Microsoft Viva explained: everything you need to know about Microsoft Viva, plus videos, useful links and more...
Table of Content
What is Microsoft Viva?
Microsoft describes Microsoft Viva as "the first employee experience platform to bring tools for employee engagement, learning, wellbeing and knowledge discovery, directly into the flow of people’s work. Viva is designed to help employees learn, grow and thrive, with new experiences that integrate with the productivity and collaboration capabilities in Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams."
Microsoft Viva builds on the power of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 to unify the employee experience across four key areas — Engagement, Wellbeing, Learning and Knowledge — in an integrated experience that empowers people to be their best.
Key Components of Microsoft Viva
Microsoft Viva Connections
Viva Connections is a framework through which you can deliver your intranet within Microsoft Teams. Effectively this is the "Home App" in Teams.
Employees can access internal communications and company resources like policies and benefits and participate in communities like employee resource groups, all from a single customizable app within Microsoft Teams. The emphasis here is on "customizable" as it will obviously still require you to deliver and communicate content effectively through an experience that aligns with purpose, objectives and culture of your organisation.
The key is though that today more and more employees are using Microsoft Teams as their primary place to communicate and collaborate with colleagues. Viva Connections is a way of delivering content even if employees don't log into SharePoint daily.
How much does Viva Connections cost? Well, there is further good news here. Viva Connections is free! Viva Connections is available to all Microsoft 365 customers as part of any existing Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online license. If a user has access to SharePoint Online, then Viva Connections will be accessible at no additional costs.
Why use Microsoft Viva Connections?
- Get the most from your SharePoint intranet. If people are spending more time in Teams, it might mean they could miss important company news or updates. By bringing the content from your SharePoint intranet into Viva Connections, you create a rich, personalised employee experience.
- Employee Engagement. By bringing company communications and news into Teams, Microsoft is aiming to address engagement challenges.
- More mobile friendly. No matter what your role is in the company - a frontline worker or an information worker - Microsoft Viva Connections will offer a streamlined experience for tackling important tasks from your mobile.
What are some of the limitations of MS Viva Connections?
- Only modern SharePoint sites and pages can be viewed in Teams. All other content will open in a browser.
- Some functionality is not available yet for SharePoint pages viewed in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Viva Topics
Microsoft Viva Topics helps people put knowledge to work, using AI to surface expertise in the apps they use every day. Viva Topics automatically organizes content across apps and teams with built-in security and compliance features.
Key features of Microsoft Viva Topics
- Automatically identify topics. Recognise common topics across content and conversations, organise information, and generate topic pages.
- Find related topics. Discover and display complementary topics and expertise from across sources.
- Automatically build topic pages. Create topic pages and topic cards using suggested definitions, related content, relevant conversations, and expertise.
- Curate topics. Cultivate knowledge using your experts and AI to refine topic pages.
- Topic highlights. Show topic highlights and display Topic Cards in any Microsoft 365 app.
- Find topics anywhere. Give people the knowledge they need anytime, anywhere by using Search to discover topics.
Our team has done extensive work with Microsoft Viva Topics, and we share much more information about Viva Topics here:
Microsoft Viva Learning
Microsoft Viva Learning empowers people to better themselves with employee training—naturally and without disruption. it encourages a culture of growth that helps people reach their potential.
Microsoft Viva Learning is a personalised learning app within Microsoft Teams that can be fully integrated with an existing Learning Management Systems.
A user will open Microsoft Viva Learning inside Teams and see a selection of courses curated (in other words, automatically selected and organised courses based on the user’s profile and learning history) for them from a range of different providers. Viva Learning can be compared to Spotify in that it is focused on self-discovery and recommendations based on the individual’s profile and learning history.
Microsoft has announced integration with a variety of training content providers and learning management system (LMS) companies.
Content that will be immediately available comes from a variety of sources including:
- Your company’s own learning resources
- Microsoft Learning
- LinkedIn Learning
Microsoft Viva Insights
Encourage personal wellbeing and build organisational resilience with insights and actions in the apps people use every day.
Microsoft Viva Insights provides:
Insights for business leaders
Address critical questions about resilience and work culture, and build better work habits with insights and recommendations fueled by data and research.
Insights for managers
Understand patterns that lead to burnout and stress like collaboration overload and too little focus time.
