Announcing Microsoft Viva Engage

Published Jul 19 2022 08:00 AM 52.1K Views
Microsoft

Hybrid and remote work have made it difficult for people to feel connected to one another and to the mission of their organizationour relationships and sense of connection at work have shrunk. Leaders are tasked with delivering a reimagined employee experience that meets employees’ expectations while bringing a sense of community, connection, and inspiration to day-to-day work.  Our Work Trends Index shows that 43% of leaders believe that relationship-building is the greatest challenge of hybrid and remote work. Yet, building social capital is crucial for organizational success. Today at Microsoft Inspire, we announced Microsoft Viva Engage, the newest app in Microsoft Viva, designed to help people and teams to be their best, have a voice, and feel included in the workplace. Viva Engage gives leaders a new way to shape culture at their organizations by unlocking communication and engagement opportunities for everyone. Built on the foundation of Yammer, Viva Engage brings people together across the organization to connect with leaders and coworkers, find answers to questions, share their unique story, and find belonging at work.

 

Introducing Microsoft Viva Engage - YouTube 

 

Introducing Microsoft Viva Engage

Viva Engage is a social app for digital communities, conversations, and self-expression tools that builds on the existing capabilities of the Communities app for Teams and Microsoft 365 to connect employees and empower everybody to contribute and express themselves by meeting people where they are in Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365. And as an integral part of the Microsoft Viva suite, Viva Engage contributes to Viva Connections and Viva Topics and over time will extend community, conversation, and knowledge experiences into other areas of Viva.

 

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Microsoft Viva Engage offers new ways to connect, share, and find belonging at work.

 

For leaders, Viva Engage is a place to share news and strategy, model culture, speak with employees, and weigh in on conversations. Features like virtual events, pinned conversations, and announcements with notifications across Teams, Outlook, and Viva Connections.

For employees, Viva Engage enables people to build communities and professional networks, share their work and perspective, and find answers to their questions. Features like storyline and stories, Best Answers, @mentions, and topics help drive participation and build communities and relationships amongst coworkers.

 

https://youtu.be/r3h7d8QQghI

 

Express yourself with storyline and stories

Viva Engage introduces a new way to share your unique perspective at scale through your storyline. There are two ways to share to your storyline: posts and stories.

Create rich posts that include links, files, photos, and videos. These posts reach and engage followers and colleagues in Microsoft Viva Connections, Outlook, Teams, and Yammer. A feed of storyline posts from people you follow and recommended colleagues can be found in the new Storylines tab. 

 

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The Storylines tab in Viva Engage offers an AI-powered feed of storyline posts from your network.

 

You can also share stories - short videos or photos - that deliver a familiar, delightful way to catch up and stay connected with people you work with and interesting colleagues.

 

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You can create or upload a story to share a quick update, capture an experience, celebrate a milestone, or amplify existing content.

 

 

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Easily create and upload stories from web or mobile.

 

Stories land at the top of the storyline in a carousel. They also show up in popular Microsoft apps like Outlook, Teams, and Yammer for easy discoverability.

 

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The new storyline experience with a collection of stories showing in the carousel.

 

Join the discussion from anywhere

Viva Engage brings your communities to your fingertips – wherever you are and however you work. Install and pin Viva Engage to see it in web, desktop, and mobile versions of Microsoft Teams and start sharing immediately.

 

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Viva Engage is available within the Teams mobile apps for iOS and Android

 

Get ready for Viva Engage

Viva Engage is part of the Microsoft Viva suite for employee experience. Viva Engage will be available to all current Microsoft 365 commercial customers at no additional charge. Users must have a Yammer license to use the app. In late August, the Communities app for Teams will be rebranded Viva Engage. No action from admins is required. Also in late August, storyline will begin public preview. 

 

For additional information, check out this article.

 

 

 

36 Comments
Super Contributor

What happens with Yammer?

Frequent Contributor

@wroot my thoughts exactly.  

@Seth Patton does this mean Yammer is going to be being taken away from non-Viva customers?  

Occasional Contributor

Yammer is not going away.  Engage is just enhancing the experience, and the Communities app for Teams is being rebranded to Viva Engage.  

 

See this article:  Introducing Viva Engage - Microsoft Tech Community

Future of Yammer

Yammer is a key part of Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Viva and this change only impacts the Communities app for Teams & Outlook. The Yammer web experience and the native Yammer mobile apps will continue to be a part of Microsoft 365 SKUs and the same communities, storylines, and stories are made available through both Yammer and the new Viva Engage app. We are continuing to invest in Yammer and bring the powers of Yammer to Microsoft 365 and Viva.

How will Viva Engage and Yammer work together?

