Part of my role as social business evangelist I look at tooling that is available in the market and discuss the pros and cons of those solutions versus what IBM has to offer with IBM SmartCloud Connections. In a discussion with a business partner who implements both Office 356 and SmartCloud offering, we exchanged some good arguments. From that discussion I came up with some tough questions your should ask (and answer) yourself before moving on with Microsoft Office 365:
1. Is Microsoft putting its eggs in the Yammer basket? Will Yammer go away?
- No new Yammer function have been implemented since the last 12 months
- Even Yammer functions have been taken away like Yammer Events.
- There is no clear roadmap for Yammer functionality, yet there is one for SharePoint
2. Are Office 365 and Yammer one offering?
- Integration after two years is still limited (see my previous blog post)
- Microsoft Office Delve is there to solve the search issues SharePoint has. Well oops, Office Delve does not search Yammer files. Roadmap states that Lync and Yammer will be added to the search, it does not state Yammer Files.
- Still two news feeds, multiple mobile apps to follow
3. Do your employees expect a good mobile user interface?
- To work with Office365/Yammer you need 7 different mobile Apps (meaning 7 times a login action) and a lot of places to store files and uses the mobile OS browser.
- No integration of collaboration options Yammer and SharePoint, No good search, and a confused user (where to share what/ where to collaborate).
- Mobile collaboration looks more as an after thought. See this Yammer Mobile video. It is all about conversation, not collaboration. And the mobile app for SharePoint 365 is not delivering a good social mobile interface either, as you can see in the second part of this video.
4. Is Social collaboration only about documents and conversation?
- Search with Office Delve is focussing on documents (SharePoint) and conversations (Yammer). In the demo on the Office Blogs entries in Delve app were Office files and video. No mention about wiki, blog, profiles.
- No tagging of content/profiles: Tagging is glue to find information. e.g Tagging of profiles allows users to be found based on tagging. Expertise finding is not done by searching by name.
5. Do your users want to receive more email?
- SharePoint sends emails for everything to notify users.
- Yammer sends newsletters per network. If a user is member of 20 communities/networks = 20 emails. So it is notifications galore! Just to compare: I am part of more that 120 communities with IBM, I get only 1 newsletter.
SharePoint/Yammer might look like an obvious choice, but it is not the best choice for your company for social (mobile) collaboration.
Looking at the facts it is not the best integrated collaboration platform. So take a moment and look what value IBM SmartCloud Connections can offer on top of your existing collaboration infrastructure. Or even better take a test drive with a free trial account.
If you have any questions regarding IBM SmartCloud Connections just let me know.