Thursday, 20 November 2008

Bringing the noise inside

I've been using twitter for a while now (twitter.com/adambird) and am increasingly finding it an indispensable view on the world. The constant stream of information and notable happenings, as well as the distinctly un-notable, give me a finger on the Internet pulse.

It can also be very useful. As I'm writing this I've also been trying to contact a potential supplier and had a bad experience. I whinged about it on twitter, twhinged?, and one of their team were listening and reached out to me.

Yammer logo

Enter Yammer, a twitter clone for companies. You can have the same twitter style stream but only accessible to people in your company. I signed up a few weeks ago and 'convinced' the rest of the company to as well. I thought it might be worth sharing some of our experiences.

Not everyone is comfortable with noise

Twitter is noisy, you have to be able to filter and ignore what's going on. It's certainly not something that comes naturally to most people. It took time for people to get used to letting it wash over them rather than religiously reading every post.

It's a new way of consuming information

Even in a technology company like ours has a mix of people. Early adopters like jbjon will wade into pretty much anything new and a bit flaky to give it a go. Most people however take time to find their feet and get used to a new tool.

The value isn't immediately obvious to most people

Having used twitter for a while I could see a company stream being of real value. However, for many it was just another thing that management, ie me, were foisting upon them that would get in the way of them doing their jobs.

What's interesting is how a few key events can demonstrate the value to people. The key is to wait for these events to draw people in rather than try and force the issue.

Yammer makes a difference

A good example of this was our recent launch in Germany.

As information about the first leads, support cases and ultimately new customers, filtered through the ether there was a palpable ripple through the organisation. This real-time view of our new venture made everyone feel part of it's success.

So for me it's been a real success. The whole team can tap into the pulse and their part of the living, breathing entity that is Esendex.

2 comments:

The Red Rocket said...

I'd been tipped off about Yamme by 'some PR agency' and thought about taking a look.

It's an interesting idea, although past experience tells me getting people to do new things is always very difficult.

I guess it coming from the top helps, but as with any technology roll-out the culture is as important as the techy side.

Adam said...

It is difficult getting adoption, even if you're the boss.

The crux is people understanding how easy it is and seeing a value in doing it.

We probably shouldn't have tried a big-bang from the start. Why not find a few like-minded individuals and start small.

All it takes is for someone to see the stream on one of the converted's screen and the virus can start spreading.