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Viva Connections Public Preview

Published Sep 09 2021 08:00 AM 20.4K Views
Microsoft

The shift to remote work has been disruptive to industries and businesses around the planet. Hybrid work is reshaping the digital and physical workplace of the future and success in this hybrid world will require a new set of tools designed to help us adapt and thrive. Earlier today, Microsoft announced new capabilities for Microsoft Viva and Microsoft Teams that equip people and organization for these changes, including Viva Connections, which will enter public preview in the upcoming weeks.

 

Viva Connections Public Preview

 

This preview release includes the Viva Connections mobile app and an updated version of the Viva Connections desktop experience that enables organizations to customize, brand, and deploy their own employee app for their workforce. Viva Connections is the gateway to your organization's employee experience. It is built directly into Microsoft Teams and designed to create connection and drive alignment to empower employees – from information workers to frontline and deskless employees. Now, admins can enable, configure, and deploy the Viva Connections app directly from the Teams App Store, just like any other app in Teams. See a detailed overview of this new employee app and how to get started. This release is an update and expansion to the Viva Connections app launched in March with several new major capabilities being announced.

 

What’s included in this release

 

Viva Connections mobile app experience – This is the first look at the mobile experience for Viva Connections. It introduces the dashboard, feed, and resources tabs and brings these experiences together into a personalized and actionable employee home base. Once enabled, the Viva Connections app is available for your employees right from within the Teams app, both on mobile and desktop.

Viva Connections mobile showing the dashboard, feed, and resources screensViva Connections mobile showing the dashboard, feed, and resources screens

Viva Connections desktop – This updated version of the desktop experience streamlines installation and deployment for admins in the Microsoft Teams admin center. The new dashboard and feed web parts enable customers to have consistency across the mobile and desktop experiences. For organizations using the existing version of Viva Connections desktop, learn about the differences and how to upgrade to this version. Prior to enabling Viva Connections for your users, learn how to customize the app with your own organization’s logo and name.

The Viva Connections desktop experienceThe Viva Connections desktop experience

Dashboard web part – In the dashboard, employees can find useful resources and actionable tasks, like submitting expense reports, accessing benefits, requesting time off work, or verifying health checks to return to the office. Powered by adaptive cards and the SharePoint Framework, cards on the dashboard can be targeted to specific users so employees can stay connected and engaged virtually wherever they are and however they work. With this release, you can bring the power of the dashboard to your home site as a web part. Simply add a new web part and select the Dashboard for Viva Connections. To help you integrate with third-party apps, services or line-of-business applications, many Microsoft Partners have created cards that will be available soon, and enterprises can build their own custom cards. Take a look at some of the solutions you’ll be able to use right away.

 

The Dashboard web part in Viva Connections desktopThe Dashboard web part in Viva Connections desktop

Feed web part – The feed provides a single, personalized view where employees can explore news and join conversations from across the organization, keeping people connected. It aggregates relevant news and discussions across Microsoft 365 services to keep people informed and make it easy for people to participate, add value, and share their unique perspective and expertise. For communicators, it simplifies sharing into a unified channel to ensure essential information doesn’t get lost while providing options to boost and target content to specific audiences and improve visibility. Now, the feed can be added as a web part to your home site or any SharePoint site.

 

The Feed web part in Viva ConnectionsThe Feed web part in Viva Connections

We encourage you to try out the new public preview of Viva Connections as well as explore the other Microsoft Viva modules in the coming weeks. We’re continuing to build, iterate, and integrate to deliver the best employee experience solution in the world. Learn more at http://www.microsoft.com/Viva and join our Microsoft Viva community to stay up-to-date with the latest information or share your feedback about Viva Connections!

 

- Andy Haon is a Group Program Manager (GPM) working on Microsoft Viva and SharePoint

25 Comments
Contributor

@Andy Haon It would be nice to see a Microsoft Mechanics video showing how to setup Viva Connections from an IT admin point of view.  I tried to set this up in our Dev tenant, but I was un-successful and when I looked at the documentation, it said "

  • Expanded step-by-step guidance will be published shortly after the release of Viva Connection for Public preview on September 9th, 2021. This is a summary of the basic steps needed to deploy Viva Connections. Check back soon for more details."
Occasional Contributor

Yeah would appreciate some guides on this, have so far installed what i believe is the preview version but not seeing anything different from the last version, eg. can't see dashboard , dashboard webpart, feed so on?

