Yammer originally set out to improve companies’ and organizations’ internal communication. We wanted to make it easier for employees to collaborate and share ideas and knowledge. As the leading “enterprise micro-blogging” product on the market today, Yammer remains committed to improving internal communication.
At the same time, many companies and organizations that are benefitting from the use of Yammer for internal communication have asked us if they can additionally utilize Yammer to collaborate with their external business network, including customers, partners, suppliers, and vendors. Until now, this wasn’t possible as Yammer required all members of a Yammer network to share a common, work email domain.
To address this need, we’re now pleased to announce the availability of Yammer Communities. This new product feature enables companies and organizations to create a new type of Yammer network that is not restricted to a common email domain. Yammer Communities provide companies with a secure, private, and separate space to communicate with their external business contacts. Membership, messages and other data in the Community are completely separate from membership, messages and data in the parent company network; users must toggle between networks to access these separate Community networks. As before, access to company networks remains restricted to employees with a verified company email address.
Just as Yammer offers a comprehensive set of features for the Admins of email domain-based networks, Yammer provides the Admins of a Community with robust functionality to control who can join the Community, which features are enabled, what the design of the Community looks like, whether it uses the Following model, which notifications are enabled by default, and many other areas. Additionally, we have increased the controls available to the Admins of email domain-based Yammer networks, allowing company Admins to determine whether Communities appear at all in their networks, which Communities appear, and who can create them. The Admins of companies that do not want to participate in Communities can disable the feature.
Communities follow our current “freemium” pricing model, under which organizations enjoy a basic level of service for free (including the ability of admins to create Communities and manage members) and can upgrade to our premium tools for additional features. As always, discounts are available for large organizations; if you have questions, please contact sales.