A whole year has already passed since the beginning of the global pandemic. All this time, we have been getting used to the new way of organizing our work, and the problems associated with remote work resonate with each of us. In this regard, Microsoft announced the release of a new product – Microsoft Viva. Today we will analyze in detail what Microsoft Viva is through real use cases.
Remote work challenges
Of course, remote work offers us endless possibilities. You are no longer tied to your workspace, and you organize your work schedule yourself. Plus, modern technology allows us to constantly stay in touch with colleagues.
However, there are several challenges associated with working outside the office. At SalesTim, we are constantly learning how to work effectively remotely. So, because of the pandemic, I had to leave hundreds of kilometers from my colleagues (and frankly, I envy those who can easily get together and have a coffee 😊 ). Therefore, the problems that I will describe below have touched me personally and may be familiar to you as well.
Lack of Communication
Video meetings, chats, emails, messengers, conversations in Teams – all of them give us a possibility to stay connected with our colleagues. At the same time, you cannot see the person you’re talking to in the real life. This can lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication. In addition, sometimes you don’t get an instant reply from a person to whom you’re reaching out.
In fact, remote working increases our productivity because you can avoid many office-related distractive. However, there’s a downside to working from home as well. It’s very hard for some people to stay focused, connected and productive from home. And working from your kitchen table doesn’t put you in the right mood, is it?
At the same time, while some people cannot be productive from home, others forget about breaks at all. Everyone is working in their own rhythm and you can lose the sense of when you should stop working. Being able to ‘switch’ can be a challenge as sometimes you don’t feel when the work ends and your personal life begins.
According to the research conducted by BCG, 51% of employees believe remote working makes it harder to maintain work culture, especially onboarding. This process is time-consuming and remote onboarding can only increase it.
Learn how to structure remote working with Teams Templates here
What is Microsoft Viva?
To increase the efficiency of remote work, as well as to optimize all processes, Microsoft announced a new product – Microsoft Viva. This platform is aimed at professional development and maintaining a favorable emotional state of employees working remotely.
Viva contains tools for engagement and learning and allows employees to share knowledge during work processes. Microsoft Viva has a high level of integration with Microsoft 365 and Teams. Microsoft Viva consists of several key modules:
- Viva Insights
- Viva Learning
- Viva Topics
- Viva Connections
Let’s describe each of them.
Microsoft Viva Insights
Viva Insights offers you personalized recommendations throughout your workday. There, your personal information is collected from your email, calendar, meetings, chats, and calls. With the integration of Microsoft Teams and Viva Insights, you can easily stay productive during the workday and communicate effectively with colleagues.
To add Viva Insights to your Teams environment, select this app in the store.
After that, you will see two possible functions:
- Stay Connected
- Protect Time
On the Stay Connected tab, you will see the following information:
- Set up 1:1 meeting reminders
- Stay on top of outstanding task suggestions
- Upcoming meetings that need your RSVP
- Identify and pin important collaborators, and much more
This system provides endless possibilities. It not only offers the best options for a 1: 1 meeting. In addition, it reminds about commitments made with colleagues via email, and it is easy to find unread documents, pin important contacts, and much more.
On the Protect Time tab, you can choose the most suitable time for focused work. We understand how difficult it is sometimes to go to work if you have little time or you are easily distracted by incoming messages. Now, based on your personal data, you will be offered the most suitable time for focused work without notifications from chats and calls.
Microsoft Viva Learning
Taking a variety of training and refresher courses is a key aspect in developing your own career. But often employees do not find enough free time. Indeed, getting distracted from the work routine, spending a ton of time looking for the right course, sounds tiresome. And here is another effective solution from Microsoft – Viva Learning
Connecting it directly to Microsoft Teams allows you to evolve and learn new disciplines right in one workspace. Here you will find all the resources available to you for effective and fast learning. This Platform connects many resources in one place, including LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, third-party content providers, and the company’s own content. Moreover, pay attention to the list of partners, such as Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight, and much more.
This feature is especially useful when you, as a new employee, need to learn a ton of new information.
Microsoft Viva Topics
Each of us has been in a situation where it takes lots of time to find the information we need. You do not know who to refer to deal with an issue, and the search suggestions do not give the desired result. The search is made more difficult by the fact that the information is in different silos and systems. Moreover, you may experience knowledge drain when people leave your organization.
The solution to the problem is Microsoft Viva Topics. Together with AI technology, SharePoint modern Sites, and Microsoft Search, the platform offers you to track all your information in one place. AI identifies knowledge and people and automatically organizes them into the related topics.
