Microsoft logo on a silver tablet sitting on a desk with a coffee cup and paper notes.
Image: © itchaznong/

New Microsoft acquisition to help clients embrace ‘digital work life’

8 Oct 2021

Microsoft hopes to dominate the employee experience market with its new Viva platform, through its acquisition of objectives and results monitoring platform Ally.

Microsoft has acquired software company, which it plans to add to its employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva.

According to Microsoft’s COO Kirk Koenigsbauer, the company acquired Ally as part of its plan to help its clients “embrace the new digital work life”.

The terms of the deal between the tech giant and the Seattle start-up were not revealed.

Since its founding three years ago, Ally has focused on helping clients measure their progress against OKRs (objectives and key results). Its CEO, Vetri Vellore is a former Microsoft employee.

In a blog post, published yesterday (7 October), Koenigsbauer wrote: “Aligning employee work to the company’s strategic mission and core priorities is top of mind for every organisation … When teams see how they are delivering impact, employees stay more engaged, focused and driven in achieving both company growth and their own personal fulfilment.”

He added that investing in transparency was particularly important, particularly as the shift to hybrid working methods had “made it more challenging to keep every leader, team and individual aligned and moving to the same rhythm”.

He praised Ally for its work on providing clients with “visibility and clarity into the entire work process”, which, he wrote, enabled companies to allow employees keep track of their strategic objectives and goals.

Ally’s OKR platform will join Microsoft Viva’s employee experience platform. Over the next year, it will also bring the company into the Microsoft cloud. It will evolve the platform’s existing integrations with Microsoft Teams, integrating it into Office, Power BI and the broader set of Microsoft 365 apps and services.

Ally is already integrated with other productivity tools including Slack, Jira, Asana and Smartsheet. It has more than 1,000 customers across 80 countries.

Microsoft’s acquisition of the company will give its Viva platform, which is only a few months old, a much-needed boost in a market which includes major competitors such as Zoom and Google.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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