July 13, 2014 Leave a comment
Typically, access to Yammer comes from the account associated with your company’s Yammer instance. This is your company email address and the domain of that email address is the name of your Yammer Home Network. For example, sign in with email@example.com and your home network is mycompany.com. You can see this in the url as it will be https://www.yammer.com/mycompany.com/.
In addition to the home network, you can participate in external networks. An external network provides the same features as your home network but includes people outside the mycompany.com domain. These people can be invited by someone from the home network, or if the network is public, a user can request access.
There are number of great reasons to participate in external networks. Microsoft and Yammer Teams use these heavily to collect feedback, provide support and share information with the community. External networks are also a great way to connect with your customers by creating your company’s own separate external networks for project engagements or events like tradeshows and conferences. In general, any use case where you want to securely collaborate with people outside of your corporate home network is a good reason to explore external networks.
Memberships to external networks are tied to the account used to request access to the external networks. In the typical case, this is your home network account. You are logged into the mycompany.com home network and then request access to an external network. The approval is associated with your mycompany.com account and this works well.
A problem arises if you should leave mycompany.com. As part of mycompany’s processes, mycompany.com disables your domain account if they configured Directory Synchronization or if not configured, someone manually starts the disable process of your account in Yammer. You now no longer have access to the home network, mycompany.com. You also no longer have access to any external networks associated with that account.
You can see this by accessing an external network directly through the url. I recently changed companies and my previous account had access to the Office 365 IT Pro Network. The direct url to this network is https://www.yammer.com/itpronetwork/. Accessing this url with my previous company Yammer credentials gives the following notice.
So as a Yammer user, what can you do. What I am now doing when needing access to external networks is to make the request using my personal email which just happens to be associated with my Microsoft Account, although any personal email account seems to work. This is a good fix for those who are at a company where they are not using Yammer (at least not yet!). I also would only use this for access to external networks that go beyond employment at any one company, like the Office 365 Technical Network or Yammer Developer Network.
There is a downside to this if you are using your corporate account to access your company’s Yammer network. You will need to logout/login to switch between corporate and external networks as the browser can only hold one yammer connection at a time. You can keep multiple yammer connections open by using normal and private mode for the same browser or by connecting with two different browser applications, like IE and Chrome.
What I would like to see is a change to the yammer account where it is based on my Microsoft Account so it provides access to external networks I have associated with it regardless of where I am employed. This new yammer account also has one home network, which is tied to my corporate account. This way if I change companies, external access remains but the home network is blocked until I enter a new set of credentials for the home network. Just a thought.
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