Microsoft Viva launch: What You Need to Know

microsoft Viva launch

The nature of work has drastically changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began, with more Australians now working remotely than ever before. In fact, a recent study found that 75% of workers want flexible remote working arrangements even after the pandemic. However, experiences with new work environments vary greatly depending on the company and the individual. Bringing engaging and meaningful work experiences from traditional offices to an increasingly digital workplace has been a constant challenge for many Australian organisations. Microsoft Viva is a solution designed to address this challenge.

What is Microsoft Viva?

Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform that integrates with Microsoft Teams to empower your workforce. It offers a centralised platform that brings in data and features from workplace tools to enhance team communications, knowledge sharing, and learning. What’s more, Viva has features designed to help employees deal with stress and keep them constantly engaged. It fosters an environment where remote employees can feel connected, healthy, motivated, and equipped to do their job.

What does Viva offer?

To enhance employee experiences and engagement, Viva offers four specific modules:

1. Viva Connections

Viva Connections functions like a company-managed social media platform. It provides users with a personalised feed that showcases relevant conversations, company events, news, videos, photos, and other media in one place. In the feed section, users can post comments to ask questions and discuss ideas with the rest of the company. Users can also provide a curated experience for their team by showcasing group-specific content so everyone can stay in sync. Viva Connections even makes it easy to schedule sending company updates to specific people using pre-established Azure Active Directory groups.

2. Viva Insights

Viva Insights analyses data and user activity in your Microsoft 365 environment to help you improve your team’s productivity and well-being.

The app offers personal insights and actionable recommendations that enable employees to better maintain a healthy work-life balance. Insights lets users carve out time in their days for regular breaks, focused work, training programmes, and wind down periods after work. Throughout the day, employees can relax with built-in guided meditation exercises and reflect on their well-being through emotional check-ins. When an employee is ready to log off, Insights produces a summary of the tasks completed and a preview of upcoming tasks. Plus, employees can wrap up pending tasks (e.g., appointment confirmations and email queries) with a click of a button to free up mental space for the next day.

Meanwhile, you and your managers can use Viva Insights to identify work trend issues that may lead to burnout, such as frequent meetings and extensive after-hours activity. Insights also aggregates and anonymises data from numerous sources to quantify employee engagement, efficiency levels, and team cohesion. You can even incorporate employee feedback from third-party services like LinkedIn’s Glint to truly understand working conditions and issues. These insights are particularly valuable for devising informed strategies to optimise work habits, job satisfaction, and business performance.

3. Viva Learning

Viva Learning is essentially a hub that consolidates all your company’s training resources in Microsoft Teams. You can bring in content from your company’s archives, LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and other third-party training services like Pluralsight. The training hub can also accommodate a wide array of content types, including tutorial videos, simulation exercises, diagrams, and PDF leaflets.

Once you have a complete training directory, team leaders can share, assign, and track training progress through Viva Learning. Your employees can even search for training content by entering the specific skills they want to learn.

4. Viva Topics

Viva Topics leverages artificial intelligence to identify topics in your company and compiles information about them. Topics are phrases or terms that hold a specific meaning and significance to the organisation, such as project titles, events, locations, key names, and acronyms.

When Viva Topics identifies these keywords, it automatically highlights them and displays summary cards when you hover over them across your Microsoft 365 environment. The topics are also linked to relevant resources so people can learn more about them. Essentially, Viva Topics contextualises any specific terms used in Microsoft Teams or other applications to get people up to speed.

When will Viva be available?

Microsoft has a rollout schedule for its four Viva modules. For starters, since February 2021, Viva Topics became generally available to Microsoft 365 commercial plan subscribers. In April, Viva Connections became available in public preview on desktops, with mobile compatibility coming as soon as July. Viva Learning and Insights public previews are also available in April, but the general availability of both apps will be announced later in the year.

How can you implement Microsoft Viva?

Microsoft Viva will be available to all companies with a Microsoft 365 business or enterprise licence. Authorised users can then access Viva applications through Microsoft Teams. Of course, if you have trouble configuring certain settings in Viva applications, you can always consult with a leading managed IT services provider like Empower IT.

Empower IT Solutions is a certified Microsoft partner that can help your business reap the benefits of Viva and other Microsoft applications. Call our experts today to optimise employee experiences.