Microsoft Corp has launched a new employee experience platform called Microsoft Viva. According to the tech giant, it is the first employee experience platform to bring tools for employee engagement, learning, wellbeing, and knowledge discovery, directly into the flow of people’s work. It is designed to offer new experiences that integrate with the productivity and collaboration capabilities in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
“We have participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen, and it has had a dramatic impact on the employee experience,” says Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Every organisation will require a unified employee experience from onboarding and collaboration to continuous learning and growth. Viva brings together everything an employee needs to be successful, from day one, in a single, integrated experience directly in Teams.”
Here are 10 things that you should know about Viva:
1. Microsoft Viva builds on the power of Teams and Microsoft 365 to unify the employee experience across four key areas — Engagement, Wellbeing, Learning, and Knowledge
2. “Viva will enable companies to integrate their fragmented workplace tools and provide them in the flow of work,” says Josh Bersin, research analyst and noted expert on employee experience technology.
3. It will include four modules: Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics—with more on the way.
4. Viva Connections provides a personalised gateway to the digital workplace where employees can access internal communications and company resources like policies and benefits. It also enables them to participate in communities like employee resource groups, from a single customisable app in Microsoft Teams. The Connections app for Teams will be available on desktop in public preview the first half of 2021 with a mobile app coming later this year, claims the company.
5. Viva Insights gives individuals, managers and leaders personalised and actionable insights. It claims that personal experiences and insights, visible only to the employee, help individuals protect time for regular breaks, focused work and learning, as well as strengthen relationships with their colleagues. Managers and leaders can see trends at the team and organisation level, as well as recommendations to better balance productivity and wellbeing. For privacy reasons, the insights are aggregated and deidentified by default to maintain.
6. The company has also introduced a new dashboard for Microsoft Viva and LinkedIn’s Glint customers that maps insights about how people work to employee survey data about how people feel. “In addition to using data and signals from Microsoft apps and services, Microsoft Viva builds on an organisation’s existing investments. A customer can also leverage data from third-party tools like Zoom, Slack, Workday, and SAP SuccessFactors,” mentions Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft 365 in an official blog post.
7. Viva Learning offers a central platform to aggregate all the learning resources available to an organisation, including content from LinkedIn Learning; Microsoft Learn; third-party providers including Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight and edX; as well as an organisation’s own content library. Notably, the Viva Learning app is currently available in private preview. The module will start offering integrations with leading learning management systems, including Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba and SAP SuccessFactors, from later this year.
8. Viva Topics is the fourth module that delivers a knowledge discovery experience that helps people connect to information and experts across the company. “Think of Viva Topics as a Wikipedia with AI superpowers for your organisation,” explains Spataro. It uses AI to reason over a customer’s Microsoft 365 data, and with the ability to integrate knowledge from a variety of third-party services such as ServiceNow and Salesforce, it automatically surfaces topic cards within conversations and documents across Microsoft 365 and Teams.
9. “Along with content from the Microsoft Cloud, Viva Topics also surfaces information from third-party services like ServiceNow and Salesforce and builds on integrations made by partners like Accenture, Avanade, BA Insight, Raytion, and ClearPeople,” mentions Spataro.
10. According to Spataro, Microsoft is just getting started, and Viva is designed to be “an open and extensible platform” for a growing ecosystem of partners.