Microsoft earlier this month introduced Microsoft Viva, a brand new built-in Worker Expertise Platform (EXP) that brings collectively communications, information, studying, assets, and insights inand delivers them through Microsoft Groups. There are 4 modules: Viva Matters, Viva Insights, Viva Studying, and Viva Connections. Whereas each group might not use all 4 modules, or each facet of every module, Microsoft Viva consists of one thing for each group.
I am enthusiastic about all of the elements of Microsoft Viva. I really like how the modules are built-in, safe, people-centric, and designed to be delivered in Microsoft Groups. Among the best 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 in regards to the worth they will carry collectively — and strikes the intranet dialog to give attention to worker expertise extra comprehensively.
Many organizations have achieved 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 expertise. Every component alone is nice, and collectively, they’re even higher.
Right here, I wish to give attention to 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 initiatives fail is that organizations place an excessive amount of emphasis on communications and never sufficient on work integration. Nice intranets should not about constructing web sites that mimic the group chart (who we’re and what we do) and delivering information. A fantastic intranet is about creating experiences and providers that assist everybody within the group do their job.
Because the providers which can be wanted by various kinds of individuals in a corporation might differ, the very best intranets ship each providers and information focused to every kind of service client – based mostly on our position, our geography, our work group, or our pursuits. Is Viva Connections going to magically do this for you? Sadly, no. However you may make it give you the results you want if you happen to prepare by doing the next:
- Understanding your organizational priorities.
- Understanding the crucial inner providers in your group and the knowledge that helps these providers, together with descriptions, types, insurance policies, procedures, functions, contacts, and coaching.
- Understanding your key consumer roles or personas and the knowledge and providers every one must be profitable.
- Defining the knowledge structure (websites, navigation, pages, and metadata) and viewers teams to help the providers.
- Planning governance, together with content material administration and accountability.
- Implementing ongoing studying alternatives to make sure that everybody has the best abilities and information to achieve success.
- Constructing your intranet in SharePoint and making certain that you’ve got a house website.
What to anticipate
Viva Connections doesn’t create the clever intranet for you; it supplies 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, nevertheless it’s greater than that.
To higher perceive Viva Connections, I’ve tried to learn each Microsoft weblog put up, 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 can be accessible instantly in SharePoint, it additionally consists of native Groups apps that can solely work in Microsoft Groups. I anticipate extra particular examples at Microsoft Ignite subsequent week.
Right here is how I perceive the weather of Viva Connections:
The Customized Feed
The feed is designed to ship a curated, customized feed of essential information, conversations, and communities (i.e. Yammer). Curation signifies that content material authors want to know how you can goal content material — and it means IT should be sure that related audiences can be found. This is a vital motive why it’s so critically essential to know your key organizational data “audiences” as a part of your intranet planning.
You have to to create the mandatory Azure Energetic Listing Teams prematurely and practice content material authors and curators to make use of concentrating on after they create information and different data to reduce the noise in every particular person’s feed. Information options introduced at Ignite 2020, akin to the flexibility to “enhance” information within the feed till it has been seen or for a particular 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 far 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 prevailing My Feed internet half 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, photographs and video, or URLs. The dashboard tiles can both hyperlink the consumer to the app expertise or ship the expertise contained in the dashboard itself (akin to when submitting a break day request). The dashboard apps really feel so much like the house display widgets in iOS 14 — and SharePoint internet 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 supplies a simplified manner of making and delivering these app widgets by non-developers. (Shahine promised will probably be “similar to making a SharePoint web page. This has me very excited to see the expertise!) I discover the naming right here a bit complicated; it might be simpler for me to elucidate the whole 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 weblog put up 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.
- Not too long ago opened SharePoint websites.
- International navigation hyperlinks from the house website.
- Hyperlinks to your high Yammer communities and a method to see all communities.
- Hyperlinks to your high video playlists and a method to see all video playlists.
That is the place I would like extra clarification, as a result of if in case you have assets that staff want on a regular basis and also you haven’t already focused them in your world intranet navigation, you most likely want to return and re-think your world nav. That mentioned, it seems like Assets supplies a manner of “boosting” this stuff within the Groups expertise from an app perspective. Exploring the worldwide navigation can imply numerous scrolling to get to key assets you want day-after-day — like submitting an expense report — or that the group needs to make extra seen, akin to the most recent COVID-19 coverage replace.
What it seems like
I grabbed this screenshot from a video on the Microsoft Viva Connections for leaders web 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 title and emblem. You may name the app the title of your organization or the title of your intranet. That is the way you expertise Viva Connections; it’s not 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 seems like a vertical part. I’m unsure whether or not it is a particular part solely seen in Groups or whether or not these identical components 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 world 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 world navigation experiences as a part of my work — and till you check your proposed navigation with actual customers, you received’t understand what’s lacking or must be adjusted.
- These are the Dashboard apps that your group has created and focused for the logged-in consumer.
- That is the place the customized feed will be added to your private home website. This can be accessible within the browser along with Groups.
- This reveals the opposite Groups apps which can be a part of Microsoft Viva: Insights, Studying, and Matters.
- This seems just like the Information internet half in SharePoint, proven utilizing the Tiles structure with the 4 most-recent tales featured. The Information internet half and this structure should not new — and you’ll select to make use of this structure in your intranet (or any) house web page right this moment.
What is going to it price?
It’s not clear how Viva Connections can 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 up to now:
- Viva Matters is an add-on to present Microsoft 365 licenses and pricing is listed at $5 consumer/month and requires an annual dedication.
- Insights is accessible as a free private app in Microsoft Groups right this moment. The superior instruments and integrations described on the launch announcement for Viva Insights require a license for Microsoft Office Analytics.
- Viva Studying consists of integration with third-party providers like Pluralsight, Skillsoft, and SAP SuccessFactors, which have their very own licensing mannequin; it’s not clear whether or not there can be free elements of Viva Studying (for instance, the mixing with Microsoft Be taught content material).
- Viva Connections pricing (if any) is a thriller. There could also be pricing for components within the Dashboard that leverage premium connectors just like the pricing for Energy Automate, however I hope that the flexibility to ship a house website in Groups just isn’t going to require an extra price. Past that, we must wait till Ignite to be taught extra.
Extra to return at Ignite
Hopefully, you are satisfied that you want to plan to benefit from Viva Connections, if solely to make your intranet (and all of its customers) joyful! Microsoft is tweeting simply sufficient teases to make it clear you’re going to wish to take part in Microsoft Ignite. I’ll put up extra as I be taught extra, and I’m positive the dialogue will proceed as we get to check out the connective tissue in Viva Connections.