireside chat between Michael Fauscette of IDC and Yammer CTO Adam Pisoni on the benefits of creating a culture of sharing
- A panel discussion among Yammer partners Spigit, Mindflash, Ultimate Software, and Kanjoya (moderated by Alan Lepofsky of Constellation Research) about why they chose to do business with Yammer
- Jim Lundy of Aragon Research discussing the connections between consumerization and autonomy in the workplace with Yammer’s own Pavan Tapadia
- Best practices for building and maintaining a healthy community, as discussed by customers from Cargill, Initiative, and Manhattan Associates
- Yammer’s strategies for platform and mobile
- The changing culture of communication in the workplace, in both local and global contexts
- How companies ranging from multinational corporations such as Tyco to small businesses are utilizing Yammer to achieve business objectives
Rounding out the keynote sessions for the day, Greg Moran, SVP, CIO, IT Infrastructure & Operations of Nationwide talked about the company’s journey with enterprise social networking followed by Daniel Pink, who shared surprising insights into the science of motivation. Check out tweets from Greg’s keynote here:
Check out audience reaction in tweets from Daniel Pink’s keynote:
In addition to the mainstage keynotes, attendees also had the opportunity to join breakout sessions across four different tracks. Leaders from Teekay, Red Robin, Texas Health Resources, Baker Hostetler, Altimeter Group, and more discussed topics ranging from product and platform deep dives to the changing culture of leadership and Yammer successes. Highlights from the breakout sessions include:
Meanwhile, the Expo was abuzz with activity throughout the day as attendees visited booths from 12 of our sponsors, including recently announced partners Smarsh, Worksimple, Kudos, and Okta. The day concluded with the presentation of Customer Awards by David Obrand, Yammer’s Chief Customer Officer. Afterwards, attendees had the chance to celebrate and mingle at a gala held at City View at METREON. Partygoers enjoyed food and drinks inspired by different San Francisco neighborhoods while local band Tainted Love played hit songs from the 1980s.
Day 2 – Tuesday
After Day 1, we didn’t think YamJam ‘12 could get any more exciting. Luckily, Wednesday’s amazing lineup of keynotes and breakout sessions proved otherwise. Yammer Co-Founder and CTO Adam Pisoni opened Day 2 with a keynote on how companies are using enterprise social networks to transform into more agile and innovative companies. As Adam pointed out, when systems fail to let companies do what they need to do, it hurts business. But now, with the social revolution, our tools and technologies have finally caught up with how we should work. During the keynote, Adam also invited Red Robin CIO Chris Laping onstage to share his company’s transformation story. Chris explained that many companies are still tackling the same communication, collaboration, and innovation problems they faced 40 years ago, but Yammer is helping Red Robin tackle these problems with creative solutions.
Check out the audience reactions in the tweet stream:
Following Adam’s keynote, special guest Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, delivered an inspiring keynote about not only overcoming the barriers you face in life, but actually using those barriers to your advantage.
Several members of the audience were moved to tears by Erik’s words. Here’s what attendees had to say about Erik’s keynote:
Attendees had another opportunity to meet with Yammer team members and learn more about the product in the expo hall on Day 2. Our partners, including Badgeville, Bevalley, Mindjet, and Kanyoya, were again on hand to demo integrations. Worksimple’s booth was a hit in particular after word spread that they were handing out buttons featuring a cartoon portrait of Yammer founder David Sacks! The remainder of YamJam’s 21 breakout sessions took place on Wednesday afternoon when conference attendees heard from customers such as Modcloth, Verizon Wireless, Shell, the Mayo Clinic, Southern Company, and others. The main themes of the day included:
Although many of us wished YamJam ‘12 would go on a little longer, YamJam ‘12 officially wrapped shortly after Wednesday’s breakout sessions. A huge thanks to everyone who attended, especially our speakers, customers, and partners who helped us make the event such a success. What did you think about YamJam ‘12? Take this quick surveyto share your thoughts! Check out pictures from both days of YamJam ‘12: