It was announced in Microsoft’s 60th newsletter to Office 365 Admins that on the 26th September 2018 all Yammer subsidiary networks associated with one Office 365 tenant would be automatically merged into a single network. Since then Microsoft have moved the date back to the 16th October whilst also confirming that all data will be lost from the merged networks, with only the chosen, primary network retaining its data.
This has left some Yammer admins scrabbling for a solution before the impeding deadline. Fortunately, Microsoft have provided a great guide detailing how to best prepare for the update to ensure no data is lost, something we would recommend all admins review even if they have already started taking steps to manage their migration to a single network.
There are some key areas from Microsoft’s guide that we feel could warrant further consideration.
This is the big one. Once the merge occurs they’ll be no way of recovering lost data and it’s this pressure of losing all historical data that has companies panicked. Recognising this concern, Alex Gibson is our migration lead at WM Reply and his team have developed an automated migration tool to aid businesses carrying their data over to a single network.
“Many of our clients have been concerned about the time and cost of migrating their data over but recognise this is something they have to do. To help support our clients, WM have developed an automated migration tool. Alongside the tool, WM are able to deliver a fully managed migration and engagement strategy which can encompass data cleansing, overall Yammer adoption and a plan for ongoing engagement.
Whilst employees will still be using Yammer after the update, they will now have a single location to go to rather than multiple networks. Manager of WM Reply’s Change and Adoption division, Baxter Willis has witnessed first-hand how any change opens the possibility for employee engagement to fall.
“Any kind of change presents the opportunity for people to stop using a system and if key stakeholders fall into this group, the overall adoption of the new network can suffer".
We always recommend our clients put in place a clear plan on how they are going to make their employees aware of a change, include them in the process where appropriate but also monitor engagement going forward. Increased engagement at the initial launch of a new business system is not unusual as curiosity is high but ensuring you maintain momentum is critical for long term success”.
The deadline for having a solution in place is the 15th October but depending on the size and number of networks being merged, time might not be on your side. Alex has been telling his clients the 16th July is the real deadline they should be working to.
“Although the deadline has been pushed back from the 26th September to the 16th October, companies really need to look at having a solution in place well before then. Ensuring that not only is everything migrated but that it is also catalogued in the most efficient, user friendly way can take considerable time and effort. We’re recommending our clients start early with the process treating 16th July as a realistic target date to have started migration. Later migrations are possible, but businesses run the risk of incurring increased costs as teams work overtime to ensure the deadline is met”.
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