Microsoft at present unveiled its employee-experience platform, Viva, which the corporate calls a digital “gateway” for workers to entry related information, studying, analytics, and data inside their group.
4 Viva “modules” — Connections, Insights, Studying and Matters — will grow to be out there in Groups on a staggered foundation over the subsequent few months, Microsoft stated, leveraging current capabilities inside the Microsoft 365 portfolio, together with SharePoint and analytics instruments.
The platform can be designed to supply managers and leaders higher insights into the well-being and efficiency of staff, the corporate stated.
“At the moment we’re bringing collectively collaboration, studying and well-being, so as to create a whole new product class: [the] worker expertise platform or EXP,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated in a pre-recorded briefing forward of the announcement.
Simply as enterprise useful resource planning (ERP) functions linked accounting and finance to core enterprise operations three a long time in the past, companies at the moment are in search of comparable alignment with employee-facing programs, Nadella stated.
“We consider the identical paradigm shift that occurred with ERP then will occur with EXP at present,” he stated. “Individuals operations will not be restricted to HR, however will likely be built-in throughout each side of the enterprise so as to enhance the general well being and resilience of the group.
“Each group would require a unified worker expertise, from onboarding and collaboration to steady studying and development,” Nadella stated. “These can not be siloed features.”
The launch of Viva comes as an enterprise give attention to distant staff continues to develop, notably through the pandemic-driven rise of distributed workforces. Microsoft argues that the “fragmented” marketplace for worker expertise instruments, masking the whole lot from worker coaching to advantages, analytics, and different wellness points, is already value a staggering $300 billion globally.
“However too typically, these applied sciences are fragmented, arduous to seek out and disruptive to the movement of labor,” Jared Spataro, company vp for Microsoft 365, stated in a weblog put up on Thursday.
As corporations put together to assist a big distant workforce post-pandemic, curiosity in instruments that monitor and handle worker expertise is on the rise. SAP’s profitable Qualtrics IPO and HR software program vendor Workday’s $700 million acquisition of worker engagement analytics supplier Peakon are two current examples. And Salesforce in 2020 launched its worker expertise platform Work.com.
“For sure, the pandemic has [placed a] larger give attention to worker expertise due to the situations many needed to adapt to,” stated Carolina Milanesi, a principal analyst at Inventive Methods. “This, in flip, has highlighted the gaps many organizations had relating to assist, prepare[ing] and handle expertise. …Individuals realized that the best way they labored doesn’t replicate the best way we must be working. This, coupled with greater visibility given to working situations, societal points and upskilling creates an excellent second for Microsoft to ship an holistic platform.”
Microsoft’s current strengths round office productiveness — and the increase in Groups use, which now has 115 million each day energetic customers — put the seller in place to introduce worker expertise capabilities, stated David Johnson, a principal analyst at Forrester.
“Microsoft understands how vital know-how is in folks’s each day working lives, that it’s a enormous a part of their general worker expertise,” stated Johnson. “Drawing consciousness to this and creating options to assist corporations create a greater expertise for his or her staff is an effective transfer.”
Milanesi additionally famous that Microsoft has a wider attain than most corporations centered on worker expertise. “The largest benefit that Microsoft has is that it builds on options which are already current in lots of organizations — like Yammer — and leans into a robust cloud- and AI-enabled platform. Different options are extra restricted in scope and don’t essentially get the benefit of plugging into as many sources and will likely be judged on a a lot narrower return, which could carry extra scrutiny to their price.”
For Microsoft 365 clients, the launch of Viva may enable IT to play a extra energetic position in managing and coordinating worker expertise for his or her group.
“Until we work in HR, most of us do not use HRIS [HR information system] software program each single day; we use Microsoft or different productiveness software program to get our jobs accomplished,” stated Johnson. “What [the Viva launch] is doing is to make the CIO’s position in worker expertise a lot extra distinguished, one thing that we have been predicting for a number of years.
“By integrating capabilities into Groups, it places them extra within the movement of individuals’s work, and most significantly, it raises consciousness.”
The shift to distant work has affected staff’ sense of group and belonging inside their group, particularly for brand new hires, with 60% of staff feeling disconnected since going distant, in accordance with Microsoft analysis.
Viva Connections is a personalised digital office constructed on SharePoint. From right here, staff can entry a variety of content material, together with inner firm information, insurance policies and advantages, and work together with numerous teams and communities, due to integration with Microsoft apps together with Yammer, SharePoint, and Stream.
Every worker will get a personalised information feed, which inner communications groups can use to spotlight vital info — it is accessed within the dashboard that serves because the Viva homepage.
The Connections app could be personalized with company branding and curated content material to focus on teams of staff with centered info and instruments.
Connections is slated to be out there on the Groups desktop app within the first half of 2021, with the cell app following in the summertime.
An analytics instruments, Viva Insights, is geared toward each particular person staff and managers and may monitor productiveness and well-being at a private and business-wide stage.
Viva Insights, which replaces two current Microsoft 365 instruments — MyAnalytics and Office Analytics — will supply an outline of productiveness ranges, stated Microsoft. The purpose is to make sure worker well-being and keep away from burnout by, for instance, detecting when an worker has too many conferences and never sufficient focus time.
Extra options resembling digital commutes and integration with the Headspace meditation and mindfulness app will likely be out there within the “coming months,” together with an integration with Viva Studying.
Along with tapping into knowledge from Microsoft’s personal merchandise resembling Groups and Outlook, Viva Insights will incorporate knowledge from third-party functions, together with video instruments like Zoom and HR platforms from Workday and SAP SuccessFactors.
Microsoft has drawn criticism for its Productiveness Rating device in current months, which might enable managers to watch particular person productiveness ranges. The corporate stated that non-public knowledge derived from Viva Insights is just viewable by the person worker, whereas higher-level data is accessible by enterprise leaders and managers solely after being aggregated and anonymized, with privateness set by default.
Viva Insights could be downloaded for Groups at present, with private insights out there for Microsoft Change On-line customers in public preview, and supervisor insights out there to current Office Analytics clients.
The Viva Studying app for Groups, now in non-public preview, is a central repository for studying supplies. The purpose is to assist staff simply seek out info wanted to do their job, from coaching movies to PowerPoint shows.
Groups customers can search and share studying content material in chat and create their very own “tab” inside the collaboration platform to prepare their content material.
Studying content material is offered from a variety of sources, from Microsoft Study and LinkedIn Studying to third-party suppliers resembling Coursera and PluralSight. Viva Studying may also combine with studying administration programs from Cornerstone OnDemand, SAP SuccessFactors, and others.
Viva Studying is at the moment being piloted with choose Microsoft customersl a common launch is pegged for “later this 12 months.”
Lastly, Viva Matters is a data administration platform that helps an worker entry the data that pertains to their job position.
Matters makes use of AI to gather content material throughout a corporation into subject areas resembling tasks, merchandise, or clients, collating info from inside the Microsoft 365 ecosystem in addition to third-party suppliers resembling Salesforce and ServiceNow. These subject pages are routinely collated by Microsoft’s AI, with a corporation’s “specialists” ready so as to add and edit the wiki-style pages.
Subject “playing cards” are additionally out there inside Microsoft 365 apps, highlighting matters after they seem in sure messages or different content material inside apps, offering fast context round unfamiliar acronyms or phrases, for instance.
Matters are organized round a “subject heart” which is able to ultimately be viewable from Groups and SharePoint, permitting staff to find content material beneficial to them based mostly on matters they comply with, and customized by the Microsoft Graph.
Viva Matters is mostly out there as of at present for all Microsoft 365 clients.