Not all people wear the same clothes. Neither do we all drive the same car. Or live in the same house. Uniformity has it advantages, but it also kills a bit of enthusiasm.
The same holds true for IT platforms. As a consumer, we choose what we like best: Apple, Microsoft, Android. I even wrote a blogpost about the cloud based tools I prefer. For some reason that I never understood, companies don’t follow the same approach. They prefer to pay for tools that are inferior to what consumers can use for free. Of course I get the reasoning: the purpose of corporate tools is not to let people be productive, but to ensure compliance to a command and control structure.
That brings us to the difference between Yammer and Sharepoint. Yammer is a social network for companies. But instead of top down, it is organised bottom-up. Last month, I created an account on the network and today there are hundreds of people on the network. There is however no conversation whatsoever, since the network is blocked by IT policies (understandable, since you can’t trust what you don’t know). Sharepoint on the other hand is a top-down organised model. The control is centralized, the structure follows the hierarchical organisation structure and access is only possible from within the company network.
So, this creates a dilemma: should I blog on Yammer or on Sharepoint? My posts on Yammer can be seen by anyone in the company and are read by 100+ people. There is however the risk that IT will consider this a “rogue” network and try to shut it down. On Sharepoint, however, I only have 4 readers at this moment (Hi there, thanks for reading!) and the people who want to read my posts can’t do so on their mobile phone. The chance that Sharepoint becomes a fun thing to hang out on is rather small (I do have experience with the platform in several other companies).
My solution is simple: I’ll copy each blog post that I write on Sharepoint to Yammer. This particular blog post will even be posted on my personal blog, where readership is many times higher than within Proximus. I’m very interested in what others have to say about this: How can social collaboration platforms help big organisations introduce a bottom-up culture?