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.
|Feature||Microsoft Teams||Viva Engage|
|Communication||Chat, voice, and video calls||Community building, leadership engagement|
|Collaboration||File sharing, co-authoring, and real-time collaboration||Knowledge sharing, self-expression|
|Integration||Integrated with other Microsoft 365 apps||Integrated with other Microsoft 365 apps|
|Deployment||Managed by Teams admin||Managed by Teams admin|
|User Interface||Chat-based interface||Community-based interface|
|Use Cases||Real-time communication and collaboration||Community building and knowledge sharing|
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 case||Team||Community|
|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||✓|
*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:
- Viva Engage