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Microsoft Viva Celebrates Year One Ahead of Teams Anniversary
Before Microsoft can blow out the birthday candles on five years of Microsoft Teams next month, the company is celebrating another service anniversary. In a blog post last week, Microsoft shared that its employee experience platform (EXP), Viva, has just turned one.
Below, we take a look back at some of the updates made to Viva over the last year and then share insight on how to get the most out of an EXP service.
The Year in Viva Updates
Last February, Microsoft revealed Viva and its four modules (Connections, Insights, Topics, and Learning), each providing specific employee-engagement features. For instance, Viva Connections pulls together relevant company news, conversations, and app and device resources into a single portal, while Viva Insights provides productivity and wellbeing recommendations for end users and managers, as I described in this article on Viva going generally available.
Microsoft has since added partners, integrations, and features to the platform. In one of its first Teams announcements of 2022, Microsoft added integrations with learning management system providers SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand, and Saba Cloud to its Viva Learning module, allowing managers to assign training and learnings for employees. Viva Connections also received several new partners, including Workday and Espressive, which provided self-service click-in-and-clock-out reminders and self-help tools for IT, HR, and payroll departments, respectively.
These updates came shortly after Microsoft announced the general availability of Viva at its Ignite conference last fall, and also announced that it would be tucking in free strategic goal-planning and execution management software capabilities from its acquisition of Ally.io into the Viva platform by the second half of 2022
Beth Schultz, VP of research & principal analyst at Metrigy, said that we should expect Microsoft to continue enhancing Viva, adding capabilities to each of the four modules and how they are tied together. "The addition of an OKR module, via the Ally.io acquisition, will round out Viva, adding in the ability for companies to help align individual, departmental, and corporate goals and improve business success metrics. This will give Microsoft one of, if not the, most comprehensive employee experience platforms on the market," Schultz said.
These are just several of the updates made to Viva over the last year. For more information and analysis on Viva, please view the Microsoft Viva page on No Jitter (click here) and its sister website WorkSpace Connect (click here).
Enterprise Focus: Making the Most Out of an EXP
With more enterprises considering services like Viva and other EXPs, enterprises leaders and IT professionals will need to create strategies to boost user adoption of these services and find ways to use the data these services provide to inform workplace decisions.
Similar to other IT decisions, making the most out of employee experience technology isn’t just about deploying it and calling it a day. It requires strong leadership, Schultz said.
“I would say that companies can't put the onus on an individual's shoulders alone for optimizing their experience,” Schultz said. “Yes, they absolutely do need to empower employees with usable insight from how they interact with Microsoft apps, but more than that team leaders, managers, and organizational leaders have to look at the data in aggregate and provide higher-level guidance, even mandates, too.” Obviously, this advice would hold true for any employee experience technology, not just Microsoft Viva.
Enterprise leaders should look at the data as a whole and provide guidance on it, and they should also meet regularly to find new ways to use the information provided by Viva, Schultz explained.
“The other thing I would have to say is that team leaders and managers would do well to have regular discussions — weekly or monthly — with their people to see what they're learning from and doing with Viva and then putting together their own best practices advice for how to improve the meeting experience, boost productivity, [or] develop knowledge around a particular topic,” Schultz added.
As enterprises look to address employee engagement and wellbeing issues in a hybrid-work world, many will explore how technology like Viva and others can help, creating new IT challenges and opportunities. To learn more about achieving success with employee experience technology, consider reading this WorkSpace Connect article from Schultz on the topic. Also, make sure to check out the Workplace Strategies track at Enterprise Connect, which will feature discussions on these topics and other workplace issues.