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Comparing Microsoft Teams and Yammer – What’s best ‘Inner Loop’ and ‘Outer Loop’ Communications?

Office 365 offers a variety of different communication channels, far too many for a single blog post. So, let’s focus on Microsoft Teams (Teams) and Yammer: highlighting their differences and when best to utilise them.


Teams is Microsoft’s version of an ‘Inner Loop’ communication platform. ‘Inner Loop’ referring to a group of people that regularly work together.  A project team involving a project manager and architects and developers will find Teams very beneficial. With separate channels and quick communication between colleagues, Teams is an excellent product. Teams provides the capability for short, sharp communication – as opposed to Email which generally requires more effort when a simple sentence will do. That is what is so brilliant about Microsoft Teams: it is designed for quick and informal communication without the need for a meeting and everyone can work remotely.

Teams is designed to be used by a small, tight-knit group of people because of this ‘Inner Loop’ mentality: Teams really excels when used by people within the same department, or who are working on a project together.  It’s great to ask quick questions, give an update or share info. You may be looking for the location of the document to review: Going to be late in the office and want to relay a message: Planning a coffee run and wanting to know everyone’s order (btw mine’s a Latte, no sugar!). Teams is great at all of these things. Instant and to the point…

Because of the audience Teams is designed for, the expected speed of communication is fast. Really fast. To make that a bit more clear: the ability to share documents and files is extremely simple. Add this to the fact that Teams allows it’s users to connect to OneNote, Outlook and even Yammer and Teams starts to look especially versatile.

So, to summarise: Teams is a more informal form of communication. It is more personal and more conversational. It is better suited for smaller teams of colleagues – because they are likely to know how each other works, and this relationship goes hand-in-hand with Teams.


Yammer differs in the use case of Teams, it is more of an organisation-wide product. It is better suited to keeping an employee involved and up-to-date with different departments within an organisation. If Teams is for the ‘Inner Loop’, then Yammer is for the ‘Outer Loop’.

Yammer can function very well with large groups. One person attempting to solve a problem can utilise the network of colleagues within an organisation on Yammer, and might receive help from someone on the other side of the world once the post is read, rather than the instant use case employed by Teams. The wealth of knowledge that Yammer has the potential to deliver cannot be overstated. Additionally, a large group of diverse people can engage and discuss ideas and these encounters may help to improve the company as a whole. Yammer can increase an employee’s access to different parts of a company, it can make it feel smaller and bring others closer together. This could have a great effect of increasing an individual’s identity within the company.

Sticking with the theme of contacting people across the world: Yammer can be used to keep an entire company up to date with noteworthy endeavors. This allows colleagues within a company to network with people in remote locations, which previously might not have been possible. It also can open up discussions to more than just a specific department by extending the audience.

Unless a group has been made private, all of the content on Yammer is viewable; even if a user isn’t a member of the group, they can still view content and add a comment or a question.  Because of this ability to talk to people that aren’t necessarily dependent on each other, Yammer is a more relaxed form of communication. Quick responses should not be expected.

A niche for both in your organisation?

Given their respective niches the products would work together exceptionally well and find a complementary rather than competitive place in any organisation. Trying to pick between them is nigh impossible as they are designed for very different purposes. Both Teams and Yammer are accessible within the Office 365 environment, so can be utilised well together. Teams, for example, has an ability to connect to Yammer. There are a variety of settings that can be configured; one of the more important settings is ‘notifications’.  A user can connect a Yammer group to their Teams channel, then decide when they will be notified in Teams of something happening in Yammer.

In conclusion Yammer and Teams serve such different purposes. Teams is for smaller groups of close colleagues who work together often regularly on the same project; Teams is for the ‘Inner Loop’. Yammer is well suited to a wider audience of people who don’t necessarily know each other or often work together, but should still be able to collaborate. Yammer is for the ‘Outer Loop’.

When used together, colleagues become more collaborative, and that is something both applications strive for. With extensive experience involving many collaboration migrations, the T-Systems’ Vamosa team can help your journey into Office 365.

Take the next step!

A division of T-Systems, Vamosa Technologies specializes in content migration to cloud, on-premises and hybrid cloud systems. With two decades of customer migrations, Vamosa Technologies has experience with a comprehensive range of leading enterprise content management systems. To learn more about services from Vamosa Technologies, please read our case studies and whitepapers or contact us.

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