Microsoft Ignite 2021 Announcements – Microsoft Viva Updates and Microsoft Viva Suite
Earlier this past spring, Microsoft had announced Viva and their vision to create the employee experience platform (EXP). Consisting of four components, Viva provides resources and support for an organization’s staff so they can communicate, collaborate, and thrive in their collaborations through Viva Connections, Viva Topics, Viva Learning, and Viva Insights. At Microsoft Ignite 2021, it was announced that the four components are available as a bundle through the Viva Suite plan while a fifth component, powered by Ally.io, will be available soon.
Acquired by Microsoft, Ally.io is a leading company that specializes in objectives and key results (OKR). As a fifth component, Ally.io will provide an organization with the tools and power to align the work of staff with the organization’s core priorities and strategic missions. With this fifth component, Viva will power organizations and their people to share expert knowledge, key learning resources, insights on personal productivity, and shape the culture of the organization. Most importantly, it will provide the tools necessary for organizations to monitor and address the stressors causing burnouts in a hybrid work environment.
Microsoft Viva Suite – Simplified Deployment
With Microsoft 365’s centralized admin center, administrators can easily access the guided setup for the deployment of Microsoft Viva Suite. The initial setup is simplified through the admin center experience with the provision of a guide for setting up along with task lists for each Viva module and partner solutions.
Microsoft Viva Connections: Communication and Culture
Through your everyday devices and applications, Viva Connections brings conversations, resources, and relevant news in a company-branded and curated experience.
There are many leading industry partners with integrations that will engage with Viva Connections. While some industry-leading applications help extend the organization’s communications and culture experience, new additions will provide functionalities including document signature ability and the creation of dashboard cards which will allow employees to receive personalized and immediate self-help. For SharePoint, new module webparts are now available.
Microsoft Viva Insights – Wellbeing and Productivity
One of the focuses of Viva is to provide managers and leaders the tools to ensure that their staff is not only productive but that their well-being is also cared for. With Viva Insights, privacy-protected insights based on collected data will provide recommendations to managers and leaders to maximize productivity while ensuring a healthy work-life balance for staff. Viva Insights will also provide recommendations for conducting effective meetings.
These recommendations will be actionable based on tracked data, including outstanding tasks, accomplishments, personal habits affecting team culture, via a sustained connection between managers, leaders, and staff. Viva Insights will be available through Microsoft Teams under the My Team tab in the Viva Insights app. These new management tools and insights will help in developing team policies to ensure life-work balance such as non-meeting days geared for full, uninterrupted, and productive working days.
In the Microsoft Teams Viva Insight app, Effective and efficient meetings are recognized as being important for Microsoft Teams. With the Viva Insight app, meeting organizers will be provided personalized insights and recommendations, providing the data to help affect change and thereby, improve meeting habits. Meeting attendees will be able to include Team links, set meeting norms such as shorter meetings, create meeting plans, and share these plans with their Teams.
Headspace is an integral part of Viva Insights, offering guided meditations to users for mental well-being. As of November 2021, Headspace will be available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and German.
Microsoft Viva Topics: Knowledge and Expertise
Leveraging AI to produce topic pages and topic centers by automatically organizing an organization’s content and expertise into related topics such as projects, processes, products, and customers, topic experts can cultivate and share this knowledge across the organization. Topic experts will also be able to use analytics and automate the grouping of related topics into segments through the streamlined topic center. Currently, in SharePoint, Office, and Outlook, this information pops up as topic cards and additional apps such as Yammer, Bing, and people profile cards will also be receiving this functionality. For the early adopters of Viva Topics, they will be able to add this in Microsoft Teams in their Chat and Channels. Rolling out at the end of 2021 is the ability to crawl knowledge written in French, Spanish, and German.
Microsoft Viva Learning: Growth and Skills
Available in Teams desktop and mobile, Microsoft Viva Learning connects an organization’s content with Microsoft, third-party providers, and Learning Management Systems resulting in enterprise learning by bringing it all into the flow of work. Viva Learning will be added soon to Microsoft 365’s tenant and will be searchable in the Teams app menu as Viva Learning.
One of the new features will be the ability to search across all learning sources connected to Viva Learning along with the capability to filter based on provider, interest, or duration. With the ability to filter and search from all learning sources, users will be able to locate the exact content that they are seeking.
In Microsoft Teams, learning will be brought into the flow of work in the Teams channel. The curated set of learning resources can be accessed under the learning resources tab.
If an organization has mandatory training or obligated training, then the integrated Learning Management Systems provides users the ability to see assignments that require action for completion while managers and leaders can track progress.
As the world and corporations continue adjusting their work environments for hybrid collaboration, Microsoft Viva Suite provides an EXP for users, managers, and leaders, bringing them together to collaborate, learn, share knowledge, and most importantly, ensure the well-being of each of them.