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Microsoft Viva 1 Year After Launch: A Mini Retrospective

It’s been about a year since Microsoft launched Microsoft Viva, an employee experience tool integrated with the most-used apps in Microsoft 365. This new feature has helped many teams and organizations to elevate their employee experience and productivity.

What is Microsoft Viva? A Quick Overview

Microsoft defines Viva as an employee experience platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights in the flow of work. Viva fosters a culture that empowers people and teams to be their best from anywhere.

Viva has four main modules: Viva Learning, Viva Insights, Viva Topics, and Viva Connections. Let’s go over each of them quickly:

  • Viva Learning – This focuses on delivering learning materials readily available to users from right inside Microsoft Teams. With this, they no longer need to switch from one app to another just to access courses and upskill.

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  • Viva Insights – This module helps employees manage their work time better.
  • Viva Topics – You can organize content in this module so people in your organization can find it easily. This works well for core organizational resources.
  • Viva Connections – This is a news feed page for your users where they can start discussions and make connections.

You can listen to this podcast or check out this blog post to learn more about how the different aspects of Viva can boost collaboration and engagement amongst a team.

What Happened in the Last Year?

Microsoft Viva set out to improve employee engagement and deliver a new user experience. In terms of milestones, it’s now reached more than 10 million monthly active users and over a thousand paying customers including Blum, PayPal, Unilever, and more.

Additionally, Viva Topics has generated more than 1 million topics with “Time Management” as the most popular interest. An average of 48 million focus hours are booked per month.

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Feature Updates and Releases

Since its launch, different updates have been released to improve the tool overall as well as each module individually. Here’s a look at some of the most notable additions:

  • Workplace Analytics Open-source R package This update was added in March 2021 as an improvement to Viva Insights. It’s a statistical programming language beneficial for data analytics and data science.
  • Microsoft Teams Integrated Metrics – Part of this April 2021 release was the integration of Microsoft Teams chats and Teams calls into the collaboration hours metric to better accommodate overlapping activities. Moreover, this resulted in a more definite collaboration report.
  • Viva Insights Playbooks – Part of a series of updates in May 2021, these playbooks provide insights into how your organization collaborates with the goal of improving employee engagement and activities.
  • Viva Topics Accessibility Improvement – Announced in June 2021, this update saw Viva Topics become more easily accessible by users with low vision. Another update released around this time improved the selection of related topics so that they’d better match users’ interests.

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  • Workspace Collaboration Optimizer – This Viva Insight update was first released in August 2021. It’s an open-source Azure tool for workspace planning that helps to arrange seat plans to boost employee collaboration onsite.
  • New Microsoft Viva Insights Community – From a team-based community to now a web-paged experience, this update made it easier for experts and users to learn and share information.

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Microsoft Viva Adoption Success Stories

From small businesses to large enterprises, Microsoft Viva has played a vital role in transforming employee engagement in digital workplaces across industries. A few examples include:

  • Unilever has specifically adopted Viva to build a better employee experience, spur growth, and improve the wellbeing of frontline workers.
  • Avanade, a leading provider of innovative digital and cloud-enabled services, harnessed the power of Viva Topics to identify thousands of topics across the company’s Microsoft tenant and from their people.
  • With Microsoft Viva Insights, PayPal was able to get useful data that helped to elevate leadership initiatives and improve employee wellbeing.

So, What’s Next For Viva?

The past year has been quite the ride for the new tool, and Microsoft has already announced some of the features it’s planning to develop and roll out in the future. Here are some of the most exciting ones:

  1. New Features for Viva Learning – Microsoft plans to add more features to Viva Learning that will make upskilling more accessible. See the full list below:

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  1. Viva Topics Teams Integration and Other Advancements – Current topics are mostly running in SharePoint pages and content, but the new update will introduce a Topics application for Microsoft Teams that will allow users to access interesting topics directly from the app.
  1. io Module Added to the Viva Family – Joining the four dynamic modules is Ally.io. This was recently acquired by Microsoft and is targeting an integration with Viva.

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Microsoft Viva can be integrated with your existing HR systems, learning management systems, content providers, and employee workflows. Microsoft has established a broad range of partnerships for Viva and one can only assume that that will continue in the future. Moreover, LinkedIn Learning and Viva integration is now in the works and will be available soon. Read more about these upcoming features in this post.

With one year in the books, it seems like Microsoft Viva has an exciting future ahead of it. Have you had any experiences (positive or negative) that you’d like to share after a year of Viva? Feel free to drop it in the comments below!


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Adrian Valencia
Adrian Valencia
Adrian is currently a member of AvePoint's project management team. In his previous role as a Content Marketing specialist at AvePoint, Adrian covered the latest trends and topics on what’s new in technology, SaaS Management & Governance, SaaS Backup and Data Management.

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