The point of connecting Yammer and Viva is knowing who knows what

Between the Nice Resignation and the Nice Onboarding, worker expertise is extra necessary than ever; Viva is the place Microsoft needs to ship that have by bringing data from in every single place.

Microsoft apps on a cell phone screen
Picture: Tada Pictures/Shutterstock

When Microsoft first launched Groups, there have been loads of questions on why anybody would need each Groups and Yammer. Since then, it is turn into extra apparent that organizations want each the closed and open conversations that the completely different companies foster, and at the same time as Groups utilization has shot up throughout the pandemic, Yammer has greater than doubled within the final 12 months as nicely, mentioned Seth Patton, common supervisor for next-gen productiveness and worker expertise in Microsoft 365.

SEE: The way forward for work: Instruments and techniques for the digital office (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

“In a world the place, proper now, we’re not all related in the identical place it seems that the significance of group, the significance of engagement, the significance of participating between leaders and workers, and workers with one another, is bigger than ever.”

Yammer inside

As an alternative of simply being a separate enterprise social community, Yammer is now built-in into different Microsoft 365 instruments like Groups, Outlook, SharePoint and now Viva, which Patton refers to because the “social cloth” of Microsoft 365. “Individuals are nonetheless going to Yammer, however loads of that’s coming by way of these different endpoints,” he famous. “Plenty of Yammer utilization is folks replying and reacting to Yammer conversations immediately from Outlook.”

You may nonetheless go to Yammer immediately for an occasion like a “city corridor” assembly the place you may ask executives questions, however that is not simply concerning the stay assembly, particularly when distant workers is perhaps in several time zones and communication must be asynchronous. “[It’s the] the conversations that lead as much as that and conversations that proceed after these episodic moments,” Patton mentioned. “That is how we run Microsoft. Satya [Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft], each month, has a city corridor assembly the place workers all month lengthy can submit questions and have on-going conversations after which he addresses what’s top-of-mind. Having that have with dialog and video and stay conferences is fairly highly effective.”

A technique you will discover out about related conversations which are taking place on Yammer is that the communities function in Viva Connections is now Yammer communities below the hood and makes use of the connections of the Microsoft Graph to pick conversations you are prone to be taken with.

SEE: Analysis: Video conferencing instruments and cloud-based options dominate digital workspaces; VPN and VDI much less fashionable with SMBs (TechRepublic Premium)

“Viva Connections has a unified communications feed. I consider it as an worker app, so right here it is the Microsoft app, the place you do not simply get bulletins and content material out of your intranet, you additionally get conversations and people are personalised utilizing the Microsoft Graph. So, I’ve a unified communications feed as part of Viva Connections that features Yammer conversations which are related to me from throughout the organisation,” he defined.


The conversations and communities in Viva come from Yammer.

Picture: Microsoft

“Connections is a single place for an worker to get entry to the assets, the conversations, the content material. And an necessary a part of that’s conversations which are taking place throughout the organisation and the communities which are taking part.”

Yammer can be switching to make use of the identical subjects taxonomy as Viva Subjects (beforehand, it had its personal record). Viva Subjects makes use of the identical synthetic intelligence options as SharePoint Syntex to create a taxonomy of the tasks, merchandise, prospects, occasions, areas, divisions and different frequent phrases which have particular which means for a selected group from the paperwork, video and conversations inside your Microsoft 365 tenant. Should you work at GM, you imply one thing completely different from what somebody at NASA would imply once you discuss Saturn and one other firm may use that as a codename.


Subjects in Viva and Yammer now use the identical taxonomy and might present the precise reply when somebody asks a query that is been requested and answered earlier than.

Picture: Microsoft

Viva matter playing cards already pop up once you search in SharePoint, Phrase, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel, and now they are going to be a part of conversations in Yammer, so once you see somebody consult with an unfamiliar venture or a brand new codename, you may hover over it to see the small print scraped from all of the content material that mentions it on Microsoft 365. Workers nonetheless spend the equal of two weeks a 12 months simply searching for info; Syntex and Subjects are meant to assist with that, particularly when you do not know what you are searching for.

Though creating a proper taxonomy of necessary info continues to be priceless, it takes loads of work that must be refreshed usually. “That could be very onerous to keep up and have or not it’s agile and dynamic, based mostly on how precise work is occurring and the relationships and interactions,” Patton identified; Viva can create the “folksonomy” of what persons are taken with and speaking about to seize the implicit data contained in particular person paperwork and conversations and join that to the formal top-down method. “How will we nonetheless present some stage of construction, however use AI to have the ability to make that much more wealthy and emblematic of different relationships and the work that is really taking place in our organisation.”