For nearly ten years, Yammer has been a leader in employee engagement, and now we are delivering these superpowers into the Microsoft Viva platform to empower people and teams to be their best, have a voice, and feel included in the workplace. We know communities, conversations, cross-company relationships, and personal expression are critical to any thriving culture and organization – and essential pieces of employee experience.

 

Viva Engage will continue to show the same network, home feed, and communities that you see today in Yammer. Any content created in Yammer.com or mobile – including community conversations, storyline posts, and stories – will be viewable in Viva Engage. Likewise, content created in Engage will show up in Yammer native experiences. Viva Engage will also continue respecting any custom branding done for the Communities app. To use Viva Engage an organization must be licensed for Yammer.

 

 

Frequent Contributor

@Patrick Drews I just read that too but I'm still confused about the business-logic behind this decision.  I'm not clear on the purpose of rebranding Yammer apps into Viva, unless the long-term goals are to (a) make Yammer a premium offering, and/or (b) abandon the Yammer brand name.

 

The features introduced today could/should have all just been updates to Yammer itself.  Bringing it into Viva is the first step of a larger and unclear goal by Microsoft. 

Microsoft

Current Microsoft 365 customers will continue to have access to Yammer and to Viva Engage. Everything you see in this announcement today will be available to Microsoft 365 customers at no additional cost. Perhaps the best way to think about this announcement is that Yammer is going to power the Viva Engage experience. Viva Engage is really an updated version of the Communities App in Teams and the beginnings of us bringing Yammer more closely to our Viva suite of products. 

Frequent Contributor

Thanks @Steve Nguyen - would it be accurate to say that "Viva Engage" will replace the name "Yammer' across all versions of the product? (web and mobile too)?

Microsoft

 It would not be accurate. There are no plans for Yammer web or mobile to be rebranded. Yammer will continue to be a core part of Microsoft 365 and power many of the experiences in Viva Engage. 

Microsoft

@atrain204 would it be accurate to say that "Viva Engage" will replace the name "Yammer' across all versions of the product? (web and mobile too)?

 

First, it's important for us to think about how we can add value to end users. End users don't spend a lot of time thinking about whether it's one product name or the other. Having said that, we have no immediate plans of changing anything because we have two constituents to serve. One constituent is a Microsoft 365 licensee. As mentioned above, nothing changes there. In fact, new capabilities like storyline and stories will be available and will continue to evolve this.

 

Our second constituent is the employee experience. Which is a whole new muscle for us and the brand that we've decided on as a company is Viva. We don't want to just slam the Yammer brand in there. So we are sort of doing this hybrid rebranding, if you will. Will it over time mean that at some point the Yammer name goes away and everything becomes Viva? We're open to that if it makes sense and we'd love your feedback as we evolve these feature sets over the next, say, 12 months and see what resonates with you best.

 

By the way, that's the amazing opportunity we have with you and our other customers where you can tell us what's better for you and your users. And we are very open to that. So for now, there are no plans today to entirely rebrand Yammer, but we also don't have any fixed mindset around that.

Occasional Contributor

Yammer is windows 10
Viva is windows 11

Lol

Windows 10 end of life you will know what happens. 

Down the road it is either you buy viva suite or you get the wheels of your car without steering and hear shift. 

This is how viva component works now. Eg viva learning 

Good night

Occasional Visitor

Good day.  I'd like to know if this will be enabled by default, and if so, how can we disable it for our organization, please?

Frequent Visitor

I believe it is more like, if your company buys the VIVA package, you will see the Viva engage pacakge which will run in parallel with Yammer. However, if your business just uses M365 and does not enable the Viva package ($) then you'll just get Yammer.  That free thing.

Microsoft

@Stephanie88 Viva Engage will be an automatic update for all users that have the Communities App in Teams already installed or pinned in Teams. Can you share why you would look to disable this?

Microsoft

@John Constant I think it might be useful to explain that Viva Engage IS Yammer. Therefore, Viva Engage is already included in all the current plans that Yammer is included in. Just to be clear, you DO NOT need to be licensed for Viva Premium to get all the Viva Engage capabilities we announced today. 

Senior Member

@Steve Nguyen - I categorically disagree with your statement "First, it's important for us to think about how we can add value to end users. End users don't spend a lot of time thinking about whether it's one product name or the other."  That may be the assumption from within MSFT, but the reality is that end users absolutely spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it is they're using, getting confused about what to use when (see the recent blog post - published by Microsoft - about the 3 different posters explaining when to use To Do, Planner, and Tasks).  You do need to clearly communicate exactly what one solution offers, what its touchpoints are, and where that overlaps other solutions. 
FWIW, I'm all for rebranding Yammer.  Look at all the other product line rebrands - there are no/few standalone products anymore; they fit under a Purview or Azure or D365 or M365 or Power umbrella.  All except Yammer.  
If this statement above is true: "Viva Engage will continue to show the same network, home feed, and communities that you see today in Yammer. Any content created in Yammer.com or mobile – including community conversations, storyline posts, and stories – will be viewable in Viva Engage. Likewise, content created in Engage will show up in Yammer native experiences. Viva Engage will also continue respecting any custom branding done for the Communities app. To use Viva Engage an organization must be licensed for Yammer." -- then it doesn't make sense to continue the Yammer brand.

