Microsoft to acquire goal-tracking startup Ally

The Seattle-based company's software will be integrated into Microsoft's Viva platform

Microsoft has announced the acquisition of Ally, a software startup that helps businesses set and track employee goals and targets.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Microsoft said it will integrate Ally into its Viva platform, which was launched in February this year.

Ally, also styled as Ally.io, is a Seattle company that's based near Microsoft's Redmond headquarters and is founded by former Microsoft employee, Vetri Vellore. It has 275 employees and its partners include the likes of Dropbox and Salesforce-owned Slack.

Its software is used to monitor an approach known as 'objectives and key results (OKR)', where businesses identify specific goals and measurements to evaluate progress. The startup's dashboards and customisation tools will be integrated into Microsoft Viva and made available through its collaboration platform, Teams.

Viva is Microsoft's employee-focused wellness and education platform, launched as a solution to dispersed workforces. It focuses on four key areas - engagement, wellbeing, learning and knowledge - with a library of learning materials, corporate documents and productivity tips, also available through Teams.

"Ally and Microsoft Viva will enrich how people and teams come together to build alignment and achieve better business outcomes," Kirk Koenigsbauer, COO of Microsoft's experiences and devices division, wrote in a blog post.

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"Over the next year, we'll be investing to bring Ally into the Microsoft cloud, evolve the existing integrations with Microsoft Teams, and weave Ally into Viva, Office, Power BI and the broader set of Microsoft 365 apps and services."

Since its launch in 2018, Ally has been adopted by over 1,000 leading high-tech, manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare businesses across more than 80 countries, according to Microsoft. What's more, the OKR category is said to be a fast-growing and emerging space, of which Ally is a leading provider of.

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