 

Edit: Or is it one of those things that will appear after x period of time and just have to randomly keep looking until you see it appear in the menu.

@NightmareRambo77 , the Viva Connections public preview update will be gradually rolling out across both SharePoint and then Teams, so these experiences will be made available on a staged basis over the course of the next weeks. You should see it light up closer to the end of the month at this point. Also we did start a conversation thread in the Viva discussion space if you have more questions: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-viva/viva-connections-public-preview-feedback/m-p/2...

@Eric Davis , thank you. The documentation for IT admins to configure Viva Connections should be out around September 20th. 

New Contributor

I did follow the steps to create a viva connection. It works in the team browser, but not displaying the viva icon in Mobile Team App.

Microsoft

@Arif-Kashmiree can you tell us more about which steps you followed to enable Viva Connections?  It's possible that you followed the steps to deploy the Viva Connections desktop app described here: Add Viva Connections desktop to Microsoft Teams - SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs? If so, that app includes only the desktop experience (not mobile). 

 

Additional details for the public preview for Viva Connections are here: Overview: Viva Connections (Preview) - SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs.  As noted above by @Sebastien Fouillade, additional documentation for IT to configure the full experience is planned to be published around September 20th.

Contributor

I see the app in teams admin center and its enabled. I have waited for 48 hours and not available on teams yet.

What can be the reason

Contributor

Will it work for F1 license as well ?

Microsoft

@damyou06 it's likely that the app has not fully rolled out to all tenants yet. Even though you are seeing the app in Teams Admin Center, we are rolling out a change to the app itself such that it will be available for all tenants.  

Contributor
will the Mobile app also roll out?
Occasional Contributor

@Tejas Mehta Just to clarify , are you suggesting the VIVA app for teams will be pushed by Microsoft and users won't have to use powershell to generate their own version? Sorry i'm a little confused if we are suppose to get updated modules and create a new APP and deploy it in terms or wait for something from Microsoft to appear in the store of teams?

Contributor

@Sebastien Fouillade , can you please provide an update on the status of "The documentation for IT admins to configure Viva Connections should be out around September 20th. "  I checked https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/viva-connections-overview#step-by-step-guidance-to-provi...and I didn't see any updates.  Thank you.  

Microsoft

@NightmareRambo77, yes.  There are two different apps:

  1. The Viva Connections desktop app that was released in March, as a custom LOB app that leverages the PowerShell script we made available to create the app package for it.  Details on this app are here: Add Viva Connections desktop to Microsoft Teams - SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs. Note that this app supports ONLY the desktop experience.
  2. The Viva Connections first party app that is currently rolling out and will automatically be available in Teams app store in tenants. This app includes both the desktop experience AND the mobile experience for Teams apps for iOS and Android.  The app can be configured directly in Teams Admin Center (e.g. update the name, icon, theme color) without the need to create and upload an app package.

If you are already using the LOB app, it will continue to work.  When you are ready to switch to the first party app, you can block the LOB app, and allow the new one.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Occasional Contributor

Thanks for the reply , got it working and enabled dev mode on teams app and it showed up straight away, so thanks its all working correctly , even have boost now on news articles.

Contributor

The new Viva Connections app showed up in our tenant and it looks really good but unfortunately it is not available for users with Public Preview turned on in their desktop clients. They will simply not see it in the App store and be able to install it. For the same users it is available in the web and mobile clients, just not in a desktop client with Public Preview switched on. Has anyone else run into this?

Microsoft

@Mattias Skog, can you tell us more about what you mean by "Public Preview turned on in their desktop clients"?  Are you referring to a Teams Public Developer Preview ring? If so, if the user switches to public ring, everything works fine?  Or is the issue something else?

Contributor

@Tejas Mehta, I mean that when I have Public Preview enabled (see link below and attached screenshot) I can't access the app, I can't even see it in the Apps store nor install it. If I switch Public Preview off I can find the app in the Apps store, install it and access it.

