What is Microsoft Viva – the four modules explained

As an organization, you’re constantly looking for the best tools, processes, and applications available to better yourself and your employees. The employment world is all about employee experience and growth lately, after all! And in theory, this is a great concept. However, one issue is that, sometimes, it can be challenging to put in place. The staff responsible for implementing the change is often busy or lacks the expertise to address the change management and training side of things. On the document management side, it can lead to clutter and disorganization with assets located and accessed in different places, by different people, from different devices.  

Enters Microsoft Viva. It’s everything you need to grow your people, surfaced in Microsoft Teams. This employee experience platform brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights that can be accessed wherever, whenever. The goal of this article is to provide a brief introduction to Microsoft Viva and its four modules.  

What is Microsoft Viva? 

Microsoft Viva was designed to assist organizations in their culture in the remote work era. In this new hybrid office, applications such as SharePoint and Teams have become staples in many businesses’ lives. Microsoft wanted to build off this idea, and they have pitched Viva as a way to solve the problems that accompany working remotely while preserving the merits that come with it.  

Remote work means less commuting, not being tied to a single geographical location, and more family time. However, as we all know, many drawbacks come with remote work as well such as greater distractions and a lack of communication between co-workers. As an employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva is designed to help businesses adjust to a work-from-home environment and help overcome these drawbacks. It’s primarily geared toward HR and Internal Communications; however, it has many other uses for any management style. Viva primarily integrates with Microsoft Teams and Outlook meaning that you can take advantage of applications you already have in place, with little to no training required.  

Microsoft Viva Pricing 

When it comes to purchasing, you have a couple of options. Microsoft 365 comes with Viva Connections by default. However, if you are looking to obtain the additional three modules you will need to purchase the Microsoft Viva Suite or purchase the specific modules you would like individually. When purchased individually, Viva Learning, Viva Insights, and Viva Topics are priced individually as a per-user per-month license. When purchased together in the Microsoft Viva Suite, all four modules are included in the same per user per month manner. 

Viva Insights 

 

The first module of Microsoft Viva we will be looking at is Viva Insights. The purpose of Viva Insights is to help people and businesses thrive with data-driven, privacy-protected insights and recommendations to improve productivity and wellbeing. With Viva Insights you can discover new findings that build on the capabilities of Personal Analytics, Manager insights and leader Analytics. For example, as a people leader, you can find out how many of your employees are working outside of designated work hours, and how many hours are spent in meetings. You can get a sense of your employees’ days and help give them a better work-life balance. To thrive at work, employees need to take care of themselves – this all comes back to balancing productivity and well-being. Here are some options that Viva Insights presents you with: 

  • Improve employee well-being: Identify opportunities to create better work habits and provide recommendations. For example, reserving time for focused work, taking regular breaks, or practicing mindfulness.  
  • Take advantage of tools: Address complex challenges and use advanced tools such as a library of prebuilt analysis accelerators, visualizations, and interactive reports. 
  • Analyze data: Identify where your business is experiencing elevated risk and follow the personalized recommendations. 

Viva Insights offers Personal, Manager, and Leader Insights.  

Personal Insights are provided privately to everyone to identify opportunities to modify how they do work, with the main emphasis being on boosting wellbeing and productivity.  

Manager Insights offer managers visibility into work norms that can lead to burnout and minimal focus, among other problems. Manager insights have built-in safeguards to protect personal privacy. Finally,  

Leader Insights provides visibility into how work happens to create a positive culture. Personal Insights are available with any Microsoft 365 license, Manager and Leader Insights require a Viva Insights license.   

By crunching your Microsoft 365 data, Viva Insights can unlock valuable information to improve your employee experience and the way that work gets done. The added structure helps to eliminate the barriers that are often present in a remote work environment.  

 

Viva Connections 

One of the toughest challenges when working remotely is the lack of connection. The social aspect of work is not only enjoyable, but it helps when it comes to productivity as well. Having an outlet to speak freely and bounce ideas off one another is crucial in the workspace.  

Viva Connections creates a community for individuals to come together and support one another. Within Viva Connections, everyone has access to a personalized destination to discover relevant news, conversations, and the tools they need to succeed. It gives employees a voice to express their opinions and share new ideas.  

Viva Connections allows members to create a customized employee dashboard to provide easy access to company resources and to build connections via communities. These communities empower employees to contribute ideas.  

Here are some common uses for Viva Connections: 

  • Discover communities for employees to engage with each other. These can be work-related, or hobby-related. Whatever you feel fits your people and your culture. 
  • Provide access to employee resources such as policies and HR documents 
  • Share information more efficiently  

Staying connected remotely no longer has to be an issue with Viva Connections in your corner.  

 

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Viva Topics 

The next module offered in Microsoft Viva is Viva Topics. Viva Topics is a knowledge discovery platform that helps to connect people with knowledge, build on ideas, find solutions faster, and stay connected as a team.  

Through Viva Topics, you can automatically display topic cards across Microsoft 365 apps to discover knowledge in the context of your work. With built-in security and compliance features, Viva Topics uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to surface expertise in the apps used every day by individuals. Here are some examples of how Viva Topics can help you: 

  • Improve business productivity such as speed-up time to onboard new employees  
  • Use AI to reason over your organization’s content and automatically identify, process, and organize it into easily accessible knowledge  
  • Reduce duplication of effort by making knowledge available in the flow of work  
  • Find information easier and people quicker 
  • Prevent knowledge loss due to employees retiring or leaving  

Microsoft Viva Topics connects, manages, and protects knowledge and expertise from your organization and delivers them across Microsoft 365. This helps enable faster learning and fosters innovation as information is easier to find. When people work together and share their knowledge they can achieve more.  

When in a remote environment, Viva Topics is an outlet that can help you do just that – share your knowledge. Turn content into knowledge with AI, build topic pages and topic cards, and make it easy to discover new findings. 

 

Viva Learning  

The last element of Microsoft Viva is Viva Learning. Viva Learning is a learning hub that collects learning resources from a variety of different sources including LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and popular third-party providers such as Skillsoft and Coursea 

In Microsoft Teams, people can share, recommend, and learn from content libraries to empower groups and individuals to make learning a natural part of their day. There is also the option to access courses directly, see course details, and bookmark courses for later.  

It empowers employees to engage with a variety of resources in Microsoft 365. Learning is a never-ending process, regardless of whether you’re in an office or at home, it’s important to be consistently trying to expand your staff’s knowledge. Viva Learning encourages a culture of growth that helps people reach their potential.  

Here are some benefits of Viva Learning:  

  • A holistic view of learning from multiple sources 
  • Ensures learning is accessible 
  • Brings learning into the daily flow of work 
  • Focuses on the digital employee experience  
  • Empowers employees to take control of their learning 

Discover and share skills, recommend and track learning content, and access all learning content in one place with Viva Learning.  

Each module within the Microsoft Viva Suite is specifically crafted to cater to the common issues that employees and organizations often face in a remote environment. They also work great together as a sum, and with the rest of your M365 license.  

Viva Insights collects and analyzes your data to provide recommendations to improve productivity and well-being. Viva Connections mimics a social environment where conversations and resources can be posted. Viva Topics is an outlet to discover and share new ideas. Finally, Viva Learning provides a hub of resources to grow your knowledge. The combination of these modules can help you foster a culture where people and teams are empowered to be their best from anywhere. All in all, Microsoft Viva is a great way to start your business transformation process, learn more about business transformation by downloading our free eBook! 

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