Earlier this year, we began the journey of building the first employee experience platform (EXP) for the hybrid era with Microsoft Viva. Our vision was to foster a culture of human connection, purpose, growth, wellbeing, and results. Today, we are excited to announce that all four Viva modules shared at the beginning of that journey—Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Topics, and Viva Learning—are now generally available and with the purchase of just one plan, the new Viva suite, you have access to all of them. We are also announcing new capabilities and partnerships for each module and a centralized IT admin experience. And in the coming year, the Viva suite will provide access to a new module powered by the recent acquisition of Ally.io, a leading objectives and key results (OKR) company, to help people and teams build alignment and achieve better business outcomes.
These innovations pull directly from our thinking around the Hybrid Work Paradox, 1 which demands rethinking the operating model for every organization, and learnings from early Viva customers like Unilever, Humana, and REI.1 Viva helps organizations transform their employee experience, which really is the digital experience of working for a company, to retain and attract talent in the Great Reshuffle.2
As a single solution, Viva ensures every employee is connected to their organization’s culture, personal productivity insights, expert knowledge, and key learning resources. And with the addition of Ally.io, it will be even easier to align employee work to the company’s strategic mission and core priorities. In all, Viva empowers every level of the organization to address key challenges of hybrid work and employee burnout.
The Microsoft Viva suite: One plan for an integrated EXP
With the Microsoft Viva suite, customers get an integrated EXP that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights into the flow of work. The suite comes at a promotional price of $9 per user per month through August 2022, which is 25 percent less than purchasing the three premium modules individually (a total of $12). Customers who purchase the suite subscription now will also receive the new Ally.io module next year at no additional cost.
Since Microsoft Viva provides an integrated experience, IT administrators can now leverage the centralized Microsoft 365 admin center experience to access guided set-ups for deploying Viva. The admin center experience comes with a setup guide and list of tasks for each Viva module and related partner solutions to simplify the initial setup. A complete step-by-step set of deployment instructions for each module is also available in the documentation hyperlinks at the end of this blog.
Viva Connections: Culture and communications
Viva Connections is a curated, company-branded experience that brings together relevant news, conversations, and resources in the applications and devices you use every day—and later this month, those devices will include your mobile phone.
Starting today, you can engage with integrations from many industry leading partners to extend your culture and communications experience, including Workday, ServiceNow, Qualtrics, UKG, and more.
In addition to these partner integrations, you are now also able to add cards for Approvals, Shifts, and Tasks from Teams into your Viva Connections dashboard. These integrations will also allow you to engage in Viva Connections with new partner functionality, such as Adobe Sign and DocuSign for Approvals and Zebra-Reflexis and Blue Yonder for Shifts.
Finally, we are happy to announce that Espressive will be joining the Viva Connections partner family. Dashboard cards from Espressive will allow employees to get immediate, personalized self-help later this year.
Learn about all the new Viva Connections partners, including those coming on board soon, in our on-demand session. We’re also excited to announce that new module webparts are now available in SharePoint. You can learn about those in the on-demand session too.
Figure 1. Connect with your organization from wherever you’re working—including your mobile phone later this month.
Viva Insights: Productivity and wellbeing
Viva Insights helps improve productivity and wellbeing through data-driven, privacy-protected insights and recommendations. Today, we are announcing expanded capabilities to help managers and team leads navigate hybrid work and to help everyone in an organization run more effective meetings. For details on these and other upcoming features, read the Viva Insights blog.
- New manager insights and tools will help managers and team leads stay connected with team members, track outstanding tasks, explore personal habits that impact team culture, recognize accomplishments, and foster team norms such as no-meeting days—all through actionable recommendations. These insights will be available soon for any team size from the My team tab in the Viva Insights app for Microsoft Teams.
- A new effective meetings experience in the Viva Insights app for Teams will help meeting organizers get personalized insights and suggestions to improve their meeting habits. Users will also be able to create and share meeting plans to set team meeting norms such as shorter meetings by default and always including Teams links.
- Guided meditations from Headspace will be generally available in November 2021 in four additional languages: French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Figure 2. Empower managers to define no-meeting days for their teams.
Viva Topics: Knowledge and expertise
Viva Topics applies AI to automatically organize content and expertise across your systems and teams into related topics, like projects, products, processes, and customers. That content appears as topic pages and topic centers—created and updated by AI—that enable experts to cultivate and share knowledge with wiki-like simplicity. It also pops up as topic cards that deliver knowledge just in time across Outlook, SharePoint, and Office. Soon, Viva Topics, which is now generally available, will make it easier to unlock that knowledge from even more sources. To learn more about these and other enhancements, read our Viva Topics blog or watch our on-demand session for Knowledge and Content Services.
- We’re unlocking adoption of knowledge across more of Microsoft 365 by integrating Viva Topics into Outlook, Yammer, Bing, and people profile cards. Available by the end of 2021.
- Our early adopter customers will soon be able to add Viva Topics directly to chats and channels in Microsoft Teams. Rolling out early next year.
- More ways for topic managers to oversee knowledge at scale, including automatic grouping of related topics into segments, usage analytics, and a streamlined topic center. Rolling out at year end.
- Support to crawl knowledge from content written in French, German and Spanish. Rolling out at year end.
