Introducing Viva Engage
Published Jul 19 2022 08:00 AM 38.8K Views
Microsoft

Today at Microsoft Inspire, Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, announced Microsoft Viva Engage, the newest app within Microsoft Viva, designed to help organizations build community, spark engagement with leadership, harness knowledge and answers, and build personal networks. Microsoft Viva Engage will be a new and enhanced experience of the current Yammer Communities app for Microsoft Teams and brings new capabilities to connect people, find and share knowledge, express yourself, and find belonging at work.  

 

 

Introducing Microsoft Viva Engage

 

Viva Engage also introduces storyline and stories which enables employees to connect with colleagues and share and socialize their thoughts, knowledge, and experiences through conversations, images, and videos.

 

 

Introducing Storyline 

 

In a world of hybrid work, Viva Engage gives leaders new tools to shape culture and align their workforce by unlocking communication and engagement opportunities for everyone. And for employees, it provides new ways to build a sense of community, strengthen relationships with coworkers, share their work and perspective, and find answers to their questions.

 

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Deploying Viva Engage

Coming in late August, the Communities app for Teams will be rebranded as Viva Engage, deployable immediately into the Teams desktop, web, and mobile apps. For existing users of the Communities app for Teams, no change will be needed from admins. Current Yammer customers will be able to deploy and pin Viva Engage on the left rail of Teams through the Teams Admin Center. Also in late August, Storyline will open for public preview.

 

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.

 

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What’s next?

Please communicate this change to the Yammer stakeholders in your organization, including community managers and champions. In late August they will begin to see Viva Engage in places they have historically seen Yammer branding. Stay tuned to the Yammer blog for more details and documentation to help with change management and adoption. We are grateful for the customers who have been on this journey with us and we are looking forward to what’s ahead. Stay tuned as we have much more to share soon!

     -Murali Sitaram

      CVP,  Yammer and Viva

32 Comments
Frequent Contributor

@MuraliSitaram so if I understand correctly, non-Viva users will lose access to the Yammer apps in Teams and Outlook?   I really don't get the logic behind this decision.

Frequent Contributor

Or maybe I misunderstood the message?  The Yammer/Communities apps in Teams and Outlook will be rebranded as "Viva Engage" but will still be available for all M365 users?

 

This is a very confusing choice and I'm going to be honest - I think I hate it.  This move does NOT give me confidence in the future of Yammer for non Viva-subscribers.  This feels like the first step in a move to make Yammer premium service.

Occasional Contributor

@atrain204 - The Communities app is just being renamed to Viva Engage.  It will continue to function as it does now - no change.  Storyline will be a new feature coming with Engage.   It even states "To use Viva Engage an organization must be licensed for Yammer".  Nothing Premium in my understanding.  

@atrain204 "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."

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. 

Frequent Contributor

@Patrick Drews I wonder if Microsoft is preparing to abandon the brand name "Yammer" entirely.  It carries a bit of a stigma in my experience.

 

Having the same app called "Yammer" in some places and "Communities" or "Viva Engage" in others may only serve to confuse customers.   I wouldn't be surprised to see "Viva Engage" become the permanent name by next year.

Microsoft

Folks, no one looses anything! Nothing is going away. Yammer simply starts contributing to Employee Experience more directly through Viva Engage and we add new features for both Viva and Yammer customers with Storyline and Stories. 

 

We believe that social connections, individual expression and community should accrue to customers of both productivity and employee experience categories.  

@Michael Holste I see references to "M365 Commercial customers".  Just to clarify, will Viva Engage also launch for EDU customers?

Microsoft

GREAT QUESTIONS! Thank you! This article provides answers to common questions--particularly from IT, security, compliance, and existing Yammer customers

The things you and your organization need to know about Viva Engage, Yammer and the Communities app
(I will look at 'moving' this article to this blog, soon)

Senior Member

Awesome!

Regular Visitor

@atrain204 You raise a really good point. Why don't we now just have one name either Yammer or Viva Exchange. This would avoid a lot of confusion. 

Occasional Visitor

Murali and Dan, all sounds great. 

Any news on External Yammer Networks and their compatibility with the new features?

New Contributor

I never really used or liked yammer from inception and I have been off the Meta-verse Facebook, Whatapp & Instagram for two years now. Viva engage is worth check it for professional workspace point of view.

Occasional Visitor

In the US geolocation of Yammer it's possible to add external users (not in own tenant) to Yammer (Link here). Does Viva Engage also has this option? If yes, will this also be available for EU geolocation?

Microsoft

@Martijn80 Everything from that article will apply for Viva Engage, yes. 

