Microsoft Viva is Microsoft’s new big bet on remote working becoming a mainstay and aims to help businesses cope with remote work. The service is to act as a portal for both employees and businesses to simplify working from home.
Microsoft launched Viva on Thursday 4th February 2020 and will keep rolling parts of the platform throughout 2021.
“We have participated in the largest, at scale, remote work experiment the world has seen. As the world recovers, there is no going back. Flexibility in when, where, and how we work will be key,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said.
Microsoft like everyone else understands that due to the pandemic the way people work, learn and live is different and its latest bet is to provide value around that change.
Microsoft Viva isn’t a service or an app. It is a platform for improving remote work and helping businesses adjust to it. Microsoft thinks Viva will help with employee wellbeing in this new digital era of work.
“We need to stop thinking about work as a place, and start thinking about how to maintain culture, connect employees, and harness human ingenuity in a hybrid world,” according to Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365.
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Spataro had predicted early on in the pandemic that it would forever change the way we work and learn. Viva is a product of the resulting trends from the new way of working.
Microsoft will integrate Viva into Teams. The platform is split up into four specific modules: connections, insights, topics, and learning.
Connections will include internal communications and resources like benefits and company policies. It’s also designed to be the welcome portal at a company and you’ve never even met your co-workers due to the lockdowns. “You can think of it as a gateway to your digital workplace,” Spataro explains.
Viva Connections will have things like company news, town halls, or even employee resource groups and communities. It’s like a dashboard for connecting with colleagues virtually.
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Viva Insights is to include data for managers and leaders to monitor work patterns and trends. The company says this module will however protect the user’s privacy. “This means personal insights are visible only to the employee, while insights for managers and leaders are aggregated and de-identified by default to protect individual privacy,” says Spataro.
Viva Learning is about employee learning and development. It will house training materials, courses, and other content for employee education. This will also include content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and even a business’ own content, or training material from third-party providers.
Viva Topics will use AI to organize content and automatically surfaces topic cards with documents, videos, and related people. The platform will generate topic cards from apps like Office, Teams, and SharePoint. “Think of Viva topics as a Wikipedia for the organization,” Spataro explains.
Microsoft says that it designed Viva as an “open and extensible platform” for partners. Viva Topics is available now for Microsoft 365 customers. A public preview of Viva Insights is also now available. Microsoft also plans a launch of a private preview of Viva Learning with more additions to come to Viva throughout 2021.
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