Microsoft acquires objectives and key results vendor Ally.io and plans to add it to Viva

Microsoft is buying OKR vendor Ally.io and is planning to make its objectives and key results technology the core of a fifth module in its Viva employee-experience platform.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has acquired Ally.io, a company specializing in Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) for an undisclosed amount. Microsoft plans to turn Ally.io's OKR functionality into a new module in its Viva employee-experience platform, officials said on October 7. Ally.io has about 130 employees located primarily in Seattle and Chennai, India. 

Currently, Microsoft Viva has four modules: Connections, Insights, Topics and Learning. Viva is meant to help companies with employee onboarding and engagement. Viva packages together some already available and some new Microsoft technologies, ranging from Yammer and SharePoint to its analytics and additional "Project Cortex" knowledge-management elements. 

Ally.io's OKR technology will become the core of a fifth Viva module over the next year, Microsoft officials said.

Ally.io is designed to give employees visibility into a company's strategic goals and work processes. Microsoft says it also plans to improve the integration between Ally.io's technology and Teams and integrate it with Office, Power BI and the rest of the Microsoft 365 apps and services.

Besides Teams, Ally.io's OKR software already integrates with Asana, Jira, Tableau, Box, Slack and lots of other collaboration tools. Microsoft officials said today that until Ally.io is folded into the Microsoft cloud stack, "current customers can continue to purchase the existing service through Ally.io." Microsoft execs said they will ensure a smooth transition for all Ally.io customers through the transition.

Standardized OKR tracking currently is something that some tech companies do but relatively few outside that space have considered or implemented it. Since its launch in 2018, Ally.io has been implemented by more than 1,000 high-tech, manufacturing, financial services and healthcare businesses in more than 80 countries, Microsoft says.

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