Microsoft Teams vs Viva Engage: A comparison guide

Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage (formerly known as Yammer) both empower communication and collaboration within an organization but they have different strengths and purposes. So how do you decide which one to use for your needs?

When I’m asked the question “when do I use which?”, I usually respond with another question: “Are you wanting to accomplish work together, or work on employee engagement and culture?” It’s not that you can’t do both with either tool – but each has its strength for different purposes. This post will help clarify when you might choose one over the other for various needs.

Feature comparison: Teams vs Viva Engage

To help you understand the differences between Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage, I’ve put together a comparison table that highlights their key concepts and strengths. I’ll go into more detail later in this post.

FeatureMicrosoft TeamsViva Engage
CommunicationChat, voice, and video callsCommunity building, leadership engagement
CollaborationFile sharing, co-authoring, and real-time collaborationKnowledge sharing, self-expression
IntegrationIntegrated with other Microsoft 365 appsIntegrated with other Microsoft 365 apps
DeploymentManaged by Teams adminManaged by Teams admin
User InterfaceChat-based interfaceCommunity-based interface
Use CasesReal-time communication and collaborationCommunity building and knowledge sharing
Table comparing core concepts and abilities of Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage

As you can see from the table, Microsoft Teams excels at real-time communication and collaboration, while Viva Engage is focused on community building and knowledge sharing. So when deciding which tool to use, it’s important to consider your goals and the needs of your team or organization.

Not as familiar with Viva Engage yet? I recently posted 3 practical user stories that show how Viva Engage boosts employee engagement.

Next, let’s look at another commonly asked question that gets deeper into each app – when I need a new place for my team/group, should I create a team in Microsoft Teams or a community in Viva Engage?

Teams vs communities: When to use which

You’re going to be at a crossroads occasionally when you need to establish a new group of people in one (or both) apps. While both apps allow you to create groups of people and share resources, they are best suited for different scenarios. So do you need a new team, or a new community?

Microsoft Teams: Real-time collaboration

In Microsoft Teams, you can create a team for real-time communication and collaboration. Teams are ideal for scenarios where you need to work on a project together, coordinate tasks, or share files. With features like chat, voice and video calls, and co-authoring, Microsoft Teams makes it easy to collaborate and get work done.

Viva Engage: Community building

In Viva Engage, you can create a community for knowledge sharing and community building. Communities are ideal for scenarios where you want to share best practices, discuss industry trends, or build a sense of community around a shared interest or goal. With features like community discussions, knowledge sharing, and leadership engagement, Viva Engage helps you foster a strong and engaged community as well as company culture.

Business use case comparison: Teams vs Viva Engage

The following table helps demonstrate when I, personally, would choose one app over the other. There is a great deal of personal preference here and there is no 100% correct answer for all organizations and scenarios. But I hope this helps you form your own decisions, nonetheless.

Business use caseTeamCommunity
Launch a new product and get feedback from customers and stakeholders
Organize a virtual live event with speakers, Q&A, and polls✓*
Coordinate a project with tasks, deadlines, and progress reports
Share best practices and tips with peers in the same role or function
Connect with leaders and experts and ask questions or share ideas
Collaborate on a document or presentation with co-authors and reviewers
Celebrate a team milestone or achievement with praise and recognition
Find relevant information and resources for a specific topic or domain
Manage a sales pipeline and track leads, opportunities, and deals
Communicate urgent updates and announcements to the whole organization
Conduct a brainstorming session and generate new ideas or solutions
Plan and execute a marketing campaign or a product launch
Build a personal network and find people with common interests or goals
Table comparing when to use a team (Microsoft Teams) vs a community (Viva Engage)

*I would choose Viva Engage over Microsoft Teams for most live events that are this interactive because the features being used imply engagement and broad communication. I lean toward Teams for smaller meetings, typically less produced, and more task oriented.


In summary, you might choose to create a team in Microsoft Teams when you need to collaborate and communicate in real-time, and you might choose to create a community in Viva Engage when you want to build and foster a community around a shared interest or goal. For more information on Viva Engage, you can check out the official Microsoft documentation.

What do you think? How do you use Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage in your organization? Share your comments below or reach out to me on LinkedIn.

You can continue learning and reading about Microsoft Teams and Viva Engage with these resources:

3 practical user stories that show how Viva Engage boosts employee engagement

women sitting on chairs inside a room

How can you empower your employees to connect and collaborate across the company, no matter where or when they work? The answer is Microsoft Viva Engage, the new and improved evolution of Yammer, that creates an inclusive and engaging employee experience for everyone. The Viva Engage app in Teams enables organizations to create community, foster engagement with leadership, access knowledge and answers, and develop personal networks.

