What is Microsoft Viva – The Viva Platforms 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 

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

 

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.  

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Viva Connections 

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

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.  

 

Viva Topics 

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

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  

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

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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.  

Viva Engage

Viva Engage Communities Homepage

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Viva Engage is a social platform that encourages employees to strengthen relationships with the goal of building a culture of involvement in today’s hybrid and remote environments.  

Viva Engage’s primary focus is to foster human connections, which can be quite difficult to achieve considering the shortage of in-person contact and engagement in the post-Covid era. However, Viva Engage minimizes these difficulties and restraints as it aims to help employees generate a greater sense of belonging and purpose within their organization.   

Users can form connections through open sharing and discussions with co-workers, building and joining communities, sharing unique stories and interests—the list goes on! These features allow employees to feel more empowered, appreciated, and vocal, translating into a higher quality of work and a more positive contribution to the workplace.  

Some of the benefits of Viva Engage include:  

  • Providing a workspace where employees can share news, strategies, and ideas while fostering transparency, building communities, and humanizing the digital experience  
  • Saving your team time and energy, which they can put to better use serving your clients better and achieving company goals  
  • Increasing employee commitment and satisfaction through a more engaged and empowered team 

Viva Engage is not limited to a particular target audience, as all users may enjoy its benefits. The main purpose of this module is to help people “engage,” meaning that everyone in your organization is encouraged to use this social platform, especially those who lack the feeling of belonging and unity with their co-workers! It’s a straightforward tool to help employees get involved and step out of their comfort zone. 

Viva Engage brings many new opportunities and features to the Microsoft Viva platform that will, without a doubt, use your employee’s skills and enhance the quality of the work delivered. 

Viva Goals

Viva Goals Relecloud OKRs

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Another fan-favorite Microsoft Viva module is Viva Goals. Viva Goals brings an improved employee experience through empowerment, visibility, and traceability of the individual, department, and organizational goals. This module allows you to track goals and progress through objectives and key results (OKRs) while aligning those goals with strategic priorities. 

Keeping your employees on track has never been easier as you can create goals, assign owners, and use tracking metrics to ensure that individual and organizational goals are met. Additionally, you no longer must worry about not being on the same page as your fellow employees, as Viva Goals creates collective accountability and checkpoints to keep you on course and focused on what matters.   

Remember, empowering your employees and uniting them around a shared mission and purpose inspires them to work harder and can make the most celebrated long-term impact with the use of Viva Goals. 

Anyone in the workplace can use Viva Goals to help them achieve their objectives, and peers, co-workers, and managers can follow along as they view and track their progress! 

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Viva Sales

Viva Sales Connected Through Outlook

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Viva Sales is a seller-experience application that simplifies, organizes, and takes care of the time-consuming, taxing work of the sales process. It saves the user time, effort, and energy, empowering your sales team to focus their efforts on truly impactful work. 

Viva Sales empowers your sales team, but other teams like marketing and operations can also gain valuable insights from it. In reality, anyone can use Viva Sales to better understand how the business is performing. 

This AI-driven platform creates call summaries, action items, follow-up reminders, and even status reports. With Viva Sales, employees can focus more on closing deals, satisfying clients, and maintaining solid employee-customer relationships.   

Viva Sales’s automations speed up the sales process while improving the quality of work, keeping your customers happy, and helping you close deals faster! So why wouldn’t you want to use a tool that makes both sides of a transaction easier? 

Viva Pulse

Viva Pulse Homepage

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Next up, we have Viva Pulse, which will be available in early 2023! This module focuses on checking in with your employees to understand better how they are feeling and what they’re truly thinking. Anonymous features protect users’ privacy and encourage truthful and honest opinions, giving managers authentic insights into the sentiments of their team. With accurate data-driven insights, Viva Pulse empowers leaders to make impactful changes to improve the workplace. 

Some features of Viva Pulse consist of:  

  • Request feedback on topics such as team success, well-being, project debriefs, and more 
  • Browse question topics and view recommendations based on outcomes  
  • Easily share results with other people, teams, and departments  

Viva Pulse is for employers, managers, and other leaders who need an understanding of how their fellow employees truly feel. This can range from daily work-life balance to tasks, work expectations, and much more! 

Getting an insider’s view of how your employees are doing no longer requires participating in an episode of Under Cover Boss! Viva Pulse empowers your employees to openly share their thoughts and opinions without fearing possible consequences. It encourages growth, refinement, and mutual respect, allowing everyone in an organization to share their voice and be heard. 

Viva Amplify

Viva Amplify Hub Homepage

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Viva Amplify improves the experience helping your team amplify its voice across channels. This module acts as a central hub for communication while assisting users in forming meaningful connections.   

With that said, Viva Amplify’s primary purpose is to make communicating with large groups an easier task. It provides writing guidance and even turns messages into campaigns that can reach larger audiences and receive more engagement, followed by newer, longer-lasting connections.   

You can even track your campaign’s engagement, reach and effectiveness, and distribute it across channels like Sharepoint, Outlook, and more.  

Amplify, while available for all employees, is really changing the game for corporate communications. Viva Amplify helps those struggling to reach large audiences and communicate their message. 

The Viva Amplify module is a massive step in the right direction regarding distributed communications and getting your voice out there, so keep an eye out for the Viva Amplify release date, which we anticipate to be in early 2023! 

People in Viva

People in Viva "Organization" Tab

Photo courtesy of Microsoft

Last but not least, Microsoft plans to release an additional Viva feature called People in Viva.   

This AI-driven platform encourages discovering new connections to improve your organization’s collaboration, team building, and goal achievement.  

Key advantages of using this resource cover:  

  • Gaining the ability to unlock insights across all team members  
  • Learning more about your fellow employees  
  • Viewing and tracking employee’s goals and progress to better understand who needs additional support or assistance   
  • Searching for people in your organization based on filters, topics, interests, goals, work department, and the list goes on!  

People in Viva can and should be used by anyone in the organization! This feature is particularly for those looking to bond with their peers, create long-lasting relationships in the workplace, and improve team dynamics. 

By using the People in Viva feature, you make meaningful workplace connections, unlock similar interests, goals, and passions as your peers, and, most importantly, improve the quality of communication and teamwork within the hybrid workplace. 

 

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.  

We can’t wait to hear about your experience with these Microsoft Viva resources. And make sure to stay tuned in because—a little secret between us—we’re super excited about the new technology coming from Microsoft, especially the soon-to-be-released Viva module, Microsoft Places, coming out in 2023! 

 

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