A tribute to the best Customer Success Management team…

The past 72 hours have been a little difficult for me to process.  Some of the smartest, most interesting and high impact people I have had the pleasure to work with were all let go.  Late last week Microsoft disbanded it’s Office 365 (nee Yammer) Customer Success Management team.

Whilst I don’t want to dwell on the reasons why – because to be honest having worked for Microsoft myself in a previous life I am sure it is a complex issue with many different perspectives… what I do want to do is highlight some of the incredible conversations that I had the pleasure of participating in with a number of the Yammer Customer Success Management team over the past couple of years.

Unfortunately I couldn’t record them all… well fortunately for some like my first drunken night with Steve Hopkins and Angus Florance in Sydney when they were training me to become a Yammer Certified Community Manager.  If you have been listening for a while, you will know that CSMs have appeared numerous times on the podcast.  Last week Luke was about knowledge management using Yammer – or mid last year Mark and Ferro who helped us navigate the red dot buster exercise.

For today’s tribute, I have gone back into the vault a little further and picked a few of my favourite (early) Yaminade CSM conversations .  First we look back at the conversation with Stefani Butler… then listen to Steven Piotrowski.

To each and every one of the CSMs around the world – I want to thank you personally for the impact your work has had on me, my customers, and the community.  It is and will always be greatly appreciated!  PW


Capturing knowledge using Yammer with Luke Grange from Microsoft

There is a lot of “knowledge gold” walking around the office in the minds of your employees… but how can you effectively discover, organise and codify that information into valuable intellectual or knowledge capital for your organisation?  In this episode we chat to Luke Grange from Microsoft.  He shares with us some insight into some of the conversations he is having with customers about using Yammer to help create corporate cultures where knowledge is freely shared and curated in a way that makes a positive difference.

Links and resources from the episode:

Thanks for listening!  Remember to subscribe to The Yaminade on iTunes or grab the feed for your favourite podcast player!


*full disclosure – we use Amazon Affiliate Links to build up enough Amazon Gift Cards to buy better recording equipment for the podcast – like the mic boom and pop filter used to record the podcast intro

Adopt and Embrace Yammer

Hi Yaminade listeners!

First of all – thank you so much for your support and continued listenership over the past year or so.  I really appreciate it!

I just wanted to post a quick update as to why the podcast has not had its regular cadence over the past couple of months.  There have been some exciting developments occurring which ultimately will ensure that you get even more value from your favourite Yammer podcast!

I am proud to share with you that I have left the security of my full time job with a Microsoft Partner to start a new venture – Adopt & Embrace – a company completely focused on helping you and your peers to get more value out of Yammer, Office 365 and the rest of Microsoft’s productivity technology suite.

Adopt & Embrace is focused on helping Microsoft Partners and their customers to increase active usage and adoption of collaborative technologies like Yammer — and the rest of the Office 365 platform.  Our philosophy is that your technology investment can’t realise its full potential until your people can get the most out of it.  This isn’t just about training, but a comprehensive adoption approach.  This includes requirements analysis, business case development, adoption planning, organisational change management, training, and optimisation.

If your organisation is looking to do it yourself and needs some guidance, maybe want to outsource to someone to get an outcome, or somewhere in between, we can work with your Microsoft Partner to help you achieve your business (not just technology) goals.

Thanks for your support and looking forward to producing more valuable content that you can action in your business over the coming months!


Paul W



Social analytics and insights for Yammer with Dean Swann and John White from UnlimitedViz

If you have dabbled in Yammer Community Management for more than 2 seconds, you would have thought about, have been asked a question about how to measure the “success” / “ROI” / “Engagement” / “Reach” / <Insert vanity metric here> of your enterprise social network.  In this episode we are joined by Dean Swann (@sdeanswann) and John White (@diverdown1964) from UnlimitedViz — the company behind tyGraph.  We geek out about business intelligence and your Yammer network – not only why and how we can measure activity, but more importantly what actions we can take as community managers leveraging data to create more engaged communities.

Then we discuss the shift in analytics away from the built in graphs that were available in the original product, towards Yammer Analytics powered by PowerBI.

Richard Harbridge

Episode 18: Yammer, SharePoint, Office365 Groups, Skype for Business or Email? What tool to use when with Richard Harbridge from 2toLead

With so many technology options in your organisation that enable people to collaborate or work better together, it is sometimes difficult to understand what tools you should be using, let alone have a way of articulating what to use to your peers.  In this episode of The Yaminade we talk to Richard Harbridge from 2toLead.  In this hour long chat we riff about adoption and usage of different collaborative features of Office365 — but instead of talking about “Yammer adoption” or “SharePoint adoption” — we look at how you can take a business process view to realise better results for your organisation.

