AplusA is a market research company, specialized in the health field. It has many sites in France and abroad. AplusA operates worldwide, interviewing caregivers and patients to better understand how medicines are used and what the market expects. To unite all of its employees, AplusA chose Microsoft Yammer. Christine Maï, vice president, sales and marketing, agreed to share her feedback on the solution, along with Ludivine Mege, HR assistant, and Mélissa Yilmaz, content manager, both Yammer users.

What initiatives are in place at AplusA to develop the use of Yammer?

Ludivine Mege explains: "All our employees have Yammer via their Microsoft account from day one. They just have to log in once. We had to sell Yammer a lot before, and we still do, but the usage has really changed since the COVID crisis. Since we set up the groups and new projects, using only Yammer and not other communication channels, employees are starting to get more involved. In the HR department, we talk to new employees about Yammer, encourage them to sign up, look at the different groups, communicate with others and share. Yammer is part of our onboarding plan. We have set up a number of groups to encourage interaction. For example, we have created a group, inspired by "Leboncoin", called "My AplusA store". The aim is to allow people to sell, give or exchange objects or all types of services, in confidence, since everything happens between AplusA employees.

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Mélissa Yilmaz adds: "One thing that worked well was to poll employees using the "poll" feature. In the marketing department, we asked them to choose between 3 greeting cards and we had about 60 votes to elect the 2021 card. In addition, we created an "off" group, because employees were sharing more and more non-work related content. We can share music, books we like, etc. Our goal is really to create a community within Yammer for all our employees, regardless of where they work."

How have you integrated Microsoft Yammer into your daily life?

The HR assistant explains: "I use Yammer very frequently, at least twice a week. I am one of the Yammer administrators, but I am also an administrator for an HR group called "HR News". It brings all the essential HR information of the company to the employees. We're in the process of implementing a huge employer branding project. We plan to use Yammer for this project in particular. In addition, in the HR department and within the HR News group, we are organizing internal contests. With the "compliment" feature, one of my favorites, we can congratulate the winners and highlight them. At AplusA, we use a lot of the classic features, such as the "like" feature. It's really nice."

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As for the content manager, she says: "I'm more of a reader than an administrator. I log on to Yammer once a week. It can be Monday morning when I check my email, or Friday night before I log off. Sometimes I log in from the mobile app when I'm at home. I especially like the communities in Yammer because I can pin them to escalate information or quickly find groups that are relevant to me, so I don't miss any information."

What is your opinion on Microsoft Yammer?

"We are a multi-location company with employees in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Paris, Lyon and Bucharest. Yammer is the breadcrumb trail between all these teams. It is a space for exchange and communication. Our employees have many options for using it freely, creating discussion groups on topics that may or may not be work-related. The platform also has a more institutional part. Yammer allows us to access company news at any time, and to get to know our colleagues in other offices better. It's a friendly, pleasant and positive exchange zone. We are very happy with its use and functionality. It's true that convincing 100% of the teams to use it remains a challenge, as not everyone has this attraction for digital communication channels. However, Yammer is a very intuitive solution, a good tool that I would recommend to other organizations," says the vice president of AplusA.

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Ludivine Mege agrees: "I've already recommended Yammer to my classmates, for example. They had problems of cohesion in their companies (whether in large groups, start-ups or SMEs). Naturally, I told them about Yammer, advising them to create groups and communities and to animate them. This is the most important part. If you put your heart into this kind of project, if you make the communities in Yammer come alive, the results are very beneficial. For me, the new interface is fluid, intuitive, and very easy to use. You can easily communicate and share information by targeting a particular audience. It's very enjoyable."

Mélissa Yilmaz confirms this positive opinion: "Yammer is a good communication and sharing tool, a real internal networking tool. Some employees don't want to communicate with their colleagues via traditional social networks, such as Facebook or LinkedIn. Yammer allows them to share a spirit of collaboration, directly internally. It's a must-have for any company.

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