Teams vs Yammer – Comparing Microsoft’s Collaboration Apps

A simple guide on when to use Yammer, and when to use Teams

If you’ve found this guide, then you’re probably one of the many people in the Microsoft network wondering when to use Yammer, and when you should stick with Microsoft Teams. There have been several thought-leadership posts on this topic, including those from Microsoft experts, and the consensus is that the two tools are very similar. However, while Yammer acts more like a social intranet for the workplace, Microsoft Teams is more of the standard team collaboration tool we’ve come to expect from groups like Atlassian with Slack.


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According to a comment made by Ron Markezich, VP of Office 365 marketing on BusinessInsider.com, Microsoft had previously considered building Teams functionality into Yammer, but they worried that doing so would make the experience too cluttered. Instead, they felt that separating the two solutions into one bulletin-board style app, and one community hub was a better way to allow companies to choose the kind of collaboration solution that appeals best to them.

Microsoft Teams vs Yammer: The Team vs the Collaborative Group

Teams Logo

The first and most obvious difference between Microsoft Teams, and Yammer, is that one is intended for intimate team settings – while the other is intended to be a sort of announcement strategy for an entire business. As Kevin Crossman, the IT Manager of Juniper Networks states in his LinkedIn blog, both applications offer their own unique way of working.

Teams is the solution you turn to when you’re trying to bring together a few select experts to work on a project. You might have a channel that’s devoted to your marketing team, and another one specifically for sales.

Generally, “Teams” are smaller collaborative experiences made up of a handful of your best and brightest. They’re like a group conference, rather than an enterprise event. Microsoft says that it’s designed for the “inner circle”, and that’s certainly the intimate experience you get.

On the other hand, if Teams is like bringing your community together for a quick chat, Yammer is more like standing at the head of your enterprise with a megaphone. Where Teams is a constant stream of information, Yammer is about big, important announcements designed to include everyone – even those on the outer circle of your business.

Microsoft Teams vs Yammer: Connecting Employees

Yammer Logo

Now, you might be wondering why anyone would need something as broad as Yammer when Teams gives you everything you need to connect the disparate workers in your group. The simple answer is that Teams might be too intimate to give company messages the level of discoverability they need. Yammer allows organisations of any size to achieve the level of creativity and conversation you’d get from people discussing a business newsletter by the watercooler.

With Yammer, you don’t have to be in the same business silo or space to connect over something important. You can see all the trending topics about your organisation in the same location and respond to them as and when you like. On the other hand, Teams is a bit more of a “clique” experience.

Alternatively, carrying on from the “intimate” experience we mentioned above in Microsoft Teams, things are much more private. You can keep your content as close to your heart as you like, allowing only a select group of people into the fold. For one thing, you’ll need to be a Microsoft Teams member to access those messages, and that means committing to the group you’re given.

Microsoft Teams vs Yammer: Aligning your Teams

Ultimately, Teams and Yammer are two approaches to achieving the same outcome. Both applications want to give companies the chance to align groups from around the workforce with easily-accessible messaging and content. The difference is how they go about reaching their goals. While Yammer can give huge enterprises the benefit of keeping everyone in the loop – regardless of whether they’re a sales rep or an executive, Teams is about aligning individuals over specific products.

For any company, smaller teams required to work in a fast-paced, highly dynamic environment will probably see more benefits from Teams. On the other hand, if you simply want to convince the people in your organisation to engage with each other and give them access to useful information about the growth of your company, then Yammer is the tool for you.

Do Teams and Yammer Ever Overlap?

As different as both Yammer and Teams are intended to be – they’ve still got some similarities.

For one thing, both applications are made by the same company, so there’s a similar feel in the user interfaces. In fact, it might be a little difficult for some of your employees to tell them apart. At the same time, there are other overlaps too, in the form of @mentions, the ability to “like” posts, and the date stamps on messages. However, Yammer and Teams are far from one and the same.

Ultimately, both applications allow you to connect the people in your enterprise, but they do it in a different way. While one focuses on the benefits of those small, intimate groups that exist in the business space, the other gives companies a chance to get everyone involved in the conversation, no matter which department they come from.

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2 Comments

  1. tatum July 2, 2018
  2. Ross Haines October 19, 2018

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Rebekah Carter

Written by Rebekah Carter

Hi I'm Rebekah, I have an unwavering passion for the technology sector, and I regularly stay up to date with the latest in UC and Cloud