The app details page for Viva Engage in Microsoft Teams | Click to enlarge

Viva Engage is powered by Yammer services, so you can access the same content and features in Yammer web, desktop, and mobile apps as well as in Teams.

Not sure how Microsoft Teams differs from Viva Engage? Check out my post Microsoft Teams vs Viva Engage: A comparison guide.

In this blog post, we will share three user stories that illustrate how different employees use Viva Engage in different ways to accomplish their goals and work smarter.

User story 1: A frontline worker who uses Viva Engage to stay connected and informed

Maria is a retail associate at a large clothing store. She works on the shop floor, interacting with customers and managing inventory. She doesn’t have a dedicated desk or computer, so she relies on her smartphone to access Viva Engage in Teams.

Maria uses Viva Engage to:

  • Join and follow communities that are relevant to her role, such as the store community, the customer service community, and the product knowledge community.
  • Receive and respond to announcements from her manager and the corporate headquarters, such as new policies, promotions, and feedback surveys.
  • Ask and answer questions in the communities, using the Q&A feature to mark the best answers and upvote helpful replies.
  • Share stories and photos of her work and experience, using the storyline feature to create engaging posts that highlight her achievements and challenges.
  • Learn from her peers and experts, using the topics feature to follow hashtags and @mentions that interest her and help her improve her skills and knowledge.

Maria feels more connected and informed with Viva Engage. She can communicate and collaborate with her colleagues across the store and the company and access the information and resources she needs to do her job well and grow her career.

User story 2: A project manager who uses Viva Engage to manage and coordinate a cross-functional team

David is a project manager at a software company. He leads a team of developers, designers, testers, and marketers who work on a new product feature. He works remotely, so he uses Viva Engage in Teams to manage and coordinate his team.

David uses Viva Engage to:

  • Create and manage a community for his project team, where he can share updates, documents, and feedback with his team members and stakeholders.
  • Host and join virtual events in the community, using the live events feature to stream presentations, demos, and Q&A sessions with his team and the wider audience.
  • Interact with senior executives and thought leaders, using the leadership corner feature to view and join activities from top management, take polls, participate in hashtag campaigns and AMAs, and network with new leaders across the organization.
  • Crowdsource ideas and solutions, using the questions and answers feature to post and pin questions, upvote replies, and mark the best answers to solicit input and feedback from his team and the broader network.
  • Analyze and improve his community’s performance, using the analytics feature to get detailed insights into every community, event, and conversation, and take action to measure and increase activity and engagement.

David feels more productive and collaborative with Viva Engage. He can manage and coordinate his project team effectively and leverage the collective intelligence and experience of the organization to deliver better outcomes.

User story 3: A human resources manager who uses Viva Engage to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion

Lisa is a human resources manager at a manufacturing company. She is responsible for developing and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives across the company. She works in the headquarters, but she travels frequently to visit different sites and regions. She uses Viva Engage in Teams to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Lisa uses Viva Engage to:

  • Create and support employee resource groups (ERGs), using the communities feature to create and join communities for different affinity groups, such as women, LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with disabilities.
  • Launch and promote diversity and inclusion campaigns, using the community campaigns feature to create and manage organization-wide campaigns with dedicated campaign pages that aggregate posts from across the network into a unified view.
  • Share and celebrate stories of diversity and inclusion, using the storylines feature to create, upload, and share stories that highlight the diversity and inclusion achievements and challenges of the company and its employees.
  • Educate and empower employees on diversity and inclusion, using the learning feature to find and share relevant content from learning providers and company resources, and the live events feature to host and join webinars and workshops on diversity and inclusion topics.
  • Monitor and improve the diversity and inclusion outcomes, using the analytics feature to track and measure the impact of the diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the feedback feature to solicit and respond to employee suggestions and concerns.

Lisa feels more inspired and impactful with Viva Engage. She can foster a culture of diversity and inclusion across the company, and support and celebrate the diverse identities and perspectives of the employees.


These user stories show how Viva Engage helps employees connect and collaborate across the organization, regardless of their role, location, or background. Viva Engage is part of Microsoft Viva, the employee experience platform designed to help people connect, focus, learn, and thrive at work. Learn more about Viva here.

If you want to try Viva Engage for yourself, you can install the Viva Engage app in Teams and start creating and joining communities and conversations. You can also access Viva Engage in Yammer web, desktop, and mobile apps. For more information and guidance on how to use Viva Engage, check out the Microsoft Learn module here. And check out the introduction video here:

References and further reading