Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions

Understanding Microsoft Viva, Features, Timelines and Pricing

Updated 9th June 2021 with latest release and timeline information

Microsoft Viva was first announced in February 2021. Now we have a bit more detail about it. Here is a quick breakdown of what we know so far.

Microsoft Viva is a brand name for a family of products or modules. Microsoft positions Viva as an Employee Experience Platform (EXP). Employee Experience Platform is described as bringing together tools for employee communications, wellbeing, learning and knowledge discovery into one solution.

Viva is comprised of 4 modules, each can be used/purchases independently. Some are extra cost/licences, some are included in Office 365/M365 plans. It’s unclear if there will also be a “family SKU” for all of Viva.

  • Viva Connections – a combination of company-branded SharePoint portal (aka intranet) in a Teams app with Yammer Communities and stream video integration.
  • Viva Insights – Personal and Organisational productivity reporting and tips, building on Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics but also pulling insights from third-party platforms like Zoom, Workday, and SAP.
  • Viva Topics – Using AI (Project Cortex) to mine data stored in SharePoint and create “Topic Pages” about the topic and pointing to experts on that topic. Pages can be further curated by experts.
  • Viva Learning – an enterprise learning platform that surfaces first and third party training content to employees in Teams.

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Viva Connections

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Viva Connections centres around an improved, now brandable, SharePoint Home app within Teams. It will surface Yammer communities interaction and leverage Stream for video.

Viva Connections delivers a unified, personalized feed in which employees can explore news and contribute to the conversation.

  • Extend your SharePoint intranet content, including your home site, into Microsoft Teams.
  • Aggregate news and conversations from SharePoint and Yammer.
  • Target your content based on your existing Azure Active Directory groups.
  • Customize your dashboards with Power Apps, SPFx, and the third-party solutions you have already deployed throughout your organization.
  • Drive engagement in employee communities in Yammer to support employee resource groups, knowledge sharing, and leadership initiatives.
  • Pin files and videos from Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft Stream

Price:

  • Viva Connections is available now to all customers as part of their existing Microsoft 365 licence.

Dates:

  • Mobile app in summer 2021
  • Additional features will roll out over the course of 2022.

More details:

 

Viva Insights

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Microsoft Viva Insights gives individuals, managers, and leaders personalized and actionable insights. Viva Insights will, over time, bring the power of Microsoft Workplace Analytics and Microsoft MyAnalytics together under the Microsoft Viva brand.

Viva Insights includes:

  • Personal insights
    • Recommendations to “stay connected” with colleagues
    • Recommendations to protect time for focus work and training
  • Manager and leader insights*
  • Advanced tools and integrations*

*Note, Microsoft Workplace Analytics purchase required for these components.

Viva Insights uses data from:

  • Information from email items:
    • Metadata. This includes the email’s timestamp, names of sender and recipients, and “read” status.
    • Task statements. Statements that people have made in the body text of the email. These statements are used to create task cards for your use only.
  • Information from calendar items:
    • Type (meeting or appointment)
    • Status (busy, free, out-of-office, tentative)
    • Category
    • Subject
    • Duration
    • Attendees
  • OneDrive SharePoint data: Viva Insights shows a count of OneDrive and SharePoint documents that you have worked on

To have access to the Viva Insights app, you will need an Exchange Online license.

Price:

  • Free tier, including the Viva Insight app (based on/much like MyAnalytics)
  • For manager insights and the organizational view, you need a Workplace Analytics licence, which in the future will be renamed as Viva Insight licence. Plans for Workplace Analytics list at $2 per seat/per month for Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 subscriptions and list $6 per seat/per month if adding to any other licence level

Dates:

  • Teams Viva Insights app is available now, “full” Viva Insights will be available later 2021
  • In the coming months, additional personal wellbeing experiences, including a virtual commute, an integration with Headspace for meditation and mindfulness, and an integration with Microsoft Viva Learning, will be available in Viva Insights.

More details:

 

Viva Topics

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While working in Microsoft 365 apps, you’ll see topics highlighted when they appear in pages, messages, and content.

These highlights reveal topic cards. Topic cards provide knowledge in context without searching or changing apps. Cards summarize the topic with alternate names, definitions, experts, and recommended resources.

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Microsoft Viva Topics uses artificial intelligence (AI) to collect information around specific topics and generate pages about them.

Viva Topics has the ability to integrate knowledge Microsoft 365 and from a variety of third-party services such as ServiceNow and Salesforce

Topic pages provide a comprehensive view of related information, including:

  • Alternate names.
  • Definitions.
  • Recommended and suggested people.
  • Recommended and suggested content.
  • Related sites and teams.
  • Map of related topics.
  • Optional web part integration, such as Yammer communities.

When Microsoft Viva discovers topics, they appear as suggestions in the topic center. In the future, the topic center can be accessed from Microsoft Teams or SharePoint.

You’ll be able to add the topics web part to any pages in SharePoint or Microsoft Teams, so you can build knowledge into your existing employee experiences, such as intranet sites.

Suggested content and topics are governed by privacy controls, security and the Microsoft Graph. Users can only see the content where they already have access.

In the future, Viva Topics will integrate information from outside the Microsoft 365 cloud using our Graph-based content connectors—available from both Microsoft and our partners—which integrate knowledge from more than 130 data sources, including Salesforce, ServiceNow, MediaWiki, file shares, and Microsoft Azure services.

Connectors also include a robust set of APIs to facilitate the development of your own connectors.

Viva Topics will also offer Viva learning suggestions within the topic center, along with other knowledge resources.

Price:

  • Viva Topics is $5 PUPM, all users who interact with topics need a licence.
  • Microsoft gives a 30 day trial for up to 25 users.

Dates:

  • Viva Topics is GA for all commercial tenants

More details:

 

Viva Learning

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Viva Learning app for Microsoft Teams. Discover, share, assign, and learn from content libraries across the organization—including LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, third-party content providers, and an organization’s own custom content.

It will index videos but also Microsoft Word documents and Microsoft PowerPoint decks.

Viva Learning has integrated with content providers Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight, and edX.

Learning management system providers Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, and SAP SuccessFactors have announced their intention to integrate with Viva Learning.

Viva Learning also shows all the learning assignments a manager has made, when they are due, and individuals’ reported completion status.

Price:

  • Unknown. It may be that the basic application is free but there will be subscriptions for content like LinkedIn Learning and maybe third party content

Dates:

  • Currently in private preview
  • GA expected later this year
  • Later this year, public APIs to allow customers and partners to integrate with Viva Learning

More details:

About the author

Tom Arbuthnot

A Microsoft MVP and Microsoft Certified Master, Tom Arbuthnot is Principal Solutions Architect at Microsoft Collaboration specialists Modality Systems.

Tom stays up to date with industry developments and shares news and his opinions on his blog, Microsoft Teams Podcast and email list. He is a regular speaker at events around the world.

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Tom Talks Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 news and opinions