Introduction to Microsoft Viva, an Employee Experience Platform
Published May 11 2021 05:48 AM 7,590 Views
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Tour Microsoft Viva, the new employee experience platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights. Viva is a unique set of curated and AI enriched experiences built on top of and integrated with the foundational services of Microsoft 365. Join Jeremy Chapman as he shares Viva’s capabilities, the underlying tech, and your core options for enabling and configuring Microsoft Viva as a team leader or admin.


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Microsoft Viva’s 4 core modules:

  • Viva Topics — builds a knowledge system for your organization
  • Viva Connections — boosts employee engagement
  • Viva Learning — creates a central hub to discover learning content and build new skills
  • Viva Insights — recommends actions to help improve productivity and wellbeing


As an employee:

Get more time to focus and recharge — no matter where you’re working from.

  • Connect with others, stay informed and engage
  • Accelerate learning new skills, and balance your time at work.


At an organizational level:

Boost morale and retention and the overall success of your organization.

  • Foster a new culture of support for employees, so even when not physically together with colleagues, they feel connected to collective goals.
  • Employees can easily leverage the knowledge and connections of their work community to get things done and feel invested in their career growth.


01:13 — Viva Topics

01:54 — Viva Connections

02:21 — Viva Learning

02:56 — Viva Insights

03:38 — Implementing Viva

04:18 — Upcoming highlights

05:49 — Privacy and security

06:50 — Platform extensibility

08:21 — Wrap Up


Link References:

For deep dives on all the Viva modules, go to

Learn more at


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Video Transcript:

-Welcome to Microsoft Mechanics and our Essentials Series on the new employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva. In the next few minutes, I’ll introduce you to Viva’s capabilities, explain the underlying tech and your core options for enabling and configuring Microsoft Viva as a team leader or admin.


-You can think of Viva as a unique set of curated and AI-enriched experiences built on top of and integrated with the foundational services of Microsoft 365, which extends your existing investments. As an employee, Viva experiences are crafted to help you more easily connect with others and the information around you, stay informed and engaged, accelerate your learning of new skills and balance your time at work, giving you more time to focus and recharge no matter where you’re working from. At an organizational level, Viva can help foster a new culture of support for employees, so that even when they are not physically together with colleagues they always feel a strong connection to collective goals. They can more easily leverage the knowledge and connections of their work community to get things done and feel invested in their career growth and wellbeing, all of which can boost morale and retention and the overall success of your organization.


-Microsoft Viva experiences today are delivered across four core modules with more on the way. First, Viva Topics builds a knowledge system for your organization. With Viva Topics, you can discover knowledge connected to specific topics quickly in the context of your work. This helps you to easily connect the dots between people and information and take action. Now the underlying AI provides a useful baseline around topics and subject matter experts by organizing information into accessible knowledge within the apps and services you use every day. Think of it as a Wikipedia where AI does the first draft keeping it up-to-date, and then employees can collectively contribute their expertise to crowdsource knowledge across your organization, and knowledge managers can review and curate topic pages for accuracy.


-Next, Viva Connections is all about boosting employee engagement. Everyone from your everyday users, specific employee groups and departments through to your frontline workers. Expanding upon SharePoint home sites and news feeds as well as Yammer communities, it’s designed to give you a curated, company-branded experience that delivers personalized news, conversations, and other commonly used resources within the context of the apps you use every day, like Microsoft Teams.


-Then Viva Learning creates a central hub for individuals and teams to discover learning content and build new skills, all within the flow of their everyday work in Microsoft Teams. Viva Learning exposes recommended content by managers, experts, and peers to upskill employees. And they can also search for content that meets their specific needs as well as share and discuss learning, for example in chat. Content can come from learning providers, in-house custom materials stored in SharePoint, and your Learning Management Systems. Learning recommendations can also be surfaced directly inside of Viva Insights.


-Speaking of which, our fourth module, Viva Insights, leverages the MyAnalytics and Workplace Analytics foundation to deliver data-driven, privacy-protected insights and recommended actions to help individuals and teams improve productivity and wellbeing. So for individuals, Viva Insights offers actionable reminders for regular breaks and mindfulness activities in the flow of work, including integration with Headspace. Manager and leader insights provide visibility into work patterns that can lead to burnout and stress. And the new Glint dashboard helps leaders more accurately get a pulse of their organization by providing insight into the factors that impact engagement, so that they can take action.