Through the topics card and Microsoft search, you can easily find the information you need. Here you will find all the details about the desired topic: description, related people, pinned files and pages, SharePoint sites, and resources.
Microsoft Viva Connections
And finally, Microsoft Viva Connections is a place where you can connect literally anything! Viva Connections is a personalized digital workplace that allows employees to carry out internal communications and access company resources such as a collection of internal policies, news, etc., as well as corporate communities. All of this will be available as part of a custom app in Microsoft Teams. The Connections app for PC will appear for preliminary public testing in the first half of 2021, and the mobile app will be launched by the end of 2021.
Viva Connections delivers a unified, personalized feed in which employees can explore news and contribute to the conversation from virtually anywhere. You can publish content from various Microsoft 365 apps, such as SharePoint, Yammer, or Microsoft Stream, to a single feed and post the external news and content you want employees to see.
In addition, with audience targeting, you can reach specific departments, regions, or job roles. Microsoft Viva also makes it easy for employees to share feedback and participate in conversations with Yammer Communities.
The capabilities are endless! Let us pay your attention to key features of integration Microsoft Viva with other platforms:
- Integrate your SharePoint Sites content into Microsoft Teams
- Target your employees based on Azure Active Directory groups
- Customize your personal dashboards with Power Apps and 3-rd party solutions
- Drive engagement and aggregate news with Yammer communities
- Pin files from OneDrive, and much more
Microsoft Viva Use Cases
Indeed, the possibilities of the Microsoft Viva platform are endless. This allows you to effectively organize remote work across the entire organization. Now, let’s use simple examples to analyze how Microsoft Viva will help us in our work routine.
Onboard new employees
As we described above, the onboarding process is key when an employee joins a new team. Microsoft Viva is able to significantly facilitate and optimize this process.
So, with the help of Microsoft Learning, a new employee will have access to all the necessary courses in one place. And the learning process will be easy and fast.
With Microsoft Connections, an employee will be able to track more than the Home page, which displays the top news of the organization. They will also be able to build a personalized dashboard where they will add topics, important documents, and related people. In addition, it is necessary to connect a wellbeing dashboard, where they can track all statistics on their productivity in order to reduce the risk of burnout.
Collaborate on proposals
Need to prepare a project or a sales proposal? With Microsoft Viva, you can avoid a long search for the files you need or losing key information. At Microsoft Topics, you can use AI to gather all the information you need into one Topic. Create a Topic for each new Proposal and get quick access to the files you need or SharePoint Sites to help you with your Proposal.
Please note that there are several roles when working with Viva Topics:
- Topics Viewers – users can read SharePoint modern Sites and access to Microsoft Search
- Contributors – they can edit existing topics or create new ones
- Knowledge managers – users who guide topics through the topic lifecycle. They also confirm AI-suggested topics or remove topics that are no longer relevant
- Knowledge admins – they set up Viva Topics and manage them through the admin controls in the admin center.
Work on key sales deals
Likewise, Microsoft Viva will help you work with key partners and clients to close deals quickly and efficiently. For example, with the help of Viva Insights, you can schedule the most convenient and suitable time for meetings with a partner or customer. This will reduce the risk of call bounces and improve your communication.
In addition, notifications will remind you of the tasks that you discussed with the client via email. Moreover, you will no longer lose the required file and reduce the risk of losing information from any key agent.
Perform an effective project management
Finally, Microsoft Viva is an indispensable tool for project managers. When you’re in charge of multiple projects, it’s easy to lose track of key information. Your team members can also get confused by a large number of channels.
With Viva Topics, you can collect all needed information related to each project. Add the project managers, important files to collaborate on, SharePoint Sites, etc. Thus, all your project information will be in one place. As a result, you can avoid loss of information and miscommunication between project team members.
By connecting Viva Connections directly to your team in Microsoft Teams, you will help your teammates have easy access to all the key questions and topics of the project. Create a dashboard for every new project, add SharePoint sites with the latest news and upcoming meetings, pin important documentation and share knowledge and experience from experts in one place.
Explore more Microsoft Teams Use Cases
In conclusion, I would like to note that Microsoft Viva is an ideal platform for organizing all work processes. You can use some of the features right now, for example, Microsoft Insights with Stay connected and Protect Time Tans. And together with you, we will be waiting for the release of other new products. We are confident that Teams Templates technology by SalesTim will improve the users’ experience even more.
Explore all the Microsoft Teams Templates possibilities that are available today.