Better Together How Mesh Complements Microsoft Viva

Better Together: How Mesh Complements Microsoft VIVA

On February 4, 2021, Microsoft launched VIVA, a digital employee experience platform designed to leverage a company’s existing systems and Microsoft’s powerful technology to, in Microsoft’s words, “empower people and teams to be their best from anywhere.”

So what exactly is Microsoft VIVA? And how does it complement the capabilities of SharePoint intranet solutions like Mesh 3.0 to deliver exceptional, end-to-end employee experiences?

Let’s explore in detail.

Exploring Microsoft VIVA

Before delving deeper into how Mesh 3.0 complements VIVA, let’s understand what Microsoft VIVA is.

When Jared Spataro, Corporate VP for Microsoft 365, launched VIVA, he laid down some noteworthy points in his announcement –

“Today, organizations spend over $300 billion a year on employee experience. That number includes employee development and training, benefits, and well-being, and a whole host of employee experience technologies. But too often, these technologies are fragmented, hard to find, and disruptive to the flow of work.

Our vision of EXP is a digital platform that provides people with the resources and support they need, seamlessly integrated within the same tools they use to do their work, so they can succeed and thrive no matter their location.”

Indeed, to feel connected, supported, and empowered, employees must have the tools, apps, and knowledge they need – right in the flow of their work.

With this aim in mind, Microsoft introduced VIVA, a new-age, integrated EXP that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights and delivers them via Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft apps. Microsoft VIVA consists of