Viva Engage – A Shakespearean Comedy of Errors

Act 1 Scene 1

The Scene opens on a graveyard. A serious grey haired man with spectacles, a brow worn by the battles of community management, sits beside a graveyard contemplating a skull. There is a look of madness in his eyes:

‘Alas, poor Yammer, for I knew her well, Horatio. A platform of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: she hath borne me on his back a thousand times. Thy death was oft foretold. Why, even for Facebook have you been mistaken. Yet each time you have escaped Death’s clutches. Can it yet be again that you have escaped? Can it be this time that the employees see your power to connect, to share, to solve and to innovate? A rose is a rose by any other name, but does the engagement become far sweeter?’

Act 2 Scene 2

‘You are on mute’

‘Yes. We can now see the Viva Employee Engagement Platform Strategy deck.’

‘The audio from the Viva Engage launch video isn’t playing in the Teams call. You will need to turn on audio from computer in your sharing options. There’s a help article in the Hybrid Work group in the Communities app about that’

Act Three Scene 4

In the finale of the scene the star-crossed employees rip the mask from the face of the evil villain Duke Teams to discover that it is really the lovable fool SharePoint all along (except in Act 2 when the forest nymph Skype impersonated the Duke to much confusion and cries of ‘You’re on mute’)

The caring Matron Viva Engage is actually the fool’s fiancé Yammer who also played the Wise Shepherds Topics and Connections who had been guiding the young employee experience lovers all along. At which point much eloping occurs and a feast of employee experience breaks out. The Elizabethan songs are always pretty ordinary so will skip that part.

For those who are wondering what brought on this light and entertaining extract from an imagined Shakespearean jest, the Communities in Teams, which has been powered by Yammer will be replaced by Viva Engage, also powered by Yammer.

Yammer is not dead and its closer-still integration into the Viva Employee Experience platform through Teams bodes well for many more people to benefit from connecting, sharing, solving and innovating. If you haven’t leveraged the power of Yammer to date to engage employees now is a great time to start as even more capability surfaces through Yammer itself and through the Viva platform.

I will post a longer strategic assessment of this new Yammer direction after the time for hot takes has passed. For now enjoy the new investment in the Yammer roadmap and the stories feature.

PS for the literalists out there and those struggling with humour, a comedy of errors is a comedy of mistaken identities. I do not believe this announcement by Microsoft is an error. I am in fact enthusiastically celebrating what I think is the future of Yammer’s community capability. Anything that invests in this to better bring it to employees is to the benefit of all organisations and is to be celebrated. More to come on that.

4 thoughts on “Viva Engage – A Shakespearean Comedy of Errors

  1. Wonderful! I was waiting for your post on this recent announcement thinking, “I wonder what Simon will write about this?”

    It’s an interesting turn of events and admittedly, odd. However I’m reaching for my Teflon coat once again to deflect everyone’s comments and “I told you so’s”.

    1. Thanks Helen. I think once we move past the surprise and the hot takes this will prove to be a long term strategic opportunity to take collaboration and community engagement matters to the next level.

      1. I don’t think I’ll be around that long to see that. 🤣 Joking aside, really all that matters is that people have the opportunity and freedom to make connections and share knowledge and experiences with their peers. The platform is irrelevant – Yammer Viva – same same.

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