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Microsoft Speeds Yammer Access on Office 365

Microsoft has simplified the Yammer log-in process for users of its Office 365 solutions.

Users can now access their Yammer accounts through Office 365 without having to sign into Yammer specifically, according to Microsoft's announcement on Tuesday. The feature is enabled through a "user mapping" technology that works automatically between Yammer and Office 365. Organizations with Office 365 accounts can currently use this new feature, although it requires setup first by IT pros.

In order for user mapping to work, organizations need to have selected Yammer as their default enterprise social networking tool, instead of the SharePoint Newsfeed. It only works for users that have valid organizational e-mail addresses. The settings to opt for Yammer are located in Office 365's SharePoint admin center under "enterprise social collaboration."

Organizations that already have Yammer as the default social networking tool have to reapply that choice in the SharePoint admin center to get the new user mapping feature to start working. The process takes about an hour to kick off.

Microsoft will eventually push down this user mapping Office 365 update to organizations that selected Yammer as their primary social networking app. It plans to send notices to that effect sometime in April.

The new Office 365 user mapping feature isn't the same thing as Microsoft's single sign-on feature for Yammer, which is a separate function. The mapping feature just works with Office 365, so trying to access a Yammer app outside Office 365 requires logging into it first.

The user mapping solution is just for Office 365, which is Microsoft's cloud-based portfolio of solutions. Organizations using premises-based SharePoint Server 2013 product aren't getting this user mapping update. To get a similar effect, organizations using SharePoint Server 2013 need to use a combination of Yammer Active Directory Sync and single sign-on technologies, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Microsoft bought Yammer in July 2012. Since that time, company executives have stressed that Microsoft favors Yammer for its enterprise social networking developments going forward. Organizations that don't want to use a hosted social networking solution such as Yammer still can use the SharePoint Newsfeed for that purpose.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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