Viva Engage and Live Events

Viva Engage is a great way for leaders to keep in touch with their employees and for communities to come together to share news and knowledge. One important way to ensure staff are kept informed is to have regular virtual/hybrid Town Hall meetings. Live Events can be easily accessed from the Engage App to ensure all staff have the opportunity to either watch live or catch up on the recording.

The video the shows how M365 licensed users can access Live Event meetings from their Viva Engage mobile experience. In the demonstration, my user is licenced with a Front Line Worker SKU.

Note: Since I created the video, Microsoft has announced that Yammer will be rebranded to Viva Engage.

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Viva Connections: Switching the Home experience

This is a brief overview of the options for the Home page experience for Viva Connections. It shows how to switch between the SharePoint Home Site and the new Home page, which has a similar “look and feel” to that of the Microsoft Teams mobile client’s Connections App.

This now provides different deployment options for customers who can’t or don’t want to surface the SharePoint Home site as their Viva Connections landing page. This new experience can be used standalone, or as you’ll see in the video, still linked to a SharePoint Home site. Or you can still surface the SharePoint Home page as the landing page.

At the time of creation the new Viva Home page was in targeted release, with GA planned for CY23.

Note: Editing the banner wasn’t available in my demo tenant when I created the video. According to the documentation it should be available so expect to see this feature at GA or before.

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Microsoft SIP Gateway: ATA Support

At the time of writing (February 2023), SIP Gateway support for Analogue Telephony Adapters (ATAs) is in public preview. After the feature is launched you should check the documentation for any updates or changes. The video posted below is a short overview of the main steps needed to register an analogue phone to Microsoft Teams via an ATA. It is currently anticipated that AudioCodes, Cisco and Poly ATAs will be compatible with Sip Gateway.

Microsoft engineering is investigating how to support bulk installations. Look out for additional details when ATA support goes to GA.

Since I posted the video, replacing the caller ID with a Service Number has been superseded by assignment of a Resource Account. See the screenshot below. Service Number support for CLID policies will be depreciated.

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Viva Engage: Storylines & Stories

Viva Engage is a Microsoft Teams App that connects people together to foster a sense of community and engagement. It empowers users to knowledge share, express themselves and reach subject matter experts. Storylines and Stories are tools within Viva Engage that help individuals build their personal brand and post content to people who follow them. Recipients can can then comment and share their sentiment if they want to join the conversation.

There are loads of ways Viva Engage can be leveraged. The short video below outlines how a business leader can use Viva Engage to reach and share perspectives with their followers. It shows how “post on behalf of” delegation can be configured and the notifications received in Teams and Outlook. Although not shown, Viva Engage provides rich analytics that are used to report on reach, engagement and sentiment, which are imperative for delivering effective communications.

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Viva Goals: Microsoft Planner Integration

Microsoft recently released its Planner integration for Viva Goals. This is in addition to the Excel and Azure Dev Ops ones that I covered in a previous blog. Plans can now be associated with both Key Results and Project in the Viva Goals tool to enable automatic progress tracking.

There are loads of task based use cases that this new integration supports and this new feature is another example of how different tools from the Microsoft 365 stack can be leveraged to operationally support an organisation’s OKR (Objectives and Key Results) usage.

Check out this short demonstration that I created to showcase the use of Planner in Viva Goals

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Viva Learning: SharePoint Content

In addition to 3rd party content, Viva Learning also allows an organisation to surface its own training material that’s housed in one or more SharePoint folders. Metadata can also be associated with each file or link to provide a richer end user experience within the Microsoft Teams App.

The file types currently supported include Office Apps, PDF, Audio (.m4a), Video (.mov, mp4, avi) and Linked Objects. Linked Objects allow you to connect to internal SharePoint content and to external media such as YouTube videos. To view content from the Viva Learning App a users needs to have been granted the relevant SharePoint permission.

The video demonstration below provides an overview of both the end user and admin experience.

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Viva Goals: OKR Lifecycle

What are OKRs? This excerpt from the Microsoft Documentation provides a good summary:

Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are a proven goal-setting framework for creating alignment and focus and building a highly productive and engaged work culture to drive your business outcomes.

OKRs align your entire organisation to strategy, shifting focus from output, the everyday work of your team, to outcomes, which are the results of that work. This mindset shift keeps your team highly engaged with a clear sense of purpose and understanding of how everyone is contributing to forward momentum.

Viva Goals is part of Microsoft’s Employee Experience Platform. It’s an advanced software tool that is used to deliver Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) across an organisation. Viva Goals can be accessed via a web portal ( or from the Microsoft Teams 1st party App.

In the video below, I show a simplified OKR lifecycle that demonstrates the creation of an organisational level Objective, a child Key Result, a “Check In” and closure of the OKR upon its completion. I also show an example of how OKRs can align from the Organisational level, through to Team OKRs and down to Individual ones.

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Viva Goals Integrations

Viva Goals is a key module within Microsoft’s Employee Experience platform. It is a goal setting tool that allows the organisation, teams and individuals to use Objective and Key Results (OKRs) to deliver business results aligned to their company mission and strategy.

Viva Goals provides an administrative web portal and can also be surfaced within the flow of work via the Microsoft Teams Viva Goals app.

In a production environment one best practice is to link Viva Goals to existing business tools and automatically update any progress with Key Results and/or Projects. Details of the currently shipping integrations are provided in the Microsoft documentation.

In the video below I highlight a couple of integrations, Azure Dev Ops and Excel Online, to show how these can be used to track progress with a couple of Key Results.


Accessing Microsoft Partner Pre-Sales Support

This short post is aimed squarely at the Microsoft Partner community. It details how eligible partners can request pre-sales assistance to help with things like technical questions and architectural guidance. Although not shown in the video, the service also provides deployment consultations. The great thing about this partner benefit is that it covers Modern Work, BizzApps and Azure.

If you are a Microsoft Partner and you want to check out your eligibility and the details of what you are entitled to, take a look at the Technical Partner and Deployment Service web page.

In the video I show you how to use the form at to raise a pre-sales request. In my example it’s for a voice solution but you’ll see you can ask for help on a multitude of technology areas.

If you are a Microsoft Partner and you’ve not used this service before, my recommendation is to take it for a test drive!

Adding the Human Touch to a Viva Topic

By default Viva uses AI to add content and associate people to Topics it discovers for an organisation. Often, this is good enough and end users save time and effort by accessing these automatically generated Topics within the flow of their everyday jobs.

However, there might be times when a subject matter expert will want to ensure specific information about a Topic stands out. They might even want to create the Topic themselves and ensure their page is engaging. To do this Topic administrators will use standard SharePoint Web Parts and the AI can then add additional suggested content to help improve upon and maintain the subject covered.

If you are not familiar with Web Parts they are easy to use building blocks you can use to customise a SharePoint page.

The following video provides a short overview of how easy it is to customise Topics pages to highlight important documents, links, videos and tools.