Microsoft Viva Goals is a goal-setting and management solution that aligns teams to your organization’s strategic priorities, driving results and a thriving business. Viva Goals enables individuals and companies to organize and track their goals through “Objectives and Key Results” (OKRs).
MS Viva Goals aligns teams to your organization’s strategic priorities and unites them around the mission and purpose. It helps provide clarity on employees’ work and how that work makes an impact on the business’s most important priorities. With that alignment in place, teams then can focus on doing the work, making sound decisions, and driving the desired results for the business.
In addition, Viva Goals brings business goals into the flow of everyday work, making it easier to stay up to date with connected data and automated reminders as well as to share OKRs and their progress across the organization with customized dashboards and quick links. Viva Goals integrates with Microsoft Teams, Azure DevOps, and other work management and data tools that customers are already using—as well as more integrations to come with Microsoft Viva, Microsoft Power BI, and other Microsoft 365 apps and services. With Viva Goals, OKRs no longer exist in a silo separate from the employee experience and where people work.
Viva Goals will be included with the current Microsoft Viva suite subscription when it becomes generally available later in Q3 Calendar Year (CY) 2022.
Viva Engage and Viva Engage Leadership Corner
Microsoft positions Viva Engage as a social-community app with its roots in the Communities app for Teams.
Viva Engage can be viewed as the digital equivalent of passing conversations or water cooler moments. While you still have regular conversations with your closest colleagues, you are less likely talk frequently to people from other teams.
Viva Engage has all the features you would expect of a modern social media platform including news feeds, profiles, and the ability to post images and videos. Users get a profile page, similar to something like Facebook, where you can post status updates, photos, videos, and essentially anything else you’d find on a social network.
Key to Viva Engage are storylines and stories that connect colleagues and socialize their thoughts, knowledge, and experiences through conversations, images, and videos.
A month after Viva Engage became generally available, Microsoft released Leadership Corner. This is designed as a space for leaders to connect with employees where those people are already engaging and forming communities - on Viva Engage. In Leadership Corner employees get a personalized view of their leaders, their recent activity and communications. Leadership Corner offers new event formats (such as AMA - Ask Me Anything - events), surveys and other means for two-way dialogue, and dashboards for leaders to track employee sentiment and metrics in real time.
The first role-based Viva application, Viva Sales is designed specifically for sales teams to be a fully integrated seller experience platform that combines knowledge, learning, communications, goals and insights. It automatically gathers client information via its tagging features and feeds this into any CRM, including Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Dynamics 365. It can also access data from any Microsoft 365 application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) and offer AI-generated recommendations.
Viva Sales combines your CRM, Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 so sales people don't need to switch contexts or enter data in manually. Microsoft says Viva Sales frees up sales teams to focus on their core tasks and perform at their highest level, from any location. The ability to work from any locations boosts productivity, effectiveness and customer relationships.
Some of the elements in Viva Sales - all of which are designed to support continual improvement - are:
AI increases revenue by automating more manual parts of the sales process. AI-driven call summaries, suggestions and reminders support salespeople in their work.
Salespeople can customize dashboards, putting all the necessary information about their customer relationships in one place.
Compatible with existing CRM
Viva Sales helps lessen the workload of data entry procedures, and allows people to stay on top of their customer interactions through unified data management.
Viva Amplify is a new app that helps elevate messages in a variety of ways. Firstly, the app centralizes communication processes. It also offers writing guidance to help messages resonate with employees. It allows communicators to publish to multiple channels simultaneously (Outlook, SharePoint, Viva, etc), manage comms campaigns centrally and study performance in order to plan future communications.
Use this link to apply to be on the Viva Amplify preview program.
Viva Pulse is a really useful modules to look forward to. Viva Pulse enables managers and team leaders to request regular, confidential feedback from their team in the flow of work in Teams. Managers have the support of a research-backed question library to help them ask the right questions, and sentiment analysis and trends give leaders key data from their team members.
Viva Pulse helps leaders identify what's working well and where to focus, along with next steps, suggested actions and recommended learning based on the feedback assimilated.
You can apply now to be on the Viva Pulse Customer Advisory Board to help test Viva Pulse features.
Other new features
Answers in Viva
This brings Viva Topics and social Q&A together to help people find the knowledge and insights they're looking for. Answers in Viva matches questions to answers from experts across the organization. Coupled with Viva Topics, Answers identifies subject matter experts in the company and prompts them to contribute their knowledge, helping grow the organization's collective knowledge.
