Webinar Recap | Not Another Viva Overview

Thank you for your interest in “Not Another Microsoft Viva Overview | How To Use It Today.” If you were able to join us for the webinar, we sincerely thank you for being there. We hope you had as much fun learning about what Microsoft Viva can do for right now as our speaker did sharing his knowledge with you. 

Didn’t get a chance to catch our session live? We’ve got you covered.

This Session:

The launch of Microsoft Viva has resulted in energy and excitement among Microsoft users. While the Viva release was announced in February, uncertainty remains about the timeline of the rollout, what it includes, and how you can leverage Viva today to improve the employee experience. In this webinar recording, PixelMill President and Co-Founder Eric Overfield broke down each of Viva’s four components: Viva Connections, Viva Topics, Viva Insights, and Viva Learning. If you’re seeking live demos, candid insights, practical tips, and cost breakdowns, look no further.

Episode Takeaways:

  • How Viva Connections empowers your team
  • Managing knowledge with Viva Topics
  • How Viva Insights can help streamline your day
  • Help employees upskill with Viva Learning
  • Understand the costs, licensing, and use cases for each component

Show Links:



Key Takeaways

Viva Connections empowers your team

The first of Microsoft Viva’s four components is Viva Connections. It allows you to remove the friction between using Teams, SharePoint, and a browser.

“There’s this thing called Viva Connections Desktop. That’s an app that is going to be loaded into your team’s environment. It used to be called the Home Site App, for a little while it was that. And basically what it does is it surfaces your SharePoint intranet homepage, your portal, into a Teams tab. The idea is it’s trying to remove that frustration of context, between Teams and a browser and SharePoint to go in to get to that. And the idea is that you can empower your team to then consume the intranet content within the direct flow of their work. So effectively what you need there is you need a home site, so that you can then point your Viva Connections Desktop App to that home site. That’s really it. Technically when I’ve seen it you can actually connect really any SharePoint site. When you set up the connections app, you can just give it a URL. But really it’s designed to be pointed to your home site app.”

Viva Connections Mobile

In addition to the desktop version, there is a mobile version of Viva Connections that provides access to a feed, dashboard, and other resources.

“Viva Connections Mobile is basically like the desktop app, but it’s for just your mobile device. And in Viva Connections Mobile, what you’re going to get—so you load up Teams within your mobile device. You go into what would be that connections app. It’s going to be the left-most on a mobile device, left most app that you would launch. When you click on that, instead of getting your portal, which is mobile friendly…you’re going to get a different version of Viva Connections. And what that is that Viva Connections is going to give you three things that you can get to: your feed, your dashboard, and your resources.”

Customize Viva Connections

Once you add Viva Connections, you can also add extensions that allow you to customize your portal beyond the basics.

“Once you add Viva Connections App to Teams, you can rename it of course, you can get your Viva Connections launch point, your application. So if I go ahead and click on that, what you see happen is kind of what you expect should happen. Your portal should appear. Then you can see that it’s my portal…So I’m in Teams, but you can have your custom code. So like a common component that many of you have seen if we’ve done work for you, often you’ll want extensions. You’ll want things added to your portal that are not necessarily out-of-the-box SharePoint. So some sort of control where panels lit up with your own custom bookmarks or your own apps, or I want announcements and all that stuff. That custom code can still load within the Viva Connections Desktop App within Teams.”

Use cases for Viva Connections

Viva Connections can be used to make things like HR functions, expense reports, and reminders readily available at all times.

“Some general use cases, what would you be doing here? Things that I would like to see, some value that I think would be interesting would be what tasks are due? Upcoming training that needs to occur? Maybe go into a training system, pull an API, get that back. Vacations that I have left—go into my HR system and tell me how many vacation days I have left and how to use those. A link to my time log so I can quickly go and log time. Create a ticket in the Service Now or some sort of trouble ticketing system. Be able to go to my IT group and say, Hey, I need a laptop, that kind of thing. Run a poll. Alerts and reminders. We also have expense reports submission, a button that just quickly gets me to submit those expense reports. A cafeteria menu, if we can get back into the office. I know some of you are back in the office, many of us still want to, it would be awesome. The guest wifi password—how often do we need that when we’re in the office, when people are coming in and they need that to be able to have a simple card that just either lists that or takes you to the link, so I can quickly get to that kind of thing.”

Manage knowledge with Viva Topics

Solve the problem of information bottlenecks in your organization with Viva Topics. A combination of AI insights and a human touch will help keep company knowledge available to all.

“Viva Topics. Now, this is Microsoft’s answer to knowledge management within the digital workspace. So general knowledge management. We know that a lot of critical information that was in the organization, it gets stuck. It gets stuck in folders, archives, probably our minds. I was talking to a project manager on our project we worked on in the last week or so. And the amount of content that he had in his head about the organization was just crazy. And you know, what happens if you were to move on to a different project or something? All the institutional knowledge would go with them, and how do we get to it as well? And so Viva Topics is looking to help us solve that issue of finding the groupings and the patterns of content and data within our organization’s digital workspace. And then with the help of a team—it’s with AI, but with the help of a team, this is not going to just be a set and forget it—it allows you to have that institutional knowledge and provide it back to your users where they need it, i.e. in the context of work.”

