Hybrid work in an uncertain economic climate is causing many leaders to rethink how to scale meaningful connections among their distributed teams. More than half (51 percent) of employees surveyed for our Work Trend Index say relationships outside their immediate work group have weakened.1 At the leadership level, building social capital is crucial to the success of workplace culture. In fact, 68 percent of business decision-makers view cohesion and social connections within teams as a moderate to strong challenge due to the shift to hybrid work.
Connect everyone at your organization through employee communities and conversations.
For over 10 years, Yammer has been the social fabric for Microsoft’s productivity cloud, bringing community and conversations into the apps that people work in daily. However, in an increasingly distributed world of work, community engagement is essential to how people and teams come together and is a critical pillar of the employee experience, which is why last year we introduced Microsoft Viva Engage, an evolution of the Yammer Communities app in Microsoft Teams, as the newest part of Microsoft Viva.
We’ve heard your feedback on this initial step and in the coming year, all of Yammer will become Viva Engage, retiring the Yammer brand. In addition, we’ll continue to enhance Viva Engage with new capabilities that spur leadership engagement, authentic expression, events, and knowledge discovery, including new experiences rolling out today.
The next phase of the evolution will start next month, March 2023, with updates to the Communities app for Outlook and Yammer mobile apps for iOS and Android. Outside of branding changes, there are no changes to the features, capabilities, and investments for Microsoft 365 customers. You will continue to experience and benefit from the power of Viva Engage just as you did with Yammer, with no loss of continuity. In addition, we will continue to build new capabilities that realize the power of community, corporate communications at the organizational scale, and knowledge sharing. We are excited about how this change will create a unified Viva Engage experience throughout the web, mobile, and other endpoints and bring consistency for Yammer and Viva users. This evolution makes way for new Viva capabilities powered by Viva Engage and will streamline features, resources, training, documentation, and support for customers. Read on to learn more about what’s coming and when you can expect to see Yammer evolve into Viva Engage.
In September 2022, we announced a new wave of capabilities in Viva Engage that spurs leadership engagement, authentic expression, events, and knowledge discovery. Today, these experiences begin to roll out worldwide for Viva suite and Microsoft Viva Topics customers.
Leadership Corner provides a space for leaders to connect with employees, showcase employee resource groups, and foster culture through discussions, storyline posts, events, and more. Employees see the leaders that they are connected to within their organization, and then leaders and their delegates can promote, aggregate, and launch initiatives from a single place. A new selection of intuitive dashboards track metrics and employee sentiment to help leadership teams keep a pulse on conversations and guide the discussion with their employees.
Leadership Corner also introduces a new event style in Viva Engage called Ask Me Anything (AMA) events to further drive engagement. AMA events modernize the standard town hall experience through upvoting, Q&A, and engaging discussion features like GIFs and images. Long-running AMAs work well for leaders with globally distributed teams so everyone gets an opportunity to ask questions, upvote others’ questions, and get responses from their leaders. AMAs also provide moderation controls so leaders can hear what really matters, answer questions, and ensure that employees have the latest information when they need it most.
Leaders and corporate communicators can also now create campaigns to drive key initiatives that support business goals and objectives. These campaigns are automatically pulled into Leadership Corner and include a dedicated campaign page, a visual Goal Tracker to measure progress, and the ability to showcase key sponsors and recognize top contributors.
Remote work has strained ambient knowledge transfer and logistical hurdles for employees trying to learn from each other. Employees who regularly seek individual expertise from their peers can find the process frustrating or limiting due to many factors like time zones, overloaded inboxes, or complex organizational silos. Answers in Microsoft Viva is now rolling out to Viva suite customers and Viva Topics customers as a new tab in Viva Engage. Answers utilizes Viva Topics and rich AI to surface and match employee questions to answers and experts, bringing collective knowledge to work for everyone.
Answers surfaces similar questions that have been answered, recommends topics and experts, highlights top solutions, and prompts and rewards people for contributing answers to the knowledge base.
To better understand engagement within Viva Engage, we’ve added new Advanced Analytics that drill down into a variety of dashboards, including dedicated metrics for personal analytics, audience analytics, campaign analytics, and global answers. Customizable date ranges allow you to determine reach and engagement over time to provide a deeper look at what’s happening in Viva Engage. All metrics are aggregated and de-identified for privacy. They are on by default but can be toggled off by a Global Admin. Learn more about what’s included in these analytics and control how they are rolled out on the Microsoft Viva Tech Community blog.
In March 2023, the existing Communities app for Outlook will be updated to reflect Viva Engage branding. This change will happen automatically, with no action necessary to see this update. Customers can use the new Viva Engage app to stay on top of community and conversation activity directly from Outlook, whether in the desktop app or web experience.
Also in March 2023, the Yammer mobile apps for iOS and Android will also be updated to Viva Engage to provide a native mobile-first experience that’s optimized for social sharing and rich media. To see the new experience, you’ll need to update your app. Viva Engage can also be used through the Teams mobile app.
The new experiences for leaders, communicators, and employees that we announced are available to Microsoft Viva customers and begin rolling out today. Learn more about each feature and the licenses required.
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We want to sincerely thank all of our Yammer and Viva customers who have been on this journey with us, and we will continue to communicate about the timing and changes that you can expect to see on the Yammer Tech Community blog. Please note this change does not impact the current pricing or capabilities available to current Microsoft 365 customers.
We look forward to building the future of Viva Engage together and have big plans for Microsoft Viva in the coming year and beyond.
To learn more about the changes announced today, join us on February 23, 2023, for an AMA with the product leaders from the Viva Engage team.
Is this a total rebrand of Yammer?
Yes, we started this journey with the rebranding of the Communities app in Teams in 2022. Over the next year, the remaining Yammer experiences will be rebranded to reflect Viva Engage branding and better align with Microsoft Viva.
What does this mean for Yammer?
Yammer will continue as Viva Engage, with the next step being the rebranding of the Communities app for Outlook and Yammer mobile apps for iOS and Android. Over the next year, all of Yammer will be rebranded into Viva Engage.
This does not change the current capabilities, value, or pricing to Yammer for existing Microsoft 365 customers or M365 SKUs. Leadership Corner, Advanced Analytics, and Answers in Viva will be available to Viva suite customers. Answers in Viva will also be available to Viva Topics customers.
Will any Yammer functionality no longer be available as part of this change to Viva Engage?
There are no changes to the features or functionality resulting from this change.
Where can I get help setting up Viva Engage?
Reach out to FastTrack, your account manager, or learn how to deploy Yammer/Viva Engage.
We will help communicate this change and have made available an advanced deployment guide through FastTrack for interested customers.
You can also find helpful adoption materials at Viva Engage Adoption. We will continue to add materials for customers to use for communication and training as more capabilities become available.
Will the same content moderation and other admin policies set in Yammer be transferred over to Viva Engage?
Yes, all administrative policies and capabilities will remain. Download this FAQ for a detailed look at Viva Engage for admins.
1Work Trend Index, WorkLab, Microsoft.
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