Microsoft earlier this month introduced Microsoft Viva, a brand new built-in Worker Expertise Platform (EXP) that brings collectively communications, data, studying, assets, and insights inand delivers them through Microsoft Groups. There are 4 modules: Viva Topics, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Connections. Whereas each group might not use all 4 modules, or each side of every module, Microsoft Viva consists of one thing for each group.
I am enthusiastic about all of the features of Microsoft Viva. I really like how the modules are built-in, safe, people-centric, and designed to be delivered in Microsoft Groups. Probably the greatest components is that the branding and classification of Viva as an EXP facilitates a dialog between IT, HR, and Communications. It helps every of those departments suppose extra holistically concerning the worth they’ll convey collectively — and strikes the intranet dialog to concentrate on worker expertise extra comprehensively.
Many organizations have executed so for years, however I’ve seen manner too many the place this dialog doesn’t occur — primarily as a result of totally different departments nonetheless work in silos and aren’t centered on the holistic worker digital expertise. This can be a large worth proposition for Microsoft Viva as a result of it concretely demonstrates the worth of “higher collectively” inside each group — not simply with Microsoft know-how. Every aspect alone is nice, and collectively, they’re even higher.
Right here, I need to concentrate on why your intranet, if it may have a voice, needs to leverage the capabilities in Viva Connections.
Preparing for Viva Connections
One of many causes many intranet tasks fail is that organizations place an excessive amount of emphasis on communications and never sufficient on work integration. Nice intranets usually are not about constructing web sites that mimic the group chart (who we’re and what we do) and delivering information. An incredible intranet is about creating experiences and companies that assist everybody within the group do their job.
Because the companies which are wanted by various kinds of individuals in a company might differ, the very best intranets ship each companies and information focused to every kind of service shopper – based mostly on our function, our geography, our work group, or our pursuits. Is Viva Connections going to magically try this for you? Sadly, no. However you can also make it be just right for you in case you prepare by doing the next:
- Understanding your organizational priorities.
- Understanding the essential inner companies in your group and the data that helps these companies, together with descriptions, varieties, insurance policies, procedures, purposes, contacts, and coaching.
- Understanding your key person roles or personas and the data and companies every one must be profitable.
- Defining the data structure (websites, navigation, pages, and metadata) and viewers teams to assist the companies.
- Planning governance, together with content material administration and accountability.
- Implementing ongoing studying alternatives to make sure that everybody has the appropriate abilities and data to achieve success.
- Constructing your intranet in SharePoint and making certain that you’ve got a home site.
What to anticipate
Viva Connections doesn’t create the clever intranet for you; it offers the infrastructure to ship your intranet to your customers within the context of the place they’re most likely already working — Microsoft Groups — and creates a framework for extending your intranet and making it higher. Is it the “house website app in Groups” promised at Ignite 2020? Sure, but it surely’s greater than that.
To raised perceive Viva Connections, I’ve tried to learn each Microsoft weblog publish, and watch all of the movies and hearken to as many podcasts and interviews as I can. I additionally reached out to Omar Shahine, vp of product, Microsoft 365 — OneDrive and SharePoint, to make clear issues. Whereas Viva Connections will embrace options which are obtainable straight in SharePoint, it additionally consists of native Groups apps that can solely work in Microsoft Groups. I count on extra particular examples at Microsoft Ignite next week.
Right here is how I perceive the weather of Viva Connections:
The Personalised Feed
The feed is designed to ship a curated, customized feed of necessary information, conversations, and communities (i.e. Yammer). Curation signifies that content material authors want to grasp the way to goal content material — and it means IT should be sure that related audiences can be found. This is a vital purpose why it’s so critically necessary to grasp your key organizational data “audiences” as a part of your intranet planning.
You will want to create the required Azure Lively Listing Teams prematurely and practice content material authors and curators to make use of concentrating on once they create information and different data to reduce the noise in every particular person’s feed. Information options introduced at Ignite 2020, reminiscent of the power to “increase” information within the feed till it has been seen or for a selected date or variety of impressions, assist be sure that authoritative information is prioritized. I don’t suppose that you just want Viva Connections to expertise “boosted” information, however the customized feed consists of rather more than simply SharePoint information (what’s already proven within the customized information on the SharePoint begin web page). The feed is totally different from the present My Feed web part in SharePoint, which is pushed by indicators within the Microsoft Graph and your exercise.
The feed in Viva Connections is extra centered on SharePoint Information, Yammer Bulletins, and different “announcement-style” data.
The Dashboard is a brand new expertise that gives a framework for presenting focused apps to customers — for instance, Groups or SharePoint Framework apps, pictures and video, or URLs. The dashboard tiles can both hyperlink the person to the app expertise or ship the expertise contained in the dashboard itself (reminiscent of when submitting a time without work request). The dashboard apps really feel so much like the house display widgets in iOS 14 — and SharePoint net components, for that matter.
