Microsoft earlier this month introduced Microsoft Viva, a brand new built-in Employee Experience Platform (EXP) that brings collectively communications, information, studying, assets, and insights inand delivers them by way of Microsoft Teams. There are 4 modules: Viva Topics, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Connections. While each group could not use all 4 modules, or each side of every module, Microsoft Viva consists of one thing for each group.
I’m enthusiastic about all of the points of Microsoft Viva. I really like how the modules are built-in, safe, people-centric, and designed to be delivered in Microsoft Teams. One of the perfect 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 assume extra holistically in regards to the worth they will carry collectively — and strikes the intranet dialog to deal with worker expertise extra comprehensively.
Many organizations have performed so for years, however I’ve seen means too many the place this dialog doesn’t occur — primarily as a result of completely different departments nonetheless work in silos and aren’t centered on the holistic worker digital expertise. This is a big 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. Each ingredient alone is nice, and collectively, they’re even higher.
Here, I need to deal with why your intranet, if it may have a voice, wants to leverage the capabilities in Viva Connections.
Getting prepared for Viva Connections
One of the explanations many intranet initiatives fail is that organizations place an excessive amount of emphasis on communications and never sufficient on work integration. Great intranets will not be about constructing web sites that mimic the group chart (who we’re and what we do) and delivering information. A terrific intranet is about creating experiences and providers that assist everybody within the group do their job.
Since the providers which are wanted by several types of persons in a company could differ, the perfect intranets ship each providers and information focused to every sort of service shopper – primarily based on our function, our geography, our work group, or our pursuits. Is Viva Connections going to magically try this for you? Unfortunately, no. But you can also make it give you the results you want in case you prepare by doing the next:
- Understanding your organizational priorities.
- Understanding the essential inside providers in your group and the data that helps these providers, together with descriptions, types, insurance policies, procedures, purposes, contacts, and coaching.
- Understanding your key person roles or personas and the data and providers each wants to be profitable.
- Defining the data 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 appropriate abilities and information to be profitable.
- Building your intranet in SharePoint and guaranteeing that you’ve got a house website.
What to count on
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 in all probability already working — Microsoft Teams — and creates a framework for extending your intranet and making it higher. Is it the “dwelling website app in Teams” promised at Ignite 2020? Yes, nevertheless it’s greater than that.
To higher perceive Viva Connections, I’ve tried to learn each Microsoft weblog publish, and watch all of the movies and hear to as many podcasts and interviews as I can. I additionally reached out to Omar Shahine, vice chairman of product, Microsoft 365 — OneDrive and SharePoint, to make clear issues. While Viva Connections will embrace options which are obtainable instantly in SharePoint, it additionally consists of native Teams apps that may solely work in Microsoft Teams. I count on extra particular examples at Microsoft Ignite subsequent week.
Here is how I perceive the weather of Viva Connections:
The Personalized Feed
The feed is designed to ship a curated, personalised feed of necessary information, conversations, and communities (i.e. Yammer). Curation signifies that content material authors want to perceive how to goal content material — and it means IT should make sure that related audiences can be found. This is a crucial cause why it’s so critically necessary to perceive your key organizational info “audiences” as a part of your intranet planning.
You will want to create the required Azure Active Directory Groups upfront and practice content material authors and curators to use concentrating on once they create information and different info to decrease the noise in every particular person’s feed. News options introduced at Ignite 2020, similar to the flexibility to “increase” information within the feed till it has been considered or for a selected date or variety of impressions, assist make sure that authoritative information is prioritized. I don’t assume that you simply want Viva Connections to expertise “boosted” information, however the personalised feed consists of way more than simply SharePoint information (what’s already proven within the personalised information on the SharePoint begin web page). The feed is completely different from the present 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 News, Yammer Announcements, and different “announcement-style” info.
The Dashboard is a brand new expertise that gives a framework for presenting focused apps to customers — for instance, Teams or SharePoint Framework apps, photographs 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 (similar to when submitting a day without work 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. But many intranet options don’t evolve to the purpose the place these apps are delivered. I’m hoping the dashboard supplies a simplified means of making and delivering these app widgets by non-developers. (Shahine promised it is going to 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 clarify your entire expertise as a dashboard and the widgets as Resources within the Dashboard – however that’s simply me.
