Microsoft Acquires to Prime Employee Experience Platform for OKR will provide new objectives and a key results module for Microsoft Viva.

Jeffrey Schwartz

October 8, 2021

3 Min Read
Customer Experience

Microsoft wants to add individual goal setting as a fifth module to its new Viva employee experience platform. To build it, the company Thursday said it has acquired, a startup founded by 14-year Microsoft veteran Vetri Vellore.

Microsoft didn’t disclose terms of the deal, but had raised a total of $76 million in funding., formed in 2018, provides a SaaS-based objectives and key results (OKR) solution. The company already has amassed a formidable roster of customers and partners.

OKR is a new software category that measures performance of every employee and maps it with an organization’s objectives. Microsoft has determined that adding an OKR module to Viva would be a valuable extension. OKR will blend well with the other Microsoft Viva modules, which include Connections, Insights, Learnings and Topics, according to Microsoft.


Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer

“The OKR category is a fast-growing and emerging space,” noted Kirk Koenigsbauer, COO and corporate VP for experience and devices at Microsoft, in a post announcing the acquisition. “ is leading the way as one of the most loved tools on the market. Customers find the experience flexible, easy to use with quick time-to-value. They appreciate its broad set of integrations with existing work systems.”

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

Indeed, integrates with various solutions including Azure DevOps, Google BigQuery, Domo, Excel Online, Github, Google Sheets, Hubspot, Jora, Looker, Salesforce, Smartsheet, Snowflake, Tableau, Trello and Zendesk. Among others, it integrates with key authentication and identity management providers and human resource information systems (HRIS).

Microsoft Viva-Dynamics 365 Integration

Meanwhile, Microsoft Viva, released earlier this year, is an extension of Teams, and is now integrated with Microsoft’s Dynamics 365. Koenigsbauer said Microsoft will integrate with Viva and the Microsoft 365 platform during the next year.

Vellore-Vetri_Ally.jpg’s Vetri Vellore

“As a part of Microsoft Viva, will continue to give leaders, teams and individuals the ability to align and focus everyday work to the company’s most important objectives,” Vellore, the founder, noted in a blog. “We will help bring goals and purpose to wherever the team is doing work, including Teams, Outlook, Slack, and the other systems you use every day.”

Josh Bersin, a veteran consultant with expertise in HR technology, believes will give Microsoft Viva a major boost. According to Bersin’s analysis, Microsoft Viva is on the agenda of every organization’s IT and HR department he has encountered.

“This is a big move, extending Viva’s Employee Experience Platform into the world of employee goal setting, goal sharing, OKRs and performance management. This is really essential stuff.”

Bersin added that Microsoft’s acquisition of could affect providers of competitive solutions such as Asana, Monday and existing HR performance management platforms including Lattice, BetterWorks, CultureAmp, Workboard, 15Five and others. According to his research, Ally has a net promoter score in the “high 60s” and is rated 4.7 out of 5 in Capterra.

“The impact on HR tech will be big,” Bersin predicts. “Ally is a well-designed system so I have no question this will be successful.”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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