Regular Visitor

@Kristi Robison  Well said. I am all in for changes, but user will get confused with name Yammer and Viva Insight. In email communications or chat some user may mention post as Viva Engagement Story and some refer as Yammer post.  If Microsoft rebrand/rename Yammer as Viva Engage, then it is easy to adopt, communicate and collaborate.

 

Occasional Visitor

Hi @Steve Nguyen,

 

Will there be a preview available to IT admins before replacing the communities app from Teams?

 

Regular Visitor

@Steve Nguyen Thanks for the explanation. I think the frustrating thing for us comms and adoption folk is that all of the product names are really hard to explain to end users and they absolutely do care about this. We took the decision to talk about Viva in terms of 'bringing everything into Teams' as Teams is fairly well understood, whereas if we mention Yammer they really don't understand why both apps exist and often aren't remotely open to the explanations around inner/outer loops and pace of conversations and not through lack of trying. 'Communities' made sense, as that was a good way of describing what Yammer enabled rather than what it was called. 

 

Leaders often challenge us 'if you want to add a comms channel, take another one away'  - we now potentially have to explain that no, it's not something new, it's still Yammer, and then they get frustrated and disengaged and we end up having to apologise for MSFT's branding decisions. 

 

To me, it would make sense to chuck everything under the Viva brand, so we had Viva Teams, Viva Engage, Viva Connections etc and got rid of all the other names as that would make it easier to communicate. If Engage is Yammer, then get rid of Yammer, but having the terms Viva Engage, Communities and Yammer hanging about is a recipe for more confusion, and all the while we're talking about what things are called we've got less airtime to talk about what they do, and that's a real shame because underneath it all you're delivering great stuff. 

Occasional Contributor

Hello Microsoft!
A significant observation on my part is, that there doesn't seem to be any mention about Externally networked communities - ie. letting external customers in - which is where we here have tried to stretch current Yammer to its limits. All the available information re: Viva Engage at the moment seems to be for internal organisational use only? 
It's a real shame if that aspect hasn't been recognised, ie. cross-community collaboration (ie. not only B2B, but the whole loop of C2B, B2C and C2C). The new Viva Engage UI/UX looks very good, and it's a shame that we here could be stuck on 'old-style' Yammer for our customer communities?


Senior Member

I agree with the other comments here that this is highly confusing, as evidenced by the contorted explanations for how it works. Surely it would be easier to just say Yammer is becoming Viva Engage and we are adding these new features. If Viva Engage is Yammer then why are two apps needed that do essentially the same thing? MS is terrible at this overall, constantly putting out new apps that duplicate functionality so its unclear what users should use and when. The confusion over Planner, To-Do and Outlook tasks is a case in point, why can't there just be a tool called Tasks that combines these together into one place? MS finally seem to be moving in that direction by depreciating outlook tasks and adding Planner tasks to ToDo but its taken years, don't make the same mistake with Yammer and Viva!

New Contributor

Can't find any information about when Engage will be available. Looked for it in O365, O356 Admin, and in Teams

Occasional Visitor

Will be Viva Engage a replacement for teams?

Occasional Contributor

@Steve Nguyen , like @Stephanie88  I too would like more info on disabling it as well. If you are looking at reasons, the main one is that we would need to look at it from an HR and policy perspective to ensure that we have proper governance in place. Currently we have Yammer turned off as it wasn't being used very much with in the company (5,000+ employees).

Microsoft

@Kristi Robison @rpskumar @Jon Carpenter @JonesTrac I want to thank you for your honest feedback. Please know that your input here is very much considered along with what we're hearing from others in other channels. Your feedback is thoughtful and understood. Please know that we do not have a fixed mindset around the Yammer brand. Please know that our teams also have thoughtful discussions internally about these branding decisions and there are a lot of factors that go into rebranding efforts. It's not a simple "Find and Replace" exercise. We definitely will continue to take signals from folks like you into consideration. 

 

I think you all are making some sensible predictions about where things might end up.

Microsoft

@TonyG22 External network scenarios are still very much an area that would like to focus on. We're not done with this area. Agree we haven't been able to focus our attention here, but given some time to invest in this area we have some thoughts on where we can take it. Including a much needed face lift to the new Yammer interface and all the underlying capabilities.

