It has been awesome to watch customer excitement growing since last month’s launch of Microsoft Viva Topics. Viva Topics applies AI to empower people with knowledge in the apps they use every day, automatically organizing content and expertise across your systems and teams to create topics with built-in security, compliance, and workflow. Across the team we’ve been humbled by the enthusiasm and uptake.
We know many of you are eager to start working with Viva Topics, and we want to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
How can I set up a trial of Microsoft Viva Topics?
You can start today by registering for a free 30-day, 25-user Viva Topics trial. You’ll need to be a global admin or billing admin to activate the trial, and you need to use a standard commercial tenant. Trials aren’t available for development or educational licenses. Once you activate a trial, a global admin or license admin needs to assign a license to the specific users who’ll be involved in the trial.
What if I need more time for my testing?
You can always work with your Microsoft account team to request an extended trial for a pilot or proof of concept. Additionally, members of our Microsoft Content Services Partner Program also have access to expanded trial licenses to help you get going as part of a pilot or proof of concept.
How should I get started?
This has been an incredibly frequent question! In general, it’s a good idea to start with a focused set of users, rather than turning it on for everyone in the entire organization, to take a phased approach to adoption. Microsoft Viva Topics was built to work on extremely large pools of content. Because it respects the pre-existing security of your files, we strongly recommend indexing a larger set of content -- ideally at least 20,000 documents -- for the best quality and quantity of topics.
What if I have to start with a smaller set of content?
We still encourage you to think big. Microsoft Viva Topics is based on statistical analysis of text patterns and components of contact. The more content we have, the higher the quality of the generated topics.
Trials work best on production data – not on test tenants with low usage and small numbers of files. Generally, we start seeing good results above about 20,000 documents, and at least 50-100 active users in the organization. We also look for file activity to determine processing priority and relative relevance.
OK, I just activated Microsoft Viva Topics and told it to scan all my content. Where are my topic cards?
Topic indexing is based on search indexing in the Microsoft Graph, but it runs as a separate process with a different timetable. It can take anywhere from 10 to 14 days for Microsoft Viva to work through all your content to generate an initial set of topics. Once the initial scan completes, topic indexing will continue as new content is added or modified.
When Microsoft Viva discovers topics, they are proposed as suggestions on SharePoint news posts. All topics, except removed topics or ones excluded by name, will be proposed as suggestions, but the administrator can identify the people who can view topic highlights.
It’s been a few weeks and I have 50 topics - when and where can my users start to see them?
If you’ve assigned licenses to users and given them permission to view topic highlights in the admin center setup, you’re in good shape. If your user has rights to access the underlying content for a topic, they’ll start seeing topics in modern SharePoint pages, pages in Microsoft Viva Connections, SharePoint mobile, and Microsoft Search results.
They can also see topic cards inside the Office clients. If they run a highlighted search inside Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, if that word matches a known topic that the user has permissions to, they will see the topic card there.
We are working to bring topic experiences to the rest of the suite, including Outlook, Yammer, and Microsoft Teams soon.
What happens at the end of my trial?
If you’ve purchased licenses, you can assign those to your users and Viva Topics will continue running as it had throughout the trial. If users do not have licenses, at the end of the trial, they will no longer be able to see topic highlights, topic cards, topic pages, or the topic center. Any topics that have been updated with additional content will remain in the Topic Center pages library, although AI discovered content will be removed from those pages.
What happened to Project Cortex?
Project Cortex was the code name used when we first announced our Knowledge & Content Services solutions. They’ve now been released as SharePoint Syntex (October 2020) and Viva Topics (February 2021).
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