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Why Viva Engage is the Best Meta Workplace Alternative

Why Viva Engage is the Best Meta Workplace Alternative

Following the news that Meta is shutting down Workplace, thousands of organisations will be looking for an alternative solution to act as the social hub for employees. Some of those organisations will already be using Microsoft 365 – whether it’s SharePoint, Outlook, or the standard Word, PowerPoint and Excel apps. If you are already using Microsoft’s tools in other areas of your business, Viva Engage is the best alternative. If you’re not a Microsoft-based organisation, a broader migration could be something to consider.

Here, we look at why Viva Engage is the best replacement for Meta Workplace.

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Overview of Meta Workplace and Viva Engage

Meta’s Workplace and Microsoft’s Viva Engage are modern communication platforms designed to harness the power of social technology in a professional environment. Both platforms help foster communication, collaboration, and community within organisations, but they do so with different tools and approaches.

Meta Workplace is developed by Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly Facebook) and leverages Facebook’s familiar features. Building on the success of social media communication in our personal lives, it offers tools like groups, chat, video calls, and live broadcasting alongside work-centric features and integrations with popular business applications. But, Meta announced in May 2024 that Workplace is shutting down in 2025 – so customers will need to look for something new.

Viva Engage, on the other hand, is developed by Microsoft. It’s part of the larger Viva suite, an employee experience (EX) platform which integrates with Microsoft 365. It’s a newer player in the market but draws heavily on Microsoft’s legacy in enterprise software. It focuses on EX through features like storylines and conversation spaces that integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Teams. We’ve got a full deep dive on Viva Engage if you’d like to know more.

Or, watch our 3-minute explainer.

Meta Workplace vs Viva Engage

Meta Workplace Features

Meta Workplace offers a comprehensive suite of tools that are particularly effective in facilitating seamless communication and robust collaboration within large teams and organisations. Some of the key features include:

Groups: Users can create groups for projects, teams, or topics. This helps organise discussions and makes information sharing more targeted and efficient.

Work Chat: A text, voice, and video communication tool that resembles Facebook Messenger, allowing for quick and easy communication among team members.

Live Video: Similar to Facebook Live, this tool allows users to broadcast to large audiences within the organisation, which is great for company-wide announcements or live events.

Auto-translate: Easily translate posts and comments in over 50 languages – a useful tool for global companies.

Integration with Third-Party Services: Support for integration with a variety of other business apps and services including M365 and Google G-Suite.

These features make Meta Workplace a great platform for collaboration and social sharing. But, its discontinuation means organisations will need to look elsewhere for a solution that can offer the same – or better.

Viva Engage Features

Viva Engage places a strong emphasis on community building and knowledge sharing, integrating deeper with Microsoft’s ecosystem. Here are some of the key features:

Storylines: This feature allows users to share updates and news, much like a personal social media feed. Storylines help keep other team members informed and engaged with what’s happening across the company.

A Viva Engage storylines dashboard, with a row of colleagues' stories along the top, and a news feed of storyline posts

Communities: Communities are the alternative to Workplace’s ‘Groups’. Organisations can create a wide range of community types, from social and hobbyist groups to professional and departmental teams.

A Viva Engage dashboard showing the Communities tab. There are 5 communities under 'My Communities', and 3 communities under 'Recommended Communities'

Leadership Corner: Designed to help employees connect directly with leaders, Leadership Corner provides a space for two-way comms, and allows employees to easily find and engage with leaders from across the business.

The Leadership Corner dashboard in Viva Engage, with headshots of key leaders at the top, posts from leaders displayed in a news feed, and upcoming ask me anything events displayed to the right

Answers in Viva: Answers is a new feature that really sets Viva Engage apart. It’s an AI powered tool that helps employees find the answers to their questions, quicker. Answers in Viva provides an added layer of knowledge sharing, as well as the social networking and collaboration tools.

Answers dashboard in Viva Engage, with previously asked questions and answers in a feed, trending topics to the right, and badges earned.

Integration with Microsoft 365: Viva Engage is a standalone app, or an app within Microsoft Teams. The Teams integration allows for a seamless workflow as employees do not have to switch between tools. Plus, it’s a great mobile-friendly option for frontline or deskless workers. It can also easily be embedded into your SharePoint intranet through out-of-the-box web parts.

Analytics: Analytics give an insight into trending topics, sentiment analysis and engagement. This is a great feature for internal communicators to understand which messages are landing well, and which need tweaking.

Why Viva Engage is the Best Alternative to Meta Workplace

Choosing a platform for organisational communication and collaboration is an important decision, and one that many businesses are now having to make to replace Meta Workplace. If you ask us, Viva Engage is the standout alternative, and here’s why:

Integration with Microsoft 365: This integration means that it syncs beautifully with familiar tools such as Outlook, Teams, and SharePoint, creating a cohesive experience that boosts productivity and collaboration without the learning curve typically associated with new software. Plus, if you already subscribe to the E3 or E5 license, you can use Viva Engage for no extra cost.

Focus on Employee Experience: Viva Engage is designed with the employee experience at its core. It aims to not just connect employees but to engage and empower them. The platform complements other Viva tools like Connections and Goals, which when layered together really enhance overall employee engagement.

Data Security and Compliance: For organisations concerned about security, Viva Engage provides robust security features integrated within the Microsoft ecosystem, known for its high standards of compliance and security. This aspect guarantees that data handling and communication occur within a secure and compliant environment.

Scalability: The platform is easily scalable for larger organisations, and can grow and flex with your business needs. Thanks to its integration with other Microsoft services, it can handle a large number of users and more complex organisational structures without impacting performance.

How to Migrate from Meta Workplace to Viva Engage

Before we talk about how to migrate, we raise the question of which data should you migrate?

Much of the data that lives in Workplace is conversation based. Depending on the groups you have set up, this could be chat about favourite movies, pet pictures, or more work-related discussions. There’ll also be the attached comments, reactions, images…

Altogether that conversation-based content forms a lot of data and makes for a complex migration. So, before you think about moving everything across, it’s important to think about which data you still need.

Is a 6-month-old conversation thread on the latest walking challenge still relevant? Is it worth the effort and cost of migrating?

One approach we would recommend considering is a period of co-existence. As Workplace winds down, set up your Viva Engage environment and have both running alongside each other for a few months. This allows time for new communities and conversations to organically grow, with the old content still available for those that need it. By the time Workplace is switched off, your new social space will already be flourishing.

Of course, you may have important documents and policies in Workplace. If you’re already running other Microsoft 365 tools, these likely already live in SharePoint. And if not, they should do! If you’re looking at moving to Microsoft for the first time, you’ll need a broader discussion to agree where this formal data should live.

For current Workplace customers, there’s no choice but to look for other options, with the platform saying goodbye in 2025. If your organisation isn’t already bought into the Microsoft 365 landscape, then your discussion should be broader. Are Microsoft’s array of productivity and collaboration tools, like Outlook, SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive the best option for you? But, if you’re already embedded in Microsoft’s tools then Viva Engage is absolutely the best alternative.

An Internal Communicator’s Guide to Microsoft Viva

For a more in-depth look at Viva Engage, Viva Connections, Viva Amplify and Viva Goals, including key features and real life use-cases, download our guide to Microsoft Viva especially for internal communicators.

Front cover of the Internal Comms Guide to Microsoft Viva

Silicon Reef are people-first Microsoft 365 experts. We help organisations optimise M365 to elevate the employee experience. Come and say hello, and learn how we can help you maximise tools like Viva Engage.

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