-So, now that you know what the core experiences are, and the good news is, as part of the Microsoft 365 service, there’s little additional work required to implement Microsoft Viva for your organization. This is helped by the underlying AI together with Microsoft Graph that provides signals including the activities, relationships, and content spanning your organization to automate the delivery of core aspects of the experience. And you can extend this even further with SharePoint Syntex to transform your content into knowledge with AI-driven forms processing and document understanding. That said, while AI gives you a great starting point, you have control over curating, customizing, and targeting these experiences.


-Now while we’ll go deeper on the specific things you can do during the rest of the series, here are just some of the highlights. Differentiated experiences across roles, departments and geographies are managed using groups in Azure Active Directory to tailor what people see. For example, in Viva Connections you can build a branded and personalized experience, as well as target information using adaptive cards to reach specific groups. Another example is with Viva Topics, where you can do several things, such as targeting the experience toward specific audiences. As a Microsoft 365 admin, you have full control to configure access to Viva modules and experiences. For example, you can customize Viva Learning to curate online training from your preferred content providers and your own company-developed content so that it’s available all in one place. And you can also make Viva modules discoverable in the context of Microsoft Teams.


-Next, there are granular options to set up Viva Topics for your organization. For example, you can crowdsource information where everyone can create and edit topic pages, or you can establish additional governance oversight by assigning knowledge managers to review and curate topics for accuracy and suitability. For Viva Learning, Knowledge admins can also be assigned to curate learning content, and they can also feature specific learning content for everyone in the organization. And for Viva Insights, you can create custom policies to tailor personal experiences, while manager and leader insights are available to licensed users of Workplace Analytics.


-Now as you would expect, privacy and security are built into all Microsoft Viva experiences. And any information protection and compliance controls you’ve configured in Microsoft 365 are respected when you access content. For example, you can only see the files and documents you have permissions to see in Viva Topics and the same is true for Viva Connections. For Viva Topics, you can exclude topics by name and even entire sites that you don’t want the service to crawl as it builds the knowledge index. Additionally, Viva is GDPR compliant, for example personal experiences from Viva Insights are only visible to individuals. For manager and leader insights, safeguards like aggregation, de-identification, and differential privacy are built-in to protect individual privacy. Also, in Viva Topics you can unlist yourself as a topic expert to prevent others from contacting you. And in Viva Learning, recommended learning is only visible to the target employee and the person who made the recommendation.


-As an employee experience platform, of course Microsoft Viva is extensible. As we’ve shown, Viva builds on Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 platforms to provide the organizing layer for integrated employee experiences. This gives you an extensibility layer that ensures faster and broader integration with your existing tools and systems. Viva Topics and Viva Connections extensibility leverage the same patterns and practices of the familiar SharePoint Framework to build out custom experiences. For example, you can build custom web parts for your home site and topic pages. And you can use adaptive cards for your Viva Connections dashboard to expose specific content and target the right employees with the right resources. Experiences are infused with a strong and growing ecosystem of partners, and it’s designed to integrate with your existing systems. For example, you’ll be able to use Viva Learning connectors to integrate with popular Learning Management Systems to surface assigned or mandatory trainings. Also, LMS integration and APIs will be available via Microsoft Graph, so you can integrate your own custom solutions.


-Viva is also built to integrate across learning resources. So for example, Viva Learning brings in content from Skillsoft, PluralSight, Coursera, edX, LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and Microsoft 365 training with even more on the way. And Viva Insights can pull in data from existing apps and services, such as Zoom and Slack or SAP SuccessFactors.


-So that was a quick overview of Microsoft Viva and how it brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights into an integrated experience that empowers you and your teams to be your best from anywhere you work and in the tools you use every day. This is part one of our series explaining Microsoft Viva. Keep checking back to for deep dives on all the Viva modules where we’ll show you how you to configure and setup the experiences. And you can learn more at Thanks for watching.

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