As we continue our series on Microsoft Viva with Viva Connections, Viva Insights, and Viva Learning, we proceed to the fourth module Viva Topics. Announced at Ignite 2021, this is the first employee experience platform (EXP) that brings resources, communications, knowledge, insights, and learning together into an integrated experience that empowers its users and teams to the best that they can be from any location. The first EXP is Microsoft Viva which currently consists of four modules:
Viva Learning; and
In our first article, Microsoft Viva Part 1: Viva Connections, we took a look at how and why Viva Connections is important to the wellbeing of the individuals of an organization. In our second article, Microsoft Viva Part 2: Viva Insights, we delved into how Viva Insights will help leaders, managers, and individuals see areas for improvement for their well-being with the ability to recommend actions that can be taken to combat stress, fatigue, and anxiety. In our third article, Viva Learning, we explore why investing in the individuals of an organization is important and why encouraging growth through accountable learning opportunities impacts the overall future success of the organization. Today, in Viva Topics, we will examine how Microsoft Viva keeps individuals, managers, and leaders connected and how it supports both new and seasoned employees.
Viva Topics leverages AI so experts with knowledge in the apps they use daily are empowered to organize, connect, protect, and manage content automatically and across the organization into categories of Projects, Processes, Products, and Customers. The knowledge of your organization and the people that are connected to that knowledge is at the fingertips of your people through the apps that they use daily.
Viva Topics is the solution to redundancy with the duplicity of topics and content because the individual cannot find it through their own means. Not only is re-creating existing content time-consuming and frustrating, but it is an inefficient use of your employee’s time. Viva Topics help new hires as well as established employees find the information quickly, reduces the amount of time searching, removes the frustration of not able to locate the information, and prevents the re-creation of existing content.
Built on Microsoft 365 apps (like SharePoint, Microsoft Search, Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and Office), on the content that is used daily by the people in an organization, and on the connections that exist across the organization, Viva Topics uses AI to reason over the organization’s data. As mentioned above, it automatically organizes across the organization’s systems and teams, content and expertise into four categories.
While working in the Microsoft 365 apps, highlighted topics will appear in messages, pages, and content. Hovering over these highlights will automatically surface a topic card that provides contextual knowledge without having to search or change apps. The topic card summary includes definitions, alternate names, recommended resources, and experts. Queries through Microsoft Search will return topic cards as the primary answer if the query relates to a topic. Another way that Viva Topics is helping individuals find answers to the knowledge they seek is by recommending experts. These experts are found based on user profiles that include their areas of expertise, and this information is extended onto their Microsoft 365 people cards.
Once the topic card is clicked, a topic page appears. What is a topic page? A topic page consists of collected and curated related information from topics that Microsoft Viva identifies, are automatically built by AI, and augmented by experts. Organization experts can easily share, refine, add, and edit pages with wiki-like simplicity. Topic pages provide comprehensive insights on related information including definitions, alternate names, related sites and teams, recommended and suggested content, recommended and suggested people, map of related topics, and optional web part integrations including Yammer communities. The quality of shared knowledge will improve over time and continual contributions from experts and AI reasoning. Viva Topics content is derived from these Topic Pages.
An exciting “coming soon” to Viva Topics is its ability to find answers to common questions. If a question is asked, Viva will return the answer if it knows it, if not, then Viva will turn to the experts for an answer. Repeated questions with the same answer will result in accepted answers being added to the shared knowledge repository.
Content in Viva Topics can be populated with information from Microsoft Cloud and third-party services including Salesforce and ServiceNow. With Graph connectors and integrations made by partners including Avanade, BA Insight, Accenture, ClearPeople, and Raytion, more content can be offered to your employees.
Knowledge managers will have the ability to review suggested topics, approve or remove these suggestions, review interactions and provide feedback from the most helpful topics to the least, and most importantly, they will be able to shape and determine the knowledge life cycle.
Viva Topics upholds privacy by following and applying security and compliance policies to content automatically. The Administrator has full control over knowledge discovery, including what content is included in Viva Topics based on teams, labels, and selected sites. Only licensed users will have access to topic cards, topic pages, and topic centres. Additionally, with SharePoint Syntex, licensed users can only see topics based on content that they can access.
Microsoft Viva and Partners
Microsoft Viva has been designed to be an open and extensible platform for easy integration with tools and systems that companies already have in place. The ecosystem of partners is not only necessary, but this ecosystem will continue to grow in response to the EXP. Microsoft Viva has integrations with third-party products, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Power Platform which provides a complete experience for employees in their workflow.
Content partners currently integrated with Microsoft Viva include LinkedIn, Cornerstone OnDemand, Zoom, Coursera, Slack, Glint, Skillsoft, Headspace, edX, Salesforce, ServiceNow, SAP SuccessFactors, Workday, and Pluralsight. These are just a few and many more are being added to the list.
Global service partners include Accenture, Avanade, EY, and PWC. Again, these are just a few and the list keeps growing.
Microsoft Viva is the next step for bringing people together, connecting them to each other, leveraging insights for the wellbeing of individuals, teams, and the organization, cultivating a learning culture, and sharing knowledge. Microsoft Viva provides insights for leaders to make better decisions, managers to build and support successful teams, and individuals to prioritize their wellbeing. Microsoft Viva places the employee at the centre of an organization’s success. Microsoft Viva is the employee experience platform, and the most exciting part is this is just the beginning of this technology.