Microsoft Viva: Long Live the Integrated Digital Employee Platform.

The pandemic has led to an unprecedented experiment in remote working, says Microsoft boss Satya Nadella. For those affected, this brought sometimes dramatic consequences.  But it's not just employees who suddenly had to set up their workstations in their own homes and learn to adjust. The new circumstances have also prompted Microsoft to adapt its software and strategies. Microsoft Viva, an integrated, open and expandable employee platform that brings together workplace tools and makes them seamlessly available in the digital workflow, fits the bill perfectly[i].

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Martin Fondo
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Microsoft Viva is the first platform of its kind and offers integrated tools for employee engagement, learning, well-being, and information right in the workflow[ii]. The goal, as Microsoft announced at its launch, is to help employees "learn, grow and thrive." Viva features will integrate with productivity and collaboration features in Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams. According to Microsoft CEO Nadella, Viva provides all the information an employee needs to be successful from day one directly in Teams.


A 300 billion dollar market

The Microsoft chief's pledge comes at a time of numerous, lasting changes[iii] in the relationship between employees and employers. Workplaces are becoming increasingly digital and location-independent [iv]; Solutions that support employee productivity, learning, and well-being in this new environment are in high demand. Companies and their HR departments are investing billions in so-called employee experience platforms (EXP) - and the pandemic has added to the boom. The EXP market, which includes collaboration tools, training and development offerings, wellness applications, knowledge management, and employee support tools, is worth about 300 billion dollars, experts estimate[v]. Most of the major software vendors are in on the action: Oracle, Cisco, SAP, Workday and many other vendors are active in this hitherto fragmented area, which Microsoft now wants to shake up. Viva has been designed so that those companies using the platform can make the most of their investments in existing systems and Microsoft technologies - building on Microsoft 365 and integrating with Microsoft Teams. This integration is designed to ensure that the information, services, and tools provided are easily found and utilized by the target audience in the ocean of information employees have to navigate most every day. Microsoft has already deployed an initial set of modules in Viva.


Viva Connections provides personalized access to the digital workplace, allowing employees to access internal communications and corporate resources such as policies or corporate news. Participation in resource groups for team members is also made possible - all via a single app in Microsoft Teams.


Viva Insights facilitates the exchange of information between decentralized workplaces and creates the conditions for a healthy corporate culture. Personal information, visible only to individual users, helps plan productive workdays - which include breaks - as well as relationships with colleagues. Managers can identify trends at the team and organizational level and receive information to better balance productivity and well-being. By integrating collaboration data from external apps, leaders can more accurately identify where workgroups may be struggling and proactively make changes. In addition to data from Microsoft apps, data from third-party services such as Workday, Slack, Zoom, and SAP SuccessFactors can also be integrated.


Viva Learning makes educational offerings visible and accessible in the workflow. It aggregates all learning resources available to an organization; AI recommends the right content at the right time. This includes information from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, third-party providers such as Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight and edX, as well as an organization's own content. Viva Learning will soon offer integrations with leading learning management systems, including Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba and SAP SuccessFactors.


Viva Topics provides relevant information without team members having to search for it. Artificial intelligence analyzes and presents data from customers, projects or products. In addition, Topics is able to find, integrate, and present knowledge from a variety of third-party services, such as ServiceNow and Salesforce. To this end, Topics cards on conversations and documents are automatically displayed in Microsoft 365 and Teams. Thus, Viva Topics makes it possible to use the collective knowledge of a company without leaving the application currently being used.


A working collaboration ecosystem for your business

Microsoft Viva is open and extensible, and there are an increasing number of Viva partners whose applications can be integrated into the new Microsoft EXP platform. Viva can turn your existing Microsoft infrastructure and other tools in your organization into a working collaboration ecosystem.

Our Microsoft and Workplace specialists can support you in this.  We can build collaboration environments for you around Teams, Sharepoint, and Microsoft 365. The UMB partnership with Microsoft ensures that you will find the right EXP solution. Our services leave you more time for your core business. We offer an efficient team and well established partnerships with manufacturers and distributors. Contact us if you would like to know more about the offerings available from Microsoft and UMB.








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