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Viva is Microsoft’s latest platform, designed to help you thrive at work

Introducing Microsoft Viva

As we all continue to deal with working from home, Microsoft has announced another platform to enhance the remote work experience. Building on the success of Teams and the rest of the Microsoft 365 suite, Microsoft is now introducing Microsoft Viva, an employee experience platform designed especially for work in this digital and online era.

Microsoft Viva attempts to solve a lot of problems around workforce engagement. That includes key activities in the life of an employee, such as training, well-being, and onboarding.

There are a lot of tools that can already support these things, but Microsoft has found that the tools are fragmented across the market and can be disruptive to workflows. Companies also spend $300 billion on it, too, and many are reevaluating their approaches.

Viva is part of a new category they’re calling Employee Experience Platforms (EXP). And, it has four key modules that bring together communications, knowledge, learning, and resources. All of it is experienced through Microsoft Teams and the rest of Microsoft 365.

Microsoft Viva - Product Overview

Microsoft says that to start, Viva will come with the Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics modules.

Viva Connections is built on Microsoft SharePoint and is able to give you an entry point for employee engagement and internal communications — for company town halls, company news, benefits, or policies. It even integrates with Yammer, too, and can be customized as an app in Microsoft Teams.

Viva Insights, meanwhile, is a tool that can be accessed through Teams for individuals, managers, or company leaders. Designed to help you make the most of your time and reduce work burnout, tools such as virtual commute and an integration with Headspace will be part of this.

For managers, meanwhile, Viva Insights will give data-driven, privacy-protected insights, and recommendations to foster a healthy, successful team. And, for company leaders, shed light on organization work patterns and trends. It will plugin and incorporate data from third-party services like Zoom, Workday, and SAP SuccessFactors.

As for Viva Learning, Microsoft believes it can “make learning a natural part of both every employee’s daily work and company culture.” Employees can discover and share training courses, and AI can recommend the right content at the right time, aggregating content from LinkedIn learning. It’s in a private preview.

Finally, there’s Viva Topics. Microsoft thinks of Viva Topics as “a Wikipedia with A.I. superpowers for your organization.” The service is for those situations where you might come across unfamiliar topics or acronyms at work.

Viva Topics is able to help you by using AI to organize company-wide content and expertise into different categories. It will surface topic cards as people work in apps like Office, SharePoint, and Teams. When employees click on a card, a topic page appears with documents, videos, and related people.

Microsoft is working with their global partners to integrate with Viva the systems and tools a company already has in place — say Salesforce, BA Insight, Raytion, and ClearPeople. Service partners such as Accenture, PWC, and EY will also provide consulting and advisory services to help customers optimize their existing employee experience investments by bringing them together with Microsoft Viva.

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Arif Bacchus
Arif Bacchus is a native New Yorker and a fan of all things technology. Arif works as a freelance writer at Digital Trends…
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