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-US/microsoftteams/public-preview-doc-updates

 

public-preview-enabled.PNG

Senior Member

I am really excited for the Feed feature, but was hoping you could include a Unified Notifications Settings that allows users to choose to follow a certain sender so the Feed will show every Yammer, SharePoint, and Teams post from that sender. I also want users to choose between push notifications, Teams desktop notifications, and weekly email digests. Right now my users are overwhelmed by having to visit 10 different apps to follow and change notification settings for the content they want to see. I would be happy to chat with you further about this!

Microsoft

@Mattias Skog that appears to be a Teams Public preview setting, which is different from our labeling of Viva Connections all up as being in a Public Preview.  Either way, the updates should have rolled to all production tenants by now.  You should be able to see the dashboard creation options from your home site, and from within Teams Admin Center you should be able to manage the Viva Connections app itself, which should be visible in its default "Blocked by publisher" state.  

 

Please ensure you are following the instructions from this article to get you started: Guide to setting up Viva Connections (Preview) - SharePoint in Microsoft 365 | Microsoft Docs

 

@Anthony DeVergillo, thanks for your feedback!  As you can imagine we are just getting started with Viva Connections, and have a backlog of features we look forward to sharing more about as we make progress beyond our general availability.  Some of what you suggest is already under consideration for future updates.  @Graham Kent and @Scott Stewart as FYI.

Contributor

@Tejas Mehta, I'm fully aware of that! But, still, Viva Connections is not available in the Teams desktop client for users in the Teams Public Preview.

Regular Visitor

The idea with the dashboard is good but what we are still missing is the personalization. From the implementation so far, I can see that there is just an application page where all cards are published, meaning that ALL users have the same experience. 

Is it planned to offer the ability for the user to personalize his dashboard so that he can choose which cards he wants and in which order? Otherwise, I don't see much of a benefit at this point.

 

Moreover, I only see 3 available cards (Tasks, App, Link), how can I integrate the feed?

 

Thank you in advance!

 

Frequent Visitor

hi @Tejas Mehta  @Andy Haon ,

We still see this app in our tenant in desktop and this does not show up in mobile.
Is it not completely rolled out to the tenant ?

PrerakDesai_0-1632925041222.png

 

Microsoft

@Mattias Skog, you are correct, the Viva Connections app is not available in that specific Teams ring.  It is available in the Public ring.

 

@Ioannis Glaros - all dashboard cards support audience targeting, and can result in different dashboard content for different users. See documentation here for details: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/create-dashboard#audience-targeting. You are correct that Viva Connections does not currently support end user customization of the dashboard.  With respect to feed, in mobile, there is a Feed tab which includes the full feed experience.  On web, there is a feed web part that can be deployed on your home site that is rendered in the Teams app on desktop and web.  

 

@PrerakDesai - the screenshot you have shared does not appear to be the correct version of the Viva Connections app.  It should look something like the snapshot below.  Can you check Teams Admin Center under Teams Apps --> Manage Apps, and search for Viva Connections and share what you see?  Alternatively, you can open a support ticket and we can investigate further.  You are using a production tenant?  If so, you should have the correct version of the app.

TejasMehta_0-1632933634649.png

 

 

 

Contributor

@Tejas Mehta, when will this be fixed? As I see this, users in the Teams Public Preview are the ones who needs access to Viva Connections most of all in this phase. Now you have to switch one preview off to get access to another one, does that make sense?

Regular Visitor

Hello @Tejas Mehta  and thank you for the quick response and the information provided.

 

Unfortunately, the usage of audiences is maybe applicable to small organizations but if you have thousands of users with different needs and roles, missing the personalization defies the whole purpose of the cards. This is because the cards give you access to resources which must be relevant to you and to tasks that makes sense for you. If your organization is implementing several tools and interfaces, you may try to group them with audience groups, but you are missing what the user really needs, meaning, the ability to choose what is useful for him.

 

My suggestion would be 1) the ability of personalization and 2) the ability that the organization can pin cards which should be organization-wide relevant. These 2 aspects will leverage the usage greatly and speaking from our side, we would consider using it and transition to such an intranet solution, until then it is really not possible.

 

 

Regards

Ioannis

 

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