Why is Microsoft investing in Microsoft Viva?
Workplace communication platforms have grown in importance throughout the pandemic and millions began using Microsoft Teams. Hybrid work has also made digital employee experience more important than ever.
Viva is Microsoft’s entry into the increasingly crowded category of employee experience technology, competing against companies including Qualtrics and Limeade.
It’s part of a larger effort by Microsoft to make Teams a central hub for work to give its communication and collaboration software an edge over rivals such as Zoom, Slack and Google, while expanding its productivity technologies further beyond the core Microsoft Office suite.
Microsoft also believes that businesses will need to make major investments in employee experience technology, whether they choose Microsoft Viva or not and are encouraging the development of an ecosystem built around the Viva platform.
Microsoft Viva availability
A list of when the different pillars and tools belonging to the Microsoft Viva suite were made generally available, with the most recent releases listed first:
- The new Viva Engage tab, which replaced the Communities section for all versions of Microsoft Teams, including web apps, desktop clients and mobile apps - late August 2022.
- Viva Goals and Viva Topics - August 2022.
- The Teams Viva Insights app and the full Viva Insights - November 2021.
- Viva Learning - November 2021.
- The Viva Connections Teams app was released in April 2021 for general availability worldwide. Public preview of the Microsoft Viva Connections mobile app was available from September 2021.
Demo of Microsoft Viva Suite
If you are looking for a short, but informative Microsoft Viva demo that includes the Microsoft Viva Suite, use the 'watch now' link below. This demo covers Microsoft Viva Connections, Viva Topics, Viva Learning, Viva Insights and SharePoint Syntex, and how organisations are benefitting from Microsoft Viva.
WATCH A DEMO OF VIVA SUITE NOW
What is the pricing for Microsoft Viva?
Microsoft Viva suite pricing: Depending on the location, the price is US$9 / £6.80 per user per month. More details on pricing and how to sign-up for a free trial is available on Microsoft's website.
Microsoft Viva Connections: There's no additional cost for Viva Connections. However, Connections does require access to Microsoft Teams and SharePoint Online licenses.
Microsoft Viva Learning: Viva Learning is available as an app within Teams and organisations and their users can access its features either through a ‘seeded’ or ‘premium’ license. A ‘seeded’ license means you have access to a range of Viva Learning capabilities as part of your Microsoft 365/ Office 365 F1, F3, E4, A3 and E5 to A5 subscription.
The premium version provides access to additional features through license options of $4 or £3 per user/per month. Find more information about pricing here.
Microsoft Viva Insights: There is a free option if you have Exchange Online. This includes the Viva Insight app which is similar to MyAnalytics. There is add-on tier for the organisational view but you will need a Workplace Analytics license.
Microsoft Viva Goals is part of the Viva Suite pricing.
Microsoft Viva Topics is part of the Viva Suite pricing.
To use Microsoft Viva Engage, an organization must be licensed for Yammer. Viva Engage is therefore available at no additional cost to most Microsoft 365 customers.
Find more Microsoft Viva plans and pricing information.
How can I set up Microsoft Viva?
The Microsoft Viva Connections template can be downloaded directly from Microsoft's website. However. before you download the package, we recommend that you review the step-by-step guide to setting up Viva Connections.
Microsoft Viva Topics - see our series of videos and tips on how to setup Microsoft Viva Topics.
How do I add Viva Insights to Microsoft Teams? Open Microsoft Teams and then go to Apps (the icon is on the bottom left hand side of Teams). Search for Insights (Microsoft Corporation) and then click on Add.
Deploying Viva Engage
The Communities app for Teams will be rebranded as Viva Engage, deployable immediately into the Teams desktop, web, and mobile apps. For existing users of the Communities app for Teams, no change will be needed from admins. Current Yammer customers will be able to deploy and pin Viva Engage on the left rail of Teams through the Teams Admin Center. Also in late August, Storyline will open for public preview.
Microsoft Viva roadmap
Microsoft is continually developing Microsoft Viva. Here are the next releases or updates to look out for: View the full Microsoft 365 roadmap.
How Atlas complements Microsoft Viva
ClearPeople was named a finalist of the Employee Experience 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year Award and recognized for providing outstanding solutions and services in employee experience. Atlas integrates seamlessly with Microsoft 365 and is positioned to amplify and bring coherence to content scattered through different Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Viva tools.