At my current customer, we have a lot of domains and many of them have a free Yammer network.
We are rolling out Office 365 and want to consolidate all the networks that we have into one enterprise network.

With this wish we got two options, just consolidate all networks and tell the users that all the networks are consolidated into one network and that all the conversations are lost or you can try to find out for every network who uses it and create a backup of all the conversations before you consolidate.

The first option is good if you do not have any or just a few conversations in these Yammer networks. When you have more or even hundreds of messages your employees won’t be that happy if they lose all their conversations.

What can you do?

The first thing is to find out who uses these yammer networks, you can do that by sending out an email to all your employees asking for which Yammer network they use, but most likely you will not get the responses that you need.
The best thing to do is to get yourself an email address for each free Yammer network and check out what messages there are in this network and who uses it.

How can you do it?

You can easily add an alias to your user account and signup at the free Yammer network, this will give you reader access to this Yammer network and you can see what messages and groups there are. With this information, you can go to specific users and ask what they do with the network and if they need the conversations be saved.

This is one way, but the better way is to create a new user in Office 365 as a Cloud Account with the domain of the Yammer network you want to go into. When you create this new account make this a Global Admin of your tenant and give this user a Yammer Enterprise license.
When you have created this new user, wait about 5 to 10 minutes and sign in Office 365. Here you can click on the Yammer icon and you will be redirected and signed in the free Yammer network of that domain. Now you can also checkout all the messages and groups, but also export the data and see the private messages between people and posts in private groups if enabled.
To see these messages you need to go to “Network admin” and then to Content Mode. Here you can select “Private Content Mode”
That setting applies only to the individual network admin that enabled it.

Export the data

Now that you have admin access to the free Yammer network you can export all the data to have a backup of this network.
To create this network you need to go to “Network admin” a then Export data between two dates. When you want to export every message that was send from the beginning you need to find out when the network was created.
This can be found in the people directory. Here you see the “Joined On” column and when you sort this you find the person that joined as first, this is the network creation date.

Consolidate network

Now that you have access to the network, informed the users and created a backup you can consolidate this network with your Enterprise Yammer network.
To do this log in to your Enterprise Yammer network and go to “Network admin” and then “Network Migration”. Here you can follow the wizard and select the domain you want to consolidate.

Conclusion

There is no straightforward way to get into the free Yammer networks with a admin account, for every free network you need to create a new user or update the alias to primary. When you just have a few free networks, this is not that hard, but when your customer has a few hundred domains and most of them has a free Yammer network you got yourself some work to consolidate.

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