Figure 3. Get context about organizational terms, projects, or team names directly in Outlook with integrated topic cards.
Viva Learning: Skilling and growth
Viva Learning brings enterprise learning into the flow of work by connecting content from your organization, Learning Management Systems, third-party providers, and Microsoft. As of today, the module is generally available in Teams desktop and mobile. During the next couple weeks, Viva Learning will be available in your Microsoft 365 tenant—simply search “Viva Learning” in the Teams app menu to find it—with additional capabilities to expand your personal and social learning. Just a handful of these new capabilities are listed below. For a complete list of feature releases, partner integrations, and SKU details for enabling more advanced capabilities, read our Viva Learning blog.
- See assignments from integrated Learning Management Systems to easily stay up to date on required learning.
- Search across all the learning sources connected to Viva Learning and filter by interests, provider, or duration to find the exact content you need.
- Make learning recommendations to your team and colleagues and track the recommendations you’ve made. You can filter recommendations by status and the user’s reported completion rate.
- Add a curated set of learning resources as a tab in your Teams channels to bring learning directly into the flow of teamwork.
Figure 4. The Home view provides a personalized learner snapshot and access point for all connected learning content.
Ally.io: A new module for objectives and key results
We are excited to bring Ally.io, a leading objectives and key results (OKR) company, into the Microsoft Viva family as a new module during the second half of the calendar year 2022. This new module will help revolutionize how organizations use technology to bring deeper connection to work, purpose, and results in the hybrid world.
Aligning employee work to the company’s strategic mission and core priorities is top of mind for every organization. To do this, leaders need to invest in tools that communicate transparency around big company bets and create ways to cascade aspirational goals and report results at all levels of an organization. Ally.io helps give everyone in the organization visibility and clarity into the entire work process, connecting everyday work to the company’s strategic objectives.
Figure 5. Enhancements to the Ally.io app in Microsoft Teams, as well as an official Microsoft Viva module based on the OKR solution, are on the way.
The Microsoft Viva platform
Viva is easily customizable and extensible, accessible from anywhere you work, and integrates with tools you already use to fit your unique needs. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Viva now supports the following partner integrations, giving you access to industry-leading apps in the natural flow of work.
- Viva Learning: SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, Coursera, Skillsoft, Pluralsight, edX, Udemy, Go1, Infosec, Josh Bersin Academy, Udacity,* Harvard Business Review,* OpenSesame,* and EdCast.*
- Viva Connections: Qualtrics, ServiceNow, UKG, Talentsoft, StandOut by ADP, Adobe Sign, Moveworks, Lifeworks, Limeade, Tribute, Blue Yonder, Zebra-Reflexis, Workday,* DocuSign,* EdCast,* and Espressive.*
- Viva Insights: Qualtrics, Glint, and Headspace.
We are also offering a new joint plan for the Microsoft Viva suite with LinkedIn Glint to our enterprise customers. Together, Viva and Glint capture valuable employee feedback and translate insights into actions, allowing managers and teams to measure and improve the employee experience.
Microsoft Viva is an open and extensible platform and soon partners and developers will be able to leverage toolkits and APIs for each of the four modules. The Viva Connections toolkit is available now, while the 3P content support for Viva Topics is coming to private preview in 2022. The Viva Insights and Viva Learning APIs will be available in 2022 as well. Read our blog for additional details about Viva partners and extensibility.
EXP for every organization—including Microsoft
Through all the ups, downs, and profound changes of the past year, our mission is still to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more—including every person at Microsoft. We’re on the same employee experience journey as our customers with Microsoft Viva, using it throughout our worldwide offices to promote connection, growth, and wellbeing at work.
We’re shedding light on that journey in a new blog series about the development of Microsoft Viva. The first installment recaps our early decisions around employee satisfaction; the realization that individual employee experience apps are great—but a centralized platform is better, and the shift we made to respond to the pandemic and reimagine our internal solutions for customers.
But like you, our journey has only just begun, and we’re excited to share our progress in the second blog installment that was just published today.
We’re humbled and excited that Microsoft Viva has already had such a profound impact on our employees and the employees at other global organizations. To learn how the world’s leading companies use Viva to empower their people, select the logos.
Get started on your employee experience journey
Our own journey with Microsoft Viva has helped us understand the kinds of resources needed to get started on this employee experience path. Since Viva was first announced in February, we’ve been continuously adding to our documentation to deploy, adopt, and manage Viva. Here’s a list of our most helpful resources, no matter where you are in the EXP journey. If you need even more information (or just want to bounce ideas off someone), talk to your Microsoft representative.
- Microsoft Viva
- Microsoft Viva pricing
- Microsoft Viva Tech Community
- Microsoft Viva Connections overview
- Microsoft Viva Insights documentation
- Microsoft Viva Topics introduction
- Microsoft Viva Learning introduction
- Visit Ally.io and read our acquisition announcement
- Microsoft Mechanics videos for IT admins
- Microsoft Viva Developer Page
1 73%: The Hybrid Work Paradox, Jared Spataro, Microsoft WorkLab. 8 September 2021.
2 Microsoft and LinkedIn share latest data and innovation for hybrid work, Jared Spataro, Microsoft. 9 September 2021.
*Coming by the end of January 2022