Microsoft announced this morning that it’s bringing new Communities experiences and Viva integrations across various Microsoft 365 apps and services, which should improve employee engagement and help organizations navigate a shift to hybrid work. The company has also detailed new enhancements coming to Microsoft Teams meetings.
“Yammer usage doubled year-over-year and now supports tens of millions of monthly active users worldwide. New integrations and capabilities will bring these community experiences and scale directly into Viva, offering immediate value and growth opportunities for our customers. We’re bringing the superpowers of Yammer, including communities, open conversation, and discovery experiences into Viva,” explained Jeff Teper, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365.
Since the world is still dealing with a global pandemic that made hybrid work the new normal, Microsoft plans to roll out the integration of its Yammer Communities app across Microsoft Viva and other Office apps in the coming months. First of all, the Viva Connections feed will now feature all the announcements and conversations from the community in the form of interactive discussions. The Viva Connections app will also let users comment on news posts and interact with their communities.
Employees will be able to open a more detailed topic page that will include community discussions, question and answer cards, and all information about experts based on their engagement in Yammer communities. On the Viva Topics page, employees will also see an option to ask questions, and the app will automatically assign dedicated experts to answer them.
The Communities app for Microsoft Teams is also being improved, with the tool add support for some new features and capabilities such as deep-linking, notifications, and suggested communities. The firm says that it’s updating the app to modernize the design and make it consistent with Microsoft Teams.
In addition to these enhancements, Microsoft has announced today that it’s adding Yammer communities to Outlook on the web. This new Communities app will soon allow Outlook users to join live events, interact with their colleagues in conversations, and more directly within the Outlook app. This update is also coming to Outlook for Windows later this year.
Microsoft Teams is also getting support for a new Q&A experience which will let presenters conduct an open or moderated questions and answers session during virtual meetings. Thanks to this feature, participants can ask and answer questions before and during a meeting. The app will let designated presenters/organizers pin posts, moderate chats, screen responses, and choose the best answers.
This Q&A experience is currently available in private preview, and it will start rolling out to the general public in the coming month. This feature could be beneficial for large meetings, workshops, community events, presentations, and webinars.
Last but not least, the Redmond firm is listing two new features that should facilitate collaboration and communication between team members. These include the addition of a new “Followers” section on the Yammer topic pages, which brings unique capabilities like the ability to follow a specific topic and find experts and collaborators who are also following it. Additionally, there is also a feature that allows approved Yammer users to post on behalf of someone else in their organization.