How is Microsoft Viva Reinventing the Digital Workplace?

Unveiled in February 2021, Microsoft Viva is a product suite dedicated to supporting employee engagement and experience through communication, knowledge sharing and insight development.

Viva was developed in response to the en masse adoption of remote working triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. When surveying remote employees on their experience during the pandemic, Microsoft found that a majority of people felt less connected to their team. The company also found that people spent about one hour a day searching for information or recreating it. Microsoft concluded that remote employees need better tools to both share information and interact casually. Thus, Viva was conceived to reinvent the digital workspace.

Microsoft Viva is based on four primary pillars

  1. Viva is designed to make a company’s intranet more social and community-oriented.
  2. Viva is designed to reveal insights that boost productivity and gauge employee sentiment.
  3. Viva uses artificial intelligence to create and structure knowledge for later reference.
  4. Viva enables employee learning by integrating training materials into Microsoft Teams.

Viva is built on the foundation of Microsoft 365. It offers out-of-the-box integration with various other Microsoft products. Viva isn’t designed to replace the current Microsoft ecosystem. It is designed to better integrate the system in a way that supports a better digital workspace with remote employees in mind.

Microsoft Viva is a suite of products that is divided into four different modules: Learning, Insights, Topics and Connections. While Connections is now available with Office 365, the other three modules are available through a separate Microsoft Viva subscription.

Viva Learning cultivates a culture of development

Continuous learning is important to the success of both a company and individual employees. When professionals learn outside of a formal training session, they tend to use an array of different resources, from YouTube videos to PowerPoint presentations.

The Viva Learning module is designed to bring all of these learning assets under a single umbrella. In addition to collecting these assets using artificial intelligence, Viva Learning also creates a social environment around them that is designed to foster a culture of learning within the digital workspace.

Viva Insights provides windows into employee productivity and engagement

When office workers suddenly became remote workers, managers suddenly found that it was much more difficult to determine the level of engagement with the digital workspace. Managers could no longer check in with their staff members by simply walking around the office and having face-to-face conversations.

Viva Insights is designed to give management and HR personnel a view into the workloads of individual employees. This module collects data and uses artificial intelligence to reveal how work is getting done.

Viva insights is more than just a management-facing tool. It’s also been designed to help employees gauge their own engagement, productivity and time management. This helps to nudge employees toward positive wellbeing and good work habits.

Viva Topics facilitates knowledge building and sharing

The typical day of a remote worker is punctuated by searches for information. Often, the information needed to complete a task is buried in a virtual mountain of web videos, social media posts and new stories.

Viva Topics uses artificial intelligence to present information and experts that are relevant to the work being done within a company. The platform automatically creates reference pages based on work topics, and experts within the company can edit the topic pages that fall under their area of expertise.

In essence, Viva Topics creates an internal Wikipedia site, with AI creating the skeleton and company personnel fleshing out the rest of the knowledge base. Furthermore, Topics pages are managed in SharePoint, which means there’s no need to transition to a new application.

Viva Connections unites different workspaces and builds community

Remote workers tend to spend a lot of their time in teams. They typically only reference the SharePoint intranet on a sporadic, as-needed basis. Viva Connections is designed to bring SharePoint into Teams.

In addition to linking these two vital axes of employee productivity, Viva Connections also helps to connect employees in a meaningful way by presenting current news stories and discussion topics. The module fetches news and discussions for a user, as opposed to driving or targeting this content to users.

Viva Connections has its own mobile app and is available with Office 365.

How Tryane can optimize Microsoft Viva

Microsoft Viva is based on and integrates with Microsoft 365. Therefore, analytics solutions that pull insights from Microsoft products are not affected by the use of this new product suite. For example, Viva Topic pages are based in SharePoint. For companies already extracting insights from SharePoint, this makes for easy adoption of the Viva platform.

Furthermore, our analytics solutions can reveal the ways in which Viva is changing the ways that employees collaborate and communicate. Internal communications professionals can then use this information to refine their strategies, while company leaders can use Tryane insights to boost engagement.

Tryane offers a number of solutions for companies looking to get the most out of their Microsoft investment. Our Yammer analytics solution can help you track employee engagement. Our SharePoint solution can help you identify the most engaging content on your intranet.

To learn more about how we can optimize your Microsoft Viva experience, contact us today.