Microsoft offers preparation tips for August launch of Viva Engage – | Hot Mobile Press


Microsoft offers preparation tips for the August launch of Viva Engage

Microsoft Viva Engage will be available to Microsoft Teams subscribers from “late August to late September,” Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

Viva Engage is Microsoft’s latest module added to the Microsoft Viva “Employee Experience Platform”. These Viva modules or applications are accessed through the Microsoft Teams Collaboration Service.

Viva Engage is set to add “consumer-like social networking capabilities” to workplaces during its Inspire event for partners, held this month, according to Microsoft. Specifically, Viva Engage will replace the current Yammer Communities app.

Viva Engage is automatically added when organizations use the Yammer Communities app. The transition to Viva Engage is also happening for organizations using the Yammer Communities apps on Android and iOS devices. However, the user experience on the mobile versions will be “broadly the same”, with users mostly just seeing a brand name change.

Preparation tips for Viva Engage
Organizations using the Yammer Communities app mostly don’t need to do anything to get Viva Engage, but Microsoft recommended in a FAQ document (Word Doc Download) that “if you don’t already have the Communities app installed, install them here”. It is also possible to download the Yammer Communities app from Team’s App Store.

Microsoft had some specific advice for network administrators to prepare for Viva Engage. One recommendation is to ensure that Yammer’s “native mode” is used, as explained in this document. “In native mode, all Yammer users reside in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), all groups are Microsoft 365 groups, and all files are stored in SharePoint Online.”

Microsoft enabled native mode for all new Yammer Enterprise subscribers back in January 2020, but some organizations may use “hybrid mode” where not everything is native, or they may not follow Microsoft’s conventions at all, which Microsoft calls “Non – Native mode.”

An example of non-native mode is organizations using Yammer Basic subscriptions. These non-native mode users are not connected to Microsoft 365 or Office 365 services.

Microsoft offers a native mode targeting tool that allows IT pros to automate the process of targeting to native mode if needed.

Using native mode is not currently a requirement for using Viva Engage, but according to Microsoft’s announcement it likely will become one:

while this [Native Mode] is not required to use Viva Engage, but we strongly recommend that your organization put your Yammer network in native mode. As we continue to develop new features, it is required to have your Yammer network in native mode.

IT pros can set the Yammer Communities app to “pin on the left rail in Microsoft Teams” in preparation for the Viva Engage replacement, according to the FAQ, although it doesn’t explain why a left alignment would be optimal. It referenced this support document in the Yammer Communities app, as well as this document that describes how to set up Teams policies for app pinning.

Same APIs, Yammer licensing
According to the FAQ, the same Yammer APIs are used when launching Viva Engage. Using Viva Engage requires “the same licensing as Yammer,” but Microsoft will likely require additional licensing as it complements the Viva Engage product.

“New features of Viva Engage may require additional licensing [besides Yammer licensing] in the future,” says the FAQ.

Yammer conversations held in the Yammer Communities app will continue to be available after the Viva Engage switch, the FAQ document promised. Viva Engage is also integrated into the Outlook Web App.

Microsoft plans to provide more advice and answer questions about the transition to Viva Engage. That will happen in two upcoming best practice online sessions scheduled for August 2nd.

About the author

Kurt Mackie is Senior News Producer for 1105 Media’s Converge360 group.

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