Microsoft Viva Sales 101: Top 10 questions from customers on Viva Sales architecture
Published Apr 06 2023 10:47 AM 7,249 Views

Since Viva Sales launched last year, customers worldwide have been piloting and adopting its capabilities. Today, we are sharing a list of the top Viva Sales questions on the product architecture we hear from our customers, responses, and a detailed overview of the product architecture to help you get started.


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Viva Sales Product Architecture


1. How does Viva Sales work?


Viva Sales consists of a set of end-user experiences available via a Microsoft Outlook Add-In and Microsoft Teams App, which connects in real-time to your organization’s CRM data and end-user’s M365 / Office data to bring insights and productivity capabilities directly into the seller’s flow of work.



2. What customer data does Viva Sales access and update?


Viva Sales uses three sets of data:

  • Your organization’s CRM data, including out-of-box CRM entities, such as Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities. Starting in May 2023, the list of CRM entities will be configurable and can contain out-of-box and custom entities. 
  • End user’s M365 / Office data, including e-mail content and meeting data (e.g., meeting transcripts).
  • Viva Sales-specific data, such as settings or insights generated, end-user flows in Viva Sales, or the seller's private notes.



3. Where does Viva Sales store my data?


All CRM data is created and updated directly in the CRM system via real-time access. Viva Sales does not copy any CRM data to other systems except when unique identifiers are used to map CRM org and entities to Viva Sales specific data, for example, Viva Sales settings data or Viva Sales generated insights data.

All M365 / Office data is created and updated directly in the Microsoft Graph. In certain scenarios, M365 / Office data, such as e-mail and meeting content, is copied to the customer’s CRM system for activity tracking purposes or into Dataverse as supplemental data for Viva Sales generated insights data.

All Viva Sales-specific data, which does not fall into the two categories above, are stored in Microsoft Dataverse. For example, private notes are always stored in Dataverse, either in the existing Dynamics 365 instance for Dynamics 365 customers or the newly provisioned instances for Salesforce customers. Irrespective of the data source, Viva Sales never copies any of your organization’s or end-user data outside the boundaries of your tenant.



4. How does Viva Sales connect to my CRM?


For connections to Dynamics 365, Viva Sales uses the existing AAD authentication tokens issued when the end user logs into Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Teams.

For connections to Salesforce, Viva Sales prompts the end-user to log in to Salesforce using their existing credentials, which generates a Salesforce authentication token, which Viva Sales leverage to connect to Salesforce.

In all scenarios, Viva Sales respects the end-user authentication and authorization context for all connections to the underlying CRM, which guarantees that the permissions set up for the end-user in the underlying CRM are fully respected for all read, write, updated, and delete operations (CRUD).

Viva Sales is intended to connect and work with a single CRM instance. Viva Sales does not connect to multiple organizations or instances simultaneously or synchronize data. Users must sign out and log in again to connect to a separate organization.



5. Who enables the Viva Sales experiences?


M365 tenant admins install the Viva Sales for Microsoft Outlook Add-In via the M365 Admin Center and the Viva Sales for Microsoft Teams App via the Teams Admin Center. This is generally referred to as an admin-managed install. This step-by-step install video shows you how it’s done.

CRM admins can configure Viva Sales, e.g., configuring CRM entities and fields that are enabled in Viva Sales for a given organization, and enable individual features, e.g., generative AI capabilities. Refer to the Administrator settings for Viva Sales documentation on accessing the settings and the required permissions to change settings.

End-users can also install the Viva Sales for Microsoft Outlook Add-In via Microsoft App Source or the embedded Microsoft Outlook Add-In installation flows and the Viva Sales for Microsoft Teams App via the Microsoft Teams Store. This is generally referred to as a user-managed installation. E-Mail notification banners and automatically adding the Viva Sales for Microsoft Teams app to meetings do not work in these installations. However, tenant admins can explicitly block the app for end-user installation via the corresponding admin portals.



6. How do I manage the application lifecycle of Viva Sales?


Viva Sales is a SaaS service fully managed by Microsoft. Once the Viva Sales for Microsoft Outlook Add-In and Viva Sales for Microsoft Teams App are installed, Microsoft will fully manage updates to all components across the Viva Sales stack.

In rare circumstances, the Viva Sales Add-In/App will require explicit admin consent during an update when new permissions are granted to Viva Sales. In these circumstances, all admins will be notified via the Message Center in Microsoft 365 Admin Center to update the corresponding application.



7. Is Viva Sales secure?


Yes! Viva Sales strictly follows the data privacy, security, retention, and compliance boundaries of the underlying data stores, i.e., Microsoft Graph for M365 / Outlook data, Dynamics 365 and Salesforce for CRM data, and Dataverse for Viva Sales-specific data. All data in transit is encrypted via Transport Layer Security (TLS). All Viva Sales endpoints are authenticated via AAD and scoped to the end-user’s permissions.

The following table links various resources that describe security and compliance for data sources leveraged in Viva Sales.



M365 / Office Data

CRM Data
Dynamics 365

Viva Sales Data

Data Security


Dynamics 365 security

Security in Microsoft Dataverse

Data Encryption

Encryption in the Microsoft Cloud

Enhance security by encrypting your data

About data encryption in Dataverse

Compliance and Data Privacy

Privacy & data management overview

Privacy and personal data for Microsoft Dynamics 365

Compliance and data privacy



8. What technologies does Viva Sales use for Copilot scenarios?


The Copilot capabilities in Viva Sales are enabled through Azure Open AI services and are based on the latest developments in large language models (GPT 3.5). With Azure OpenAI, you get the security capabilities of Microsoft Azure while running the same models as OpenAI. Viva Sales Copilot seamlessly integrates your organization’s CRM data and the end user’s M365 / Office data with OpenAI to generate real-time suggestions.



9. Does AI in Viva Sales use my data?


Viva Sales does not use any of your data to train AI models. Viva Sales reads your CRM and M365 / Office data in real-time to generate power AI scenarios, does not store the data outside the three data sources described above, and discards the data after it is used in the runtime to generate insights. All the generated insights data is stored in Dataverse. All access to the underlying CRM and M365 / Office data happens in the context of the signed-in user and respects their permissions to the underlying data in the existing data stores.



10. Does Viva Sales impact my workflow performance, cost, and storage?


Viva Sales' impact on performance, cost, and storage is equivalent to standard end-user connectivity and usage of your underlying CRM and is generally considered negligible.



Don’t forget to download an in-depth overview of Viva Sales architecture.


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