Microsoft Launches Viva, a New Work-From-Home Platform

Viva offers a suite of WFH solutions, including a single-entry point for employee engagement, wellness options, and boundary setting.

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Need to Know

  • Viva, a new employee experience platform from Microsoft, is tailored to the remote, work-from-home employee experience.
  • The platform will include four modules: Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics.
  • Viva can be easily integrated into the services businesses already use, including Microsoft 365, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and third-party products.

Analysis

As most workplaces have remained remote due to COVID-19, Microsoft has released a new product, Viva, aimed at making work-from-home arrangements more seamless for employees and employers alike.

“We have participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen and it has had a dramatic impact on the employee experience,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a pre-recorded video. “As the world recovers, there is no going back. Flexibility in when, where and how we work will be key.”

Viva, then, is designed to accommodate remote work, regardless of whether all or just a portion of a company’s employees remain at home in the future, as Microsoft believes working from home is here to stay. The platform is split into four modules—Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics—that aim to improve and enrich the employee experience, regardless of where workers are situated.

Viva Connections, which can be accessed through Microsoft Teams, provides a “single-entry point for employee engagement and internal communications,” such as town halls, company news and policies, and employee resource groups and policies. Insights provides information on trends and patterns for leaders and managers and offers insight on how challenges can be addressed, such as wellness opportunities and boundary-setting.

Learning, meanwhile, provides training courses and access. Topics, which is perhaps Viva’s most remote-friendly tool, is a one-stop-shop for understanding acronyms, key terms definitions, and customer information—information that might otherwise be easily accessed by quickly walking to a colleague’s desk or turning to a coworker.

Viva was designed with remote work in mind, making it unique in the ecosystem of employee experience platforms: others, such as ServiceNow, Qualtrics’ EmployeeXM, ConnectMe, and, to some extent, Salesforce, have needed to pivot to better accommodate remote work. Microsoft Viva operates like the intranet of yesteryear and integrates with systems a company already has in place, including Microsoft 365, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365, as well as third-party products.

Microsoft has rolled out a number of new tools and partnerships during the pandemic, aimed at making digital life, both professional and personal, more seamless during changing circumstances. In June, the company expanded Teams from the workspace to personal use, saying the update was meant to offer a “central hub” for coordinating personal and social tasks and activities. The company also partnered with Nuance for a telehealth integration into Teams and has teamed up with Salesforce to issue COVID-19 vaccination passports.

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