The blockbuster announcement by two software giants of the integration of Workplace by Meta (formerly Facebook) and Microsoft Teams makes it easier for employees to access information from Workplace directly within Teams. But what impact will this really have for employee communications and the employee experience - by having both Workplace by Meta and Microsoft Teams at your company? Keep reading to find out.

Details of the Announcement

Last week, Workplace by Facebook (now Meta), announced their integration with Microsoft Teams. While anyone using Microsoft 365 and Workspace could already integrate Workplace with SharePoint, OneDrive, and the Office 365 suite, this announcement specifically focused on Teams.

“One thing I learned from the pandemic is that companies don’t just rely on one tool to get their work done, so it is our responsibility as leaders in the space to make sure the tools they use integrate and interoperate with each other,” said Jeff Teper, CVP Product & Engineering, Microsoft Teams.

“We have a shared vision of offering our customers choice and flexibility, so it made sense for us to come together to help our mutual customers unlock collaboration and break down silos within their organizations.”

Nick Williams, Head of Digital Workplace, has been testing the integration at his company, Flight Centre Travel Group.  “Workplace enables our agents to connect with colleagues beyond their direct teams, breaking down silos across brands and business groups in ways we’ve never been able to before. The new Teams and Workplace integration will mark another important step in our goal of fostering community and collaboration across all of our employees."

"By creating a bridge between our company’s community hub (Workplace) and teamwork hub (Teams), employees will be able to access the most important information, whether they’re in an office or in the field, and feel connected at all times.”

What can I do with the new integration?

Employee communicators at companies with both solutions can now do the following:

Content can be viewed from either app

  • Content from Workplace can now be accessed in Teams without having to switch apps.
  • Workplace can be pinned to the Teams navigation bar.
  • There will be a homepage of Workplace content.
  • Content Managers/Admins can mark content as important to showcase it in the Workplace app.

Meetings can be viewed from either app

  • Employees can stream from Teams Meetings into Workplace groups. 
  • Live meetings can be viewed from either app.
  • Teams meetings can be captured and viewed later on Workplace.
  • Employees using Teams or Workplace can view, comment, and react to meetings in real time without having to switch between apps.

Why do I need help with this integration?

“Employee communicators can benefit from some communications consulting work here to ensure employees are not confused or overwhelmed”, says Michael Rudnick, CEO of Velaku. "Integrating these two platforms simply because they can, doesn’t mean the end-user experience will be logical for the user.  As a Microsoft partner with years of experience advising companies on the complexities of large-scale communications, a good communications consultant such as ourselves can help with the critical aspects of navigating the content and identifying opportunities for engagement”. 

Need help figuring this out? Contact Velaku to leverage decades of consulting  services.

What are the benefits for me and my employee communication colleagues?

The integration will allow employees to see a larger picture, which should drive more engagement and feedback at the company level. It also makes for easier communications with frontline workers, who may prefer to use Workspace, a mobile-first app, versus Microsoft Teams, which is currently more desktop-oriented (although Microsoft is working hard to change that).

For companies already using Workspace, who have large workforces that don’t sit at a desk, this could be a game-changer.  One struggle employee communicators have with reaching frontline workers is that they don’t use Teams as much as the corporate groups do, despite the functionality of Teams on the mobile app.

If frontline teams are used to Workplace, they now will see content from employee communicators more readily, as it can be tagged by admins on the Teams side as important.

How should I try this integration?

If you are already heavily invested in Workplace, this is a good opportunity to expand its reach and get content in the flow of employees’ work in Teams. 

Teams and Workplace customers can use these integrations for free, download the Workplace integration with Teams and try it today. Companies will be able to stream meetings and broadcasts from Teams into Workplace starting in 2022.

I don’t use Workplace. Should I buy it for this integration? How does it compare to Teams?

Generally speaking, Velaku doesn't recommend purchasing Workplace by Meta. 

Microsoft is putting significant investment into Teams and the entire Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Likewise, Microsoft Partners like Velaku have developed many solutions that can expand the functionality of Teams well beyond what comes out-of-the-box from Microsoft. 

The biggest reason to not go down this path - if you don’t already have Workplace - is that it complicates content management, and complicates the user experience by using two separate platforms that have little consistency of user experience. 

Companies that are not using Workplace today would be well advised to better leverage all the power of Microsoft - and its partner network - to provide all the capabilities and user experiences of Workplace without having to buy, manage, maintain or pay for Workplace. 

Need help integrating Teams and Workplace, or expanding Teams instead of using Workplace? Contact us to learn how Velaku can help.

"Employee communicators can benefit from some consulting work here to ensure employees are not confused or overwhelmed”, says Michael Rudnick, CEO of Velaku. "Integrating these two platforms simply because they can, doesn’t mean the end-user experience will be logical for the user.”

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