Links to all the things we talk about during the episode are below:

Workshop in Perth, Western Australia to help organisation bust the compaints of the redest of red dots

Episode 17: Inside the Red Dot Buster exercise at the Enterprise Social/Yammer/Office 365 master class

Ever wanted to have the perfect response to those red dots in the hall when they say “I don’t have time for Yammer”?  In this episode of The Yaminade we join an Enterprise Social / Yammer / Office365 Master Class held recently in Perth, Western Australia.  Instead of an interview, you will hear the 15 participants in the workshop talk about their solutions to four statements you regularly hear from Red Dots.

  1. Enterprise Social is just another place to go and I don’t have time
  2. I’m super efficient working in the way I do, I’m not going to change
  3. My files are extremely sensitive, the only place I trust having them is on my laptop
  4. I’m not doing video conferencing!  The phone works just fine for me

In this workshop we had the pleasure of hosting a number of people from both the commercial and private sectors.  You will hear throughout the episode a number of friends of the podcast… including Rhiannan Howell (who we met in Episode 2), as well as Ferro Aryananda and Luke Grange (@lukegrange) – Customer Success Managers from Microsoft.

Thank you for the support of our sponsors tyGraph who have helped us cover the cost of bringing this podcast to you!  Support the organisations that support The Yaminade – and try tyGraph on your Yammer network today to surface metrics with meaning!

Amy Dolzine

Episode 16: Meetings, M&A activity & Merry Christmas with Amy Dolzine from Lubrizol

In March I had the great pleasure of speaking with Amy Dolzine (@amydolz) from Lubrizol – an organisation of over 8000 employees who build ingredients that appear in many of the products you use, drive, and live in every day.  In this episode she shares her Yammer journey over the past few years at Lubrizol, including some interesting use cases – specifically how Lubrizol used Yammer to streamline the onboarding of employees that joined the organisation through Merger and Acquisition activity.

There are lots of great stories in this episode – I hope you enjoy it!

Thank you for the support of our sponsors tyGraph who have helped us cover the cost of bringing this podcast to you!  Support the organisations that support The Yaminade – and try tyGraph on your Yammer network today to surface metrics with meaning!

Chris Slemp

Episode 15: Behind the scenes of the largest Yammer network in the world with Chris Slemp from Microsoft IT

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of speaking with Chris Slemp (@cslemp) – Mr Social from Microsoft’s own IT department – Microsoft IT.  Chris has been with Microsoft for over 15 yearse, and shared with me some war stories of how social collaboration started internally at Microsoft; how it changed when the company purchased Yammer, and what the future holds for internal social platforms.  In particular he talks about a number of interesting projects were they are looking to make the digital workplace / intranet experience as relevant as possible to individuals in the organisation – using metrics, data and analytics to make it happen.

During the episode we talk Chris’s Medium post “Which Tool When, v3.0” which I highly recommend you take the time to read.

For those of you attending the Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago make sure you get along to his sessions – The “Microsoft Enterprise Social Journey:  How We Did It“, and “Is Your Culture on a Collision Course with Open Collaboration?”

Thank you for the support of our sponsors tyGraph who have helped us cover the cost of bringing this podcast to you!  Support the organisations that support The Yaminade – and try tyGraph on your Yammer network today to surface metrics with meaning!

Melanie Hohertz

Episode 14: Recognition Programs, Strategic Planning and Yammer Analytics with Melanie Hohertz from Cargill

Recently I had the great pleasure of talking on Skype with Melanie Hohertz (@Hohertz3)- the Online Communication Lead at Cargill.  In this episode of The Yaminade – the podcast dedicated to building bigger and better engaged communities on Yammer – we talk about how the Yammer network at Cargill has developed over the past two years.  In particular we discuss things like recognition programs using enterprise social, facilitating open and transparent strategic planning workshops, culture, and geek out a little bit regarding Yammer network metrics.

To be honest we could have talked for hours… and we had been talking for about 15 minutes when this episode starts.  It is a jam packed 49 minutes full of actionable insight you can apply to your own Yammer network today.

Thank you for the support of our sponsors tyGraph who have helped us cover the cost of bringing this podcast to you!  Support the organisations that support The Yaminade – and try tyGraph on your Yammer network today to surface metrics with meaning!

Scott Ward

Episode 12: Using a framework to guide your enterprise social efforts with Scott Ward from Digital Infusions

Ever wished there was a simple framework you could use to guide your tactics when building a community on a enterprise social tool like Yammer?  After conducting research at Sydney University into building communities on social media, Scott Ward (@wardsco) decided to build that framework – BITIL.

BITIL brings simplicity, structure and focus to social media undertakings that can be used to measure and assess the activity and quality of communities; build strategies and drive community engagement toward specific business objectives.

Built from years of experience, experimentation and research the BITIL Framework is founded on the five key elements and over two-hundred and seventy sub-indicators common to high performing social media communities.

Scott founded Digital Infusions in 2011, and now works with Governments and Large Corporates across Australia to help them unlock the value of Enterprise Social.

We recorded this conversation in a VERY noisy cafe whilst Scott was visiting Brisbane – apologies for the background noise.  Considering how noisy it was when our impromptu podcast recording occurred, it is a reasonably clear episode.