Creating Your Own Internal Practice Social Network With Yammer.com

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ROCKVILLE, Md.—There are new tools that are changing the way companies communicate internally, referred to as “Enterprise Social Networks.” Enterprise social networks offer private and secure social network you can set up for sharing within your company.

We are using Yammer.com in our practice. Yammer is designed for functionality like other popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, but its backbone is enterprise-grade software structured to meet and drive business objectives.

Yammer enables users to communicate, collaborate, and share more easily and efficiently. Yammer reduces the need for meetings, increases communication across silos, highlights pockets of expertise and connects remote workers.

 Alan Glazier, OD

With Yammer you can microblog privately within your organization, holding conversations, collaborating in real-time with co-workers on site and around the globe. You can direct message (DM) individual or a select group of co-workers, hiding the conversation from the rest of the network. Yammer enables you to share documents throughout the company or join teams that are set up on Yammer in order to collaborate. You can even set up your yammer account to collaborate with partners outside of your network, with settings that enable you to control what part of your network they can participate in and what they can’t. Yammer even has iPhone, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile applications, so you can take your office conversations with you to wherever you are working.

Some of Yammer’s other features include:

  • Company Directory – Use Yammer to connect with employees in other departments.
  • Knowledge Base – Search your organized knowledge base, each conversation is archived and
    fully searchable.
  • Administrative Tools – Keep your Yammer network running smoothly with a suite of admin features built to increase control.
  • Security – Message privately and securely in the cloud.
  • Topics – Tag content and messages in your network to make content easy to organize and discover.
  • Applications – Install Yammer and third-party applications to increase the functionality of your network.

In our office, Yammer is quickly replacing email as a means of internal communications. My young staff loves its Facebook-like qualities, and I love the fact that I can check in on the conversations at my office when I am out.

For example, let's say the office manager gets a call regarding a patient issue that the ophthalmic tech needs to address. They will Yam it to them, a conversation will ensue, the solution to the issue will come to light and the tech will communicate to the office manager via Yammer on implemenation of the issue and report patient satisfaction. Also, the front desk communicates with the back office rather than buzzing them and requiring someone to pick up the phone, specifically on issues that don't require immediate attention.

It is also helpful to have a rolling record of action items that my office manager can request, review and ensure the appropriate actions were taken in a timely and efficient manner. I really appreciate the low cost. BasicbYammer functions are available for free, and more sophisticated options cost $5 per employee per month—very affordable for a small to midsized business in our industry. 

—Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO


Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO is the founder/CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Md. A search and social optimization consultant, he is now a regular contributor to CLICK and also writes a regular blog for SightNation.com. Glazier is at aglazier@youreyesite.com and his regular posts can be found via his Twitter handle: @EyeInfo, his blog: eyeinfo.wordpress.com and his website: YourEyeSite.com.