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 Topics, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, 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 facets of Microsoft Viva. I really like how the modules are built-in, safe, people-centric, and designed to be delivered in Microsoft Groups. The most effective 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 deal with worker expertise extra comprehensively.
Many organizations have accomplished so for years, however I’ve seen approach too many the place this dialog doesn’t occur — primarily as a result of completely different departments nonetheless work in silos and aren’t targeted 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 component alone is nice, and collectively, they’re even higher.
Right here, I need to deal with why your intranet, if it may have a voice, desires 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. A fantastic intranet is about creating experiences and companies that assist everybody within the group do their job.
For the reason that companies which can be wanted by several types of individuals in a corporation might differ, one of the best intranets ship each companies and information focused to every sort of service shopper – 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 be just right for you should you prepare by doing the next:
- Understanding your organizational priorities.
- Understanding the vital inside companies in your group and the knowledge that helps these companies, together with descriptions, kinds, insurance policies, procedures, purposes, contacts, and coaching.
- Understanding your key person roles or personas and the knowledge and companies each must be profitable.
- Defining the knowledge 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 information to achieve success.
- Constructing your intranet in SharePoint and making certain that you’ve a home site.
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 “dwelling website app in Groups” promised at Ignite 2020? Sure, but it surely’s greater than that.
To higher perceive Viva Connections, I’ve tried to learn each Microsoft weblog submit, and watch all of the movies and hearken 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. Whereas Viva Connections will embrace options which can be obtainable immediately in SharePoint, it additionally consists of native Groups apps that may 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 vital information, conversations, and communities (i.e. Yammer). Curation implies that content material authors want to grasp learn how to goal content material — and it means IT should be certain that related audiences can be found. This is a crucial purpose why it’s so critically vital to grasp your key organizational info “audiences” as a part of your intranet planning.
You’ll need to create the required Azure Energetic Listing Teams prematurely and prepare content material authors and curators to make use of focusing on once they create information and different info to attenuate the noise in every particular person’s feed. Information options introduced at Ignite 2020, similar to the power to “enhance” information within the feed till it has been considered or for a selected date or variety of impressions, assist be certain that authoritative information is prioritized. I don’t suppose that you simply want Viva Connections to expertise “boosted” information, however the customized feed consists of way more than simply SharePoint information (what’s already proven within the customized information on the SharePoint begin web page). The feed is completely different from the present My Feed web part in SharePoint, which is pushed by alerts within the Microsoft Graph and your exercise.
The feed in Viva Connections is extra targeted on SharePoint Information, Yammer Bulletins, and different “announcement-style” info.
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 person to the app expertise or ship the expertise contained in the dashboard itself (similar to when submitting a time without work request). The dashboard apps really feel loads like the house display screen widgets in iOS 14 — and SharePoint internet components, for that matter.
The thought 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 approach 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 slightly complicated; it will 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.
Trying 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.
- International navigation hyperlinks from the house website.
- Hyperlinks to your high Yammer communities and a solution to see all communities.
- Hyperlinks to your high video playlists and a solution to see all video playlists.
That is the place I need extra clarification, as a result of if in case you have assets that workers 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 stated, it appears like Assets supplies a approach of “boosting” this stuff within the Groups expertise from an app perspective. Exploring the worldwide navigation can imply quite a lot of scrolling to get to key assets you want every single day — like submitting an expense report — or that the group desires to make extra seen, similar to the newest COVID-19 coverage replace.
What it seems to be 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 in a position to see all the weather of Microsoft Viva in a single place, and it reveals the desktop expertise in Groups.
- That is basically the hyperlink to the “dwelling website app in Groups” branded with your personal identify and emblem. You could possibly 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 seems to be like a vertical part. I’m unsure whether or not this can be 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 simply get if you allow the house website. You don’t get any “automated” navigation if you deploy the house website. That is one thing that your info architect ought to design based mostly on understanding your group and examined along 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 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 will be added to your property website. This shall be obtainable 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 to be just like the Information internet half in SharePoint, proven utilizing the Tiles format with the 4 most-recent tales featured. The Information internet half and this format usually are not new — and you’ll select to make use of this format in your intranet (or any) dwelling web page in the present day.
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 to this point:
- Viva Matters is an add-on to current Microsoft 365 licenses and pricing is listed at $5 user/month and requires an annual dedication.
- Insights is out there as a free private app in Microsoft Groups in the present day. 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 facets 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 components within the Dashboard that leverage premium connectors just like the pricing for Energy Automate, however I’m hoping that the power to ship a house website in Groups will not be going to require an extra charge. Past that, we must wait till Ignite to be taught extra.
Extra to return at Ignite
Hopefully, you are satisfied that it’s good to plan to benefit from Viva Connections, if solely to make your intranet (and all of its customers) completely satisfied! Microsoft is tweeting simply sufficient teases to make it clear you’ll need to take part in Microsoft Ignite. I’ll submit 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.