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Bridging internal and external silos in a connected enterprise

Recently I was involved in a project with the aim to support a M&A process. It was about thinking of traditional and innovative formats and means to help employees learn about the M&A process but also about new tools, especially Yammer, which had been in use for years at one of the companies.

As I was collecting thoughts and ideas of how to support the M&A process, I was also thinking about easy ways to provide interesting and relevant content in Yammer. We often underestimate people’s readiness to actively use new tools if those are not mandatory. This is especially true for social tools. In the beginning most people will simply observe and lurk before actively engaging with content and colleagues. It’s easier if content can spark thoughts and discussion instead of trying to convince people to post their questions or what they are currently working on on the company’s collaboration platform.

This initially triggered the idea to automatically bring in external content from the company’s own external blog into Yammer. Thanks to services like Zapier and IFTTT (If this then that) and their integration with many SaaS based solutions, including Yammer, this is usually a piece of cake. No IT involvement needed.

But why stop at posting the content from the company’s own external blog in the home feed on Yammer? ¬†Admins or community managers could set up feeds for their groups to automatically pull in content from blogs relevant to their purpose. This builds current awareness among group members and could potentially spark interesting conversations.

There are also some potentially interesting scenarios when thinking about pulling in conversations from Twitter. These days many companies are already using social media engagement tools to monitor and respond to conversations in external channels. Some of them even allow to pull in employees that are not part of the monitoring team in case relevant questions come up. If a company doesn’t use these kind of tools or use one that doesn’t offer this kind of functionality, you could pull mentions and questions from customers on Twitter into a Customer Service group in Yammer and discuss the right response there before posting it on Twitter.

Are you using applications like Zapier or IFTTT for your enterprise social network or other applications? Or have you developed other bots to automate mundane processes?