Realizing what your personal workforce is engaged on is essential; however subjects and conversations may provide help to be taught from different tasks and merchandise elsewhere within the group. Patton just lately found {that a} workforce in one other division of Microsoft was commissioning the identical analysis one in every of his groups was additionally getting completed. “I am utilizing the ‘pet food’ model of subjects in Groups and subjects in SharePoint and Yammer. To be engaged on a venture, after which uncover one other venture that is taking place one org over that is very related, making an attempt to resolve the identical drawback, and it is like serendipity. That would not have occurred even simply three months in the past.”

SEE: Microsoft Energy Platform and low code/no code improvement: Getting probably the most out of Fusion Groups (TechRepublic) 

The mixture of the breath of Yammer and the relevancy of subjects in Viva lets leaders monitor what is going on on throughout massive teams of workers and lengthy intervals of time. “I actually couldn’t stay with out Yammer as a result of it’s the approach that I get a pulse on our complete 40,000 subject group: suggestions on our merchandise, advertising, our competitors, what are developments taking place of their area, what are the wants that they’ve. These are folks I’ll by no means meet in particular person; there is not any approach I can scale to that.”

That approach you may look again on the choices made when designing a product to see in the event that they join the issue a buyer is having even when the venture had a code title or a few of the folks concerned have since left the corporate.

The Nice Onboarding

Groups and Viva Subjects have a Q&A function; for Groups the main focus is on getting solutions throughout an occasion (you’ll have seen that at Microsoft occasions like Ignite, and it is going to be accessible to prospects quickly). Viva can retrieve that reply later if another person has the identical query. “When you have got a query and initially some skilled solutions it inside Yammer, after that Viva is aware of the following time somebody asks that query that we have already got the reply and the skilled would not must reply once more.”


Subjects in Viva and Yammer now use the identical taxonomy and might present the precise reply when somebody asks a query that is been requested and answered earlier than.

Picture: Microsoft

It is also going to be helpful for getting new workers in control; one thing that could be much more necessary this 12 months. Patton mentions the concept of the Nice Resignation. “In keeping with our surveys  and others, 40% of individuals, put up pandemic, want to change their roles, both inside their firm or altogether change firms.” However though 4 million folks stop their jobs within the U.S. in April alone, greater than 6 million folks had been employed that month.

“We’re considering of it because the Nice Onboarding, which is the flip aspect of that. How will we assist groups and organisations make that have so much higher? I’ve a number of folks on my workforce who’ve joined, they usually’ve by no means met one other Microsoft worker, they’ve by no means been to a bodily workplace. How will we get them the data that they want, but in addition the connection and the tradition?”

Yammer and Groups are a part of that, however Viva is the place Microsoft is making an attempt to carry collectively all the important thing items of the worker expertise, from onboarding and staying related to colleagues in Viva Connections, to staying on high of labor with Viva Subjects. Even Viva Studying is about connecting what coaching is obtainable with what can be helpful for folks to be taught to ship what the group wants when it comes to abilities.

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“Lots of people initially perceive the worth that Viva studying has as simply aggregation: You’ve all these completely different studying content material suppliers and studying administration methods and LinkedIn Studying and your personal customized content material and content material in SharePoint and so forth. Clearly there’s worth in simply the aggregation of all of these into one expertise inside Groups. However the place the actual worth comes is making use of AI, understanding the context of every particular person and what roles and what tasks there are, so that you just’re surfacing probably the most related coaching for them within the context of their function and their job, and based mostly on the social folksonomy of different folks in your organisation who’ve related roles, who additionally just lately both beneficial that coaching or took that coaching.”

That may even be influenced by the variety of assist tickets for inside methods which have frequent issues, or on subject service and buyer assist calls recorded in Dynamics 365—which workers can now see info in even when they do not have a licence for it—no matter info workers must have at their fingertips.

In addition to Microsoft modules in Viva, there are integrations with 21 platforms together with ServiceNow, Workday, Headspace and Limeade.

That goes again to the concept of Viva as “an worker expertise platform.” “How do you place folks on the centre and create a unified worker expertise that features not simply productiveness and collaboration instruments, however all the opposite assets and data that they must be profitable? That could possibly be your CRM information, in the event you’re a salesman, however it will also be issues like a well being test if I am going again to the workplace or it could possibly be my time and expense entry. Or it could possibly be these methods of document, whether or not that is HR methods or studying methods, which have this priceless data and content material, however they’re underutilised, and it is a difficult, complicated expertise for customers.”

“Worker expertise was once an HR precedence: it’s now a C-suite crucial. Each organisation realises for them to be aggressive, they should concentrate on creating an amazing worker expertise or their workers are going to depart,” Patton mentioned.

“Instruments for serving to join folks and create tradition and data sharing are exploding. Yammer is a core a part of that and part of our technique, each when it comes to the function that it performs, and the expansion that it is had within the final 12 months but in addition the place we’re taking it—as that built-in social cloth throughout Microsoft 365 and communities powering Viva.”

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