Curating knowledge with Viva Topics

To make Viva Topics truly valuable, you need human stakeholders assigned to curate the topics that matter to your organization.

“Now that you have these topics, what are relevant topics within your organization, they then need to be curated. Through the AI, for sure. The AI will figure out and kind of tell you, Hey, these are the people that are talking about this, that are interested in it. This is sort of what it looks like to me. These are the documents and data that seems to be relevant. But that should then be reviewed by someone who says, yeah. These are the people that are in charge of it, that are relevant to it, this is what makes the most sense to it. And let’s go ahead and promote it, publish it, make it say that, yes, this is actually good to go. There are different roles within the curation process, actually within Topics overall. There’s viewers, contributors, people that can generally edit things or be given edit rights to something. There’s the knowledge managers, so these are more your librarians I’m talking about. And then there’s your knowledge admins. Your admins would be more your super users who probably are managing Viva Topics generally, but they may not really be your topic experts. Your knowledge managers and your contributors; these are the people that are going to actually make Topics make sense.”

Use cases for Viva Topics

Examples of things that can be curated with Viva Topics include major projects, town hall meetings, and employee onboarding resources.

“Something that you might think around Topics that may exist would be things like projects. I kind of said Project Cortex, Project X, project whatever. But you also create topics maybe around like common HR or other internal tasks, like lunch and learns, quarterly town halls, new employee onboarding. That could be an interesting one, around onboarding. So that when people see onboarding, they would have a topic that you could go learn about. You know someone’s just started at a company and they’re reading some content where they’re seeing terms and topics that they don’t quite understand around it. The Topics around onboarding can help them get to that. Also just during the onboarding process and get how much nicer it would be where people could just quickly get to learn about the different topics that they might need to know about, like Project X or whatever it is, and they can just go straight to that topic.”

How Viva Insights can help streamline your day

If you’re seeking productivity, Viva Insights can help you get organized by carving out space for deep work and reminding you of emails you may have overlooked.

“Viva Insights is a component within the employee experience that’s much more personal. It’s two pieces to it, one is much more personal. It’s helping you—safely, securely, with full data privacy—take charge of your day and protect your time. Oh my gosh, focus time. In this Teams-driven world we live in, even as we go hybrid and or even back to the office, now we’re so all Teams-driven. It is so hard to get work done when you have Teams messages popping in every single moment. It’s hard. Having focused time, studies have shown, and I believe them, when you can have two hours a day where you could just get work done is super important. Viva Insights is going to help you find that time and they quickly schedule it…but also stay connected. Forgetting emails or forgetting messages is easier to do. And Viva Insights is looking to help you realize some of the things like, Hey, this came up in an email. Is this something that you need to handle still? And it’s very easy to look at that throughout your workflow of the day, or maybe in the morning or the evening as you’re getting ready to shut down to say, did I do all the things that I really meant to do today? And, oh, okay. Well, ‘remind me later’ kind of thing. That’s free. It’s available today, you can add it into your Teams environment.”

Viva Insights for individuals or managers

In addition to the personalized version of Viva Insights, there is also a paid version available to large organizations that can help you see the “analytics” of your team and their performance.

“There’s this Viva Insights Personal and there’s Viva Insight really for managers. And Viva Insights for managers and leadership used to be called Workplace Analytics. It’s moving into Viva Insights. And that does cost. There’s a licensing associated with that, and that’s also $4 per month per user. But for the Viva Insights plan for managers, leaders, you need an organization of at least 5,000 users. And one of the reasons why is because what this is looking to do with this—I’m gonna call it workplace analytics, because I just don’t know how to say Viva Insights well when it’s these two different components, because what I’m talking about, it used to be called Workplace Analytics—it’s helping your managers and leaders understand how their team is doing, so that they can understand and head off potential frustrations or prevent burnout. They get a general aggregate idea of how their team is doing.”

Help employees upskill with Viva Learning

Put learning and development front and center with Viva Learning. It comes pre-loaded with over a hundred courses, or you can link to third-party resources if you invest in Viva Learning Premium.

“94% of employees say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. And that’s what Viva Learning is seeking to do. It’s aggregating different learning systems and learning resources across the Microsoft 365 platform, as well as third-party tools, into one space that can start to help recommend and push upskilling training to people. I think it’s pretty cool. What’s free? People always love the free stuff. There’s 125 current courses that are available in Microsoft Learn, Microsoft 365 training, LinkedIn Learning. These are free. You turn this on, you can select those training sources, and you’ve already got those courses and resources. You can also for free, at least as of today, you can link to a SharePoint library, a SharePoint site actually. And Viva Learning will go and crawl your own learning content, and allow it, for free, to be surfaced within Viva Learning. There’s also something called Viva Learning Premium. This is also $4 per month, per user. And what’s available for the premium is if you want to connect third-party content providers.”

Stay tuned for information on our 2022 webinar season!

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