Microsoft Viva in Microsoft Teams

With the global pandemic ongoing but an eventual ending in sight, executives in the US and abroad question what a return to normalcy might look like. As of now, many businesses have chosen to retain much of the work-from-home processes. Remote work has become commonplace during the lockdown, and organizations seem to be doubling down on some of the benefits remote work offers both employers and employees. Nonetheless, some organizations have begun their transition back and foresee that an eventual bounce back to the pre-covid way of doing business is coming soon for most enterprise businesses. Microsoft Viva is big news for those organizations deciding to work remotely indefinitely or those looking to adopt a hybrid work system.

Microsoft most recently launched the start of a new Microsoft Teams-based workforce integration system. Overall, Microsoft Viva is an integrated employee experience platform (EXP) designed to empower people and remote teams to be their best. Viva brings together Communications, Insights, Knowledge, and Learning within the flow of everyday work and is meant to help employees be productive, upskill, and continue to grow their careers, all from their homes.

Microsoft Viva is built to drive more of the Microsoft productivity apps to be Microsoft Teams centric. The digital platform acts as an organizing layer for an ecosystem of services and integrates with your existing HR, Learning Management, and CRM solutions. Microsoft Viva provides an intuitive and flexible platform with a robust ecosystem of partners, so it works seamlessly with your existing Microsoft Teams app.

What is Microsoft Viva? – Product Overview

It doesn’t replace a modern Intranet, but it does bring your Intranet experience into Teams and provides an excellent framework to deliver exceptional user experiences. It is designed to help businesses adjust to a work-from-home scenario. Microsoft pitches Viva to solve the problems that accompany working remotely while offering the benefits of in-house work. Although not fully released, here are the four key features that Microsoft Viva plans to empower within Microsoft Teams: Viva Connections, Viva Insight, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics.

Viva Connections

Viva Connections is designed to replicate and replace the experience of being surrounded by colleagues back when we were able to collaborate in person. Such as asking a team member a quick question as they passed by your desk. There’s even an integration with Yammer and other Microsoft 365 apps to allow in-Viva quick chat and sharing documents.

Viva Connections comes down to a personalized dashboard that contains all the resources that cater to your specific role within the organization and regularly updates the feed with relevant information. This way, news can still navigate through office space, engage employees digitally, and essential project updates can reach you organically. Viva Connections also offers team-conferencing capabilities in different formats, from straight video meetings to town-halls.   Essentially, Microsoft’s goal with Viva’s Connections is to offer teams an easy way to discover information needed to participate in conversations actively. While Microsoft Viva currently allows individuals to create custom dashboards with personalized views of communities, announcements, and conversations on desktop devices, similar features will expand to mobile devices in the summer of 2021.

Price: Free with Existing Microsoft 365 license / Date Released: GA on desktop starting March/April 2021 & additional features released later this year.

Viva Insights

It isn’t easy to connect or drive company morale or mission through a computer screen. Only once severe drops in performance become objectively apparent does it become clear that an employee needs a break or that your team’s efficiency is essential. It can also be challenging to be your own judge of how you’re performing, especially without peers by your side to serve as an indicator or managers speaking to you regularly.

Viva Insights is built to provide both employers and employees with objective performance metrics, feedback, and personalized recommendations for both parties to structure their work, manage their output, and maintain a healthy balance of activity. Microsoft’s inclusion of Insights’ main features in Viva allows individuals to view outstanding tasks, track open email rates, book time to focus on projects, catch up on email, set lunchtimes, and more. Microsoft goes out of its way to emphasize that user-privacy is protected and that Viva Insights does not promote a dehumanizing view of individual productivity. Overall, the Viva Insight data is rich with content that can significantly help managers better serve their teams. Keep in mind that information is aggregated to ensure employee privacy remains in place.

Price: License $2 per seat/per month for Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 subscriptions and list $6 per seat/per month if adding to any other license level. However free tier includes Viva Insight app / Date Released: Teams Viva Insights app is GA available now but, the full Viva Insights features will be available later this year.

Viva Learning

Viva Learning is an internal education and skills-building app that lets users share courses and for company leaders to assign unique training, courses, and micro-education packages. There is also an AI-powered recommendations function designed to automatically detect what skills are relevant and promote specific educational tools to help users continuously learn and build on the most important elements of their career pathway (Sales, Marketing, IT, HR, etc.) On Viva Learning, individuals will access training materials and courses that are entirely free of cost.

Microsoft has decided to pull content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, various third-party providers, and even offers businesses a means to import custom training modules. As soon as this feature is launched, managers will be able to proactively assign courses to team members. Once assigned, managers can then see the status of assigned assessments and track completions. Additionally, all individuals within an organization will be able to view this content and can choose to access these resources as they please.

Price: Free with Existing Microsoft 365 license / Date Released: GA Later This Year

Viva Topics

Viva Topics is an AI-powered, automatically generated wiki tool that organizes company-wide information and knowledge and detects what you need to know. While handling data within the platform, many organizations deal with content sprawls and executives struggle to find appropriate information. Topics automatically organize content and expertise across your organization, making it easy for people to find information. Users can now hover over a keyword or term which then activates a “topic card” that immediately provides you with whatever information the AI deems essential or relevant to what you’re viewing. Viva Topics aims to minimize the information-gap or digital inefficiency facing remote workers who would otherwise, in the physical workplace, have the information closer at hand by way of colleagues, managers, and other on-site resources.

Price: $5 PUPM, all users who interact with topics require a license / Date Released: GA now for all commercial tenants

How Can You Tailor Microsoft Viva For Your Organization?

While most companies may have plans to return to on-site operations soon, we’ve already entered a time in which remote and hybrid business will become more commonplace. In turn, platforms, such as Microsoft Viva, will remain crucial to preserving remote communication, culture, and productivity. However, every organization is built differently and requires a unique strategy. Your industry, company, vision, mission, and people should have an individual digital workplace plan that brings them to life and helps everyone move forward. Klarinet Solutions supports all your communication channels by improving your digital workplace performance with a much more sophisticated Microsoft Viva Solution. Feel free to contact us and get advice from one of our digital workplace experts.

 

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