Microsoft

@Stephanie88 @Craig Blake If you've disabled Yammer (e.g. not licensed your users for Yammer) in your tenant, you're effectively disabling Viva Engage. Therefore, you likely would not have installed or pinned the Communities App in Teams and will not get the Viva Engage update. So, if you have NOT licensed your users for Yammer, and assuming you haven't installed the Communities App in Teams (soon to be Viva Engage), you've effectively turned this off already. 

Senior Member

Once again, really confusing messaging from Microsoft. I think most people would appreciate it if marketing either said, "Over time Viva Engage will replace Yammer" or Microsoft took the time to tell us how Viva Engage is different. 

Microsoft doesn't have to be its worst enemy regarding FUD- Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

Yammer and the whole Enterprise Social Networking concept is great. We know that Teams is for high velocity, small team communication and collaboration. We have seen that Yammer has struggled to keep up with the likes of Workplace by Meta/Facebook. Viva Engage looks great, and I would welcome an announcement that said it will eventually replace Yammer as the primary way to communicate and collaborate with large audiences.

Occasional Contributor

How many we have gone through

Skype > Kaizala > Microsoft Teams > Yammer

Occasional Visitor

good news. I don't like FB anymore.

Frequent Contributor

@Tim_Banting right on.  While I understand that VE and Yammer are one and the same, this move just leaves a lot of unanswered questions on the table.

 

One product, multiple names within the same ecosystem:  Yammer, Communities, and Viva Engage.  

 

I understand that the "Communities" name is going away in favor of VE.  Personally, I never understood why it wasn't just called Yammer in the first place.  

 

That is why I theorized that "Viva Engage" will eventually replace the name "Yammer" everywhere in M365.  Not an easy task, but this is one of many steps in that direction. 

 

However, the name change isn't what bothered me about this.  I think what bothers me is that pivoting Yammer into Viva doesn't add any value for the customer.  The features they announced this week could have easily been simple Yammer announcements.  

Frequent Visitor

We are actually currently deploying Yammer to our firm via the Teams app. We had planned for a launch mid August so we will be postponing to see changes I suppose.

 

@Steve Nguyen Does anyone know if a "Files" tab similar to that in the Communities app will be available? We currently utilize the Files tab and the Info sidebar heavily for document storage and linking out users to commonly accessed company resources. I'd love to see a screenshot of a particular community in the Viva Engage app.

@amisadeh 

 

>Can't find any information about when Engage will be available. Looked for it in O365, O356 Admin, and in Team

Viva Engage will replace the existing Communities app in Teams in late August.

@h2kmagicman 

>Does anyone know if a "Files" tab similar to that in the Communities app will be available?

There isn't a Files tab in the Communities app.

 

Each community in Yammer does have a Files tab, though, when you view the community landing page. That will continue to be available in Viva Engage.

Occasional Contributor

Are there use cases for Yammer vs Viva Engage vs Teams? And are there adoption/comms materials for Viva Engage? As others have stated, there's a lot overlap between the three and if it's confusing for us, it will be confusing for our end users. 

Frequent Visitor

Thanks @Kevin Crossman that is exactly what I meant. That's would have been a deal-breaker for us so glad to hear.

Senior Member

I'm a huge fan of what Microsoft is doing here to A) make Yammer feel more part of the overall Teams experience and B) add features that change the value prop for using Yammer in Teams (i.e. Stories and Storyline). Today, we are often faced with governance decisions on our associates posting personal stories in the All Company community or others where the content doesn't quite fit. Storyline gives self-expression a natural home and makes the "Following" feature much more useful. We're also excited about the multimedia aspect of stories (i.e. Facebook, TikTok) which is just more natural for our younger associates. 

 

I do agree with other comments here about the brand complexity... this increases the challenge of giving our associates a simple mental model for what to use when. We would appreciate help explaining Viva Engage to current Yammer users (both copy and visuals)... but the fact that we even want that suggests it's a bit complicated. I keep coming back to this... Teams is our central surface for teamwork (inner loop) and engagement (outer loop). 

Contributor

Ghee ,we just spent a lot of time and money moving 50 000 frontline users from Beekeeper to Teams, Yammer / Communities and the "old" script based Viva Connection "LOB" App.

For Frontline Workers (we talk factory workers that do not speak English or even the native language of the country they are working in) a small change can be a big issue, since they rely on the steps
they were taught during the onboarding process.

We need to have a chance to pilot this and possibly postpone this to off-season times for specific industries.

We definetely cannot rely on a timeframe that this is "seamlessly" changed sometime end of August!!!

Please consider your audience, frontline worker!

Co-Authors
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