Looking on the screenshots and GIFs offered from Microsoft and Seth Patton’s weblog publish introducing Viva Connections, Resources 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 on your behalf.
- Recently opened SharePoint websites.
- Global navigation hyperlinks from the house website.
- Links to your high Yammer communities and a means to see all communities.
- Links to your high video playlists and a means to see all video playlists.
This is the place I need extra clarification, as a result of you probably have assets that staff want on a regular basis and also you haven’t already focused them in your world intranet navigation, you in all probability want to return and re-think your world nav. That stated, it looks like Resources supplies a means of “boosting” these things within the Teams expertise from an app perspective. Exploring the worldwide navigation can imply a variety of scrolling to get to key assets you want on daily basis — like submitting an expense report — or that the group wants to make extra seen, similar to the most recent COVID-19 coverage replace.
What it seems to be like
I grabbed this screenshot from a video on the Microsoft Viva Connections for leaders web page and added my very own annotations. This is the one screenshot the place I used to be in a position to see all the weather of Microsoft Viva in a single place, and it exhibits the desktop expertise in Teams.
- This is basically the hyperlink to the “dwelling website app in Teams” branded with your personal title and brand. You may name the app the title of your firm or the title of your intranet. This is the way you expertise Viva Connections; it isn’t branded “Viva Connections,” it’s branded with a reputation and colours you select. When you click on the app hyperlink, you see the house web page of your intranet. The instance exhibits a house web page with what seems to be like a vertical part. I’m undecided whether or not this can be a particular part solely seen in Teams or whether or not these identical components are curated in SharePoint within the browser and simply delivered in Teams.
- This is the navigation on the house website of your intranet, which is probably going offering the supply for your world navigation. Notice the “My SharePoint” hyperlink to the SharePoint begin web page that you simply get whenever you allow the house website. You don’t get any “automated” navigation whenever you deploy the house website. This is one thing that your info architect ought to design primarily based on understanding your group and examined with your customers earlier than deploying. I design intranet world navigation experiences as a part of my work — and till you take a look at your proposed navigation with actual customers, you received’t notice what’s lacking or wants to be adjusted.
- These are the Dashboard apps that your group has created and focused for the logged-in person.
- This is the place the personalised feed can be added to your dwelling website. This will be obtainable within the browser as well as to Teams.
- This exhibits the opposite Teams apps which are a part of Microsoft Viva: Insights, Learning, and Topics.
- This seems to be just like the News internet half in SharePoint, proven utilizing the Tiles structure with the 4 most-recent tales featured. The News internet half and this structure will not be new — and you’ll select to use this structure on your intranet (or any) dwelling web page right this moment.
What will it value?
It’s not clear how Viva Connections will be priced, however from what I’ve learn and heard, it’s not going to be 100% free. Here’s what I do know to date:
- Viva Topics is an add-on to current Microsoft 365 licenses and pricing is listed at $5 person/month and requires an annual dedication.
- Insights is obtainable as a free private app in Microsoft Teams right this moment. The superior instruments and integrations described on the launch announcement for Viva Insights require a license for Microsoft Workplace Analytics.
- Viva Learning 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’ll be free points of Viva Learning (for instance, the mixing with Microsoft Learn content material).
- Viva Connections pricing (if any) is a thriller. There could be pricing for components within the Dashboard that leverage premium connectors related to the pricing for Power Automate, however I hope that the flexibility to ship a house website in Teams shouldn’t be going to require an extra price. Beyond that, we may have to wait till Ignite to be taught extra.
More to come at Ignite
Hopefully, you are satisfied that you simply want to plan to benefit from Viva Connections, if solely to make your intranet (and all of its customers) pleased! Microsoft is tweeting simply sufficient teases to make it clear you’re going to need to take part in Microsoft Ignite. I’ll publish 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.
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