The concept of getting “snippets” of software code delivered within the context of an intranet is hardly new. However many intranet options don’t evolve to the purpose the place these apps are delivered. I am hoping the dashboard offers a simplified manner of making and delivering these app widgets by non-developers. (Shahine promised it will likely be “identical to making a SharePoint web page. This has me very excited to see the expertise!) I discover the naming right here a bit of complicated; it might be simpler for me to elucidate the complete expertise as a dashboard and the widgets as Assets within the Dashboard – however that’s simply me.
Wanting on the screenshots and GIFs offered from Microsoft and Seth Patton’s blog post introducing Viva Connections, Assets in Viva Connections embrace (or may embrace) a number of issues:
- Pinned assets. I don’t know whether or not these are belongings you pin or the group pins in your behalf.
- Just lately opened SharePoint websites.
- World navigation hyperlinks from the house website.
- Hyperlinks to your high Yammer communities and a approach to see all communities.
- Hyperlinks to your high video playlists and a approach to see all video playlists.
That is the place I need extra clarification, as a result of when you’ve got assets that staff want on a regular basis and also you haven’t already focused them in your international intranet navigation, you most likely want to return and re-think your international nav. That stated, it seems like Assets offers a manner of “boosting” this stuff within the Groups expertise from an app perspective. Exploring the worldwide navigation can imply lots of scrolling to get to key assets you want daily — like submitting an expense report — or that the group needs to make extra seen, reminiscent of the newest COVID-19 coverage replace.
What it appears to be like like
I grabbed this screenshot from a video on the Microsoft Viva Connections for leaders page and added my very own annotations. That is the one screenshot the place I used to be capable of see all the weather of Microsoft Viva in a single place, and it reveals the desktop expertise in Groups.
- That is primarily the hyperlink to the “house website app in Groups” branded with your personal identify and brand. You might name the app the identify of your organization or the identify of your intranet. That is the way you expertise Viva Connections; it isn’t branded “Viva Connections,” it’s branded with a reputation and colours you select. Whenever you click on the app hyperlink, you see the house web page of your intranet. The instance reveals a house web page with what appears to be like like a vertical part. I’m undecided whether or not it is a particular part solely seen in Groups or whether or not these similar parts are curated in SharePoint within the browser and simply delivered in Groups.
- That is the navigation on the house website of your intranet, which is probably going offering the supply to your international navigation. Discover the “My SharePoint” hyperlink to the SharePoint begin web page that you just get if you allow the house website. You don’t get any “computerized” navigation if you deploy the house website. That is one thing that your data architect ought to design based mostly on understanding your group and examined together with your customers earlier than deploying. I design intranet international navigation experiences as a part of my work — and till you check your proposed navigation with actual customers, you received’t notice what’s lacking or must be adjusted.
- These are the Dashboard apps that your group has created and focused for the logged-in person.
- That is the place the customized feed could be added to your private home website. This shall be obtainable within the browser along with Groups.
- This reveals the opposite Groups apps which are a part of Microsoft Viva: Insights, Studying, and Subjects.
- This appears to be like just like the Information net half in SharePoint, proven utilizing the Tiles structure with the 4 most-recent tales featured. The Information net half and this structure usually are not new — and you’ll select to make use of this structure in your intranet (or any) house web page right now.
What is going to it price?
It’s not clear how Viva Connections shall be priced, however from what I’ve learn and heard, it’s not going to be 100% free. Right here’s what I do know thus far:
- Viva Subjects is an add-on to present Microsoft 365 licenses and pricing is listed at $5 user/month and requires an annual dedication.
- Insights is obtainable as a free private app in Microsoft Groups right now. The superior instruments and integrations described on the launch announcement for Viva Insights require a license for Microsoft Workplace Analytics.
- Viva Studying consists of integration with third-party companies like Pluralsight, Skillsoft, and SAP SuccessFactors, which have their very own licensing mannequin; it’s not clear whether or not there shall be free features of Viva Studying (for instance, the combination with Microsoft Study content material).
- Viva Connections pricing (if any) is a thriller. There could also be pricing for parts within the Dashboard that leverage premium connectors just like the pricing for Energy Automate, however I hope that the power to ship a house website in Groups shouldn’t be going to require an extra charge. Past that, we should wait till Ignite to study extra.
Extra to return at Ignite
Hopefully, you are satisfied that it’s good to plan to make the most of Viva Connections, if solely to make your intranet (and all of its customers) blissful! Microsoft is tweeting simply sufficient teases to make it clear you will need to take part in Microsoft Ignite. I’ll publish extra as I study extra, and I’m certain the dialogue will proceed as we get to check out the connective tissue in Viva Connections.