Senior Member

So this says that Viva Engage is coming in late August... will it actually hit ALL tenants at that time? If not, what is the time range?

Contributor

Will there be a template communications package prepared that we can use to educate our employees about the change?

Occasional Visitor

@atrain204 and everyone, Microsoft Viva does not require a subscription at all to use, with the exception of Viva Topics, and if you want the premium features of Viva Learning and Viva Insights. Anyone can use Viva Connections simply by setting a Home site, enabling global navigation, then configuring the Teams app. You're probably already using Viva Insights and don't even know it (don't you get a daily digest in your email?) The premium model for Insights and Learning just gives you some managerial tools, but end users should be able to access it already. Viva Engage simply enhances Yammer by adding the Stories and Storylines features (just like your IG stories woohoo!), and if you're licensed for Yammer, then you're good to go.

Super Contributor

Viva is a brand for employee engagement. It seems such a hodge podge of different things. Maybe it will come togheter.

 

Viva Connections -- has not made any sense to me. Do some people access Sharepoint through the Teams app? I guess if there was a quick thing to look up.  I would say the same for editing documents, do people edit documents IN the Teams window? It seems like Microsoft has some use case where people spend their entire day inside the Teams client. I would rather keep Teams for the "glue" - chat and meetings.

 

Viva Insights - Free version is Limited to a few personal features that end up being more annoying than useful; much more extensive version paid for large organizations

Viva Topics - Paid only, and expensive. Is anyone subscribing to it?

Viva Engage - it is unclear if Viva Engage and Yammer are equivalent, I think yes. The stories and storylines are being added to Yammer and Engage is just the icon in Teams (can someone confirm?)

Viva Learning - the free option is very limited. I have had a hard time understanding what is free. I like the idea of some accessible on the job training.

 

@Rob O'Keefe 
>it is unclear if Viva Engage and Yammer are equivalent

Yes. There are a few visual differences for Viva Engage that make it look a little bit more like other Viva apps but otherwise it is the same thing but with a different name when being accessed via the app in Teams (and Outlook).

Occasional Visitor

The use case of people spending all day in teams is a tough one. There are many corporate apps that will never be used through teams. Think SAP, Oracle, Insurance Policy Admin systems etc.

Viva seems like a marketing effort for many existing products wrapped up as a new shiny "thing." 

Microsoft

 

Folks have asked for the Viva Engage image, to support presentations about Viva Engage. Here ya go:
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Senior Member

@Dan Holme Any chance the FastTrack Branding Toolkit could get updated? The last date on it is Nov 2020.

Occasional Visitor

Our organization is just launching Yammer for the first time. What can we tweak NOW to prepare for Viva Engage adoption vs. just focusing on Yammer.  Yammer has no consistent adoption yet, we are in the process of promoting and supporting utilization. 

New Contributor

Hi @MuraliSitaram, we are super excited about this release!!  What impact will this have on the Yammer feed in Viva Connections?  Many thanks!

New Contributor

@MuraliSitaram Several months ago we renamed our Communities app in Teams to Yammer. So, when we're in Teams, we see "Yammer" and the Yammer icon in the app bar. Will we still be automatically rebranded to Viva Engage if our Communities app has been customized?

Occasional Visitor

This seems duplicative of Yammer but with the addition of stories. I'm having a hard time understanding the difference. They have the same goals and functionality.  When my clients ask, "What is the difference?" what is the answer??

Senior Member

@FlyingSolo - the answers should be clear with the supporting documentation. Do take a read of Dan Holme’s follow up post and LinkedIn post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/things-you-your-organization-need-know-viva-engage-yammer-dan-holme 

@chagedorn It will still be called "Yammer" but when you click into it the heading at the top of the screen will say Viva Engage. So unlike the previous app that used the Yammer logo and just said "Communities" you might as well embrace the change as the less confusing option.

Contributor

In preparing our colleague communication we advised Engage as being the new icon name, as the image at the top of the page shows. Brief confusion when the first users started to see the change and it said Viva Engage instead. No damage done as we were able to change the communication easily. Was surprised that the material shared said one thing and the actual live version showed another. Looking forward to Storylines and Stories. I'm hopeful the arrival of Viva Engage will bring in new users and encourage others to return (or start) to using Yammer.

Contributor

So looks like all these to make it work like Facebook or LinkedIn where individual users can share their updates without being in a Yammer community (and may will have their own social profile).

 

But have to agree with some that these so many different names causes lot of confusion to users, and we have to send comms to explain things.

 

Do we know, when a file is attached with a Storylines post, where it is stored.? How do we access to that file? In Yammer community the attached file is stored in an associated SharePoint site.

 

Thanks 

 

Occasional Visitor

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