Microsoft has always made it clear that its big focus is on creating tools that will win over the workplace. While it might not always be able to compete with rivals such as Apple and Android on the personal mobile phone market, Microsoft still remains a force to be reckoned as it continues to bolster its office suite. Adding Teams into the mix has ensured that Microsoft has all the tools it needs to continue its success.
The company is looking to ramp up that focus on the workplace environment with the launch of their new Viva platform which Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claims is the culmination of one of the largest “remote working experiments the world has ever seen”. That led Microsoft to come up with what it believes is the future to the modern distributed workplace:
If you watched this ad and wondered what exactly Viva is or does, then you’re not alone. The video seems to highlight a collection of different apps and experiences that Microsoft already offers and this is apparently the logic behind its approach with Viva. Its not an app or a service, but rather an interconnected platform for remote working that is designed to help both business and employees adapt to it far easier. As explained by Jared Spataro, head of Microsoft 365:
We need to stop thinking about work as a place, and start thinking about how to maintain culture, connect employees, and harness human ingenuity in a hybrid world
Viva will be an integration of Microsoft’s popular communication tools, Teams, and works like an intranet that collects important parts of any business into a central location to make it easier for people to find the information that is important to them. Viva will be split up into four modules: connections, insights, topics, and learning, based on the needs of different people.
Connection will focus on internal communications, corporate policies as well as new features like town halls, company news, or the different communities a company may offer to allow them to easily find the info they need and fit in. Connection leverages Microsoft’s existing SharePoint technology in being able to pool everything together in a single lace while providing the tools for people to also create these collaborative work experiences.
Insights focuses on measuring the patterns trends and productivity of the individuals and is designed to provide managers with better insight on how people are doing. However, to protect the employees, the insights revealed by it are visible only to the employee and with managers getting aggregated scores across their teams without being able to go into specifics This gives managers a high-level understanding of what is going on in their teams but relies on the employee to make the most of the nights and drive the change themselves.
The learning portal is perhaps the most self-explanatory portal, which will allow employers to house all their training materials and will include a variety of content already available through LinkedIn Learning, along with other third-party and custom training programs to provide companies with a wide range of materials that they will need to equip their workforce.
Lastly, Topics will act as an internal Wikipedia of the organisation and create topics cards across all the apps across Office, Teams and SharePoint to make it easier to link people to documentation or communication on related topics. All this is done through the us of its AI system that looks t piece everything together.
Microsoft has already started rolling out Viva features to its Microsoft 365 customers and is planning to make further additions and tools over the next few years in its aim to be at the forefront of the future remote working world. Microsoft is certainly onto something here and if they can make their entire suite of tools work as well together as they claim, it will be even more difficult than ever for competitors like Google to make inroads into the business productivity space.
Last Updated: February 8, 2021