Viva Connections announcements vs the Accelerator 365 Alerts app

Viva Connections announcements vs the Accelerator 365 Alerts app

Microsoft have recently announced the general availability of Viva Connections announcements, part of a wider group of updates they have termed Viva Connections 3. I’m writing this post because there’s seemingly an overlap with our Accelerator 365 Alerts app that is worth exploring.

Existing customers, particularly those we’ve worked with on intranet projects, will be aware of our Microsoft-first philosophy that underpins the Accelerator 365 approach. In summary, if you can use functionality available ‘out of the box’ we recommend that you do. We do not set out to compete against Microsoft with our apps.

So what do we do when Microsoft introduce new functionality that previously we’d “filled the gap” with by an Accelerator app? Let’s look at in detail.

The first thing to say is that we love the new Viva Connections announcements functionality. In fact, we think it’s such a great idea that we built it 2 years ago 😊

Breaking it down into a feature comparison between Accelerator 365 Alerts and Viva Connections announcements:

Feature Viva Connections
Accelerator 365
Support links

Audience targeting


View previous dismissals

Management screen

Multiple alert support

Show in SharePoint

Show in Viva Connections

Teams activity feed integration

As an aside, I would also say that I think the look and feel of the Viva Connections announcements functionality is fantastic. The whole evolution of Viva Connections (whilst admittedly having some challenges still to solve!) is great to see – and, in particular, there’s some incredible UI / UX work being released by Microsoft.

From the feature comparison you can see there’s a great deal of overlap in the Accelerator 365 Alerts app and Viva Connections announcements. And to be honest, we’re going to take this as a pat on the back for how we approach our app design and development. We deliberately set out to create apps that fit seamlessly into the M365 ecosystem – so to see Microsoft solve the same problem with a very similar solution to ours is validation of our approach.

Our recommendations

We don’t want to compete, and Microsoft have made a great app that offers very similar functionality, so the recommendation is going to be use Viva Connections announcements right? Yes. Almost.

There’s just two slight caveats that we think are stopping this new feature reaching its full potential (and therefore stopping us sunsetting the Alerts app!!!). 

  1. At present, there’s no way to show the announcements on a SharePoint page (despite being able to create them there). Whilst Viva Connections is great, it’s still very much the younger sibling, in our experience, when it comes to how people are accessing their intranet. This will undoubtedly change. But until it does, we think it’s critical that you need to be able to display your announcements/ alerts in SharePoint.
  2. It’s understandable, but Microsoft have made Viva Connections announcements a premium feature 😢 Whilst we don’t have any statistics to back this up, our gut feel is that this puts it out of reach for many of our clients. Perhaps the totality of features offered in the Viva Suite or the Viva Communications and Communities licenses will make this cost-effective for organisations, but for those of you looking at just the announcements feature as an add-in to an existing intranet, it may be a cost hard to justify.

In conclusion we love the new Viva Connections announcements feature! We’re huge fans of the direction of travel Microsoft are taking with this and many other features. For now, however, we think that our Alerts app has a place and a ‘gap to fill’ for many people – but we fully expect that to change over the coming years as the core Viva Connections and SharePoint functionality evolves.

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