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Meet Employees Where They Work – Microsoft Viva Connections

What is Viva Connections?

Zack and I have been working on intranets and collaboration environments for 15 years now, mainly on top of SharePoint. Over the last few years, and amplified by remote work requirements, we have seen the tipping point at our clients’ companies where individuals work in Microsoft Teams. We had already been using Microsoft Teams’ capabilities to embed an intranet within the interface, but in 2020 Microsoft released a native Viva Connections application. Learn more about Microsoft’s employee experience platform, Microsoft Viva, in this post.

The Viva Connections application has two pieces:

  1. Immediately available was the ability to add your intranet into Teams.
  2. Coming late 2021 is a native Microsoft Teams application divided into News Feed, Resources, and Dashboard.

We are currently working with a beta client of Viva Connections, uncovering the benefits and watching the evolution live and first-hand. In this post, Zack and I will quickly discuss why you need Viva Connections and where you should pay your valuable attention to.

Is Viva Connections Usable?

Yes

  • Adam: Deploy quickly and put your intranet where employees are working: in Teams. It is your intranet but in Teams. Your intranet is still available directly in SharePoint, so this is an addition, not a replacement.
  • Zack: The usability of the intranet increases by using the dashboard to connect with external systems, i.e. places employees frequently visit but waste time finding.
  • Adam and Zack: The mobile app will create a highly usable solution for frontline workers without any additional effort.

No

  • Adam: Beware of Search. Coming soon, Microsoft Search will be directly tied into Teams. The experience within SharePoint and Microsoft Teams will be the same, but until then all the work you have done with hubs, bookmarks and promoted results does not show up in Microsoft Teams.
  • Zack: Limits to dashboard design, which are required to make it user-friendly, limit each specific card’s visibility. While it is valuable it could quickly fall static, and employees will overlook the content.

Microsoft Viva: Increase Employee Experience

With the investments in Microsoft Viva, living in Teams is the future of Microsoft applications. We have already seen, using previous technologies, that adoption of an intranet increases when it is presented in Microsoft Teams. This means employees are receiving and reading news and company-wide updates. In the Microsoft’s employee experience platform, employees are connected to vision, strategy, and most importantly other employees during this prolonged period of hybrid work.

Interested in driving adoption and boosting employee experiences? Book a complimentary consultation with our digital workplace experts.

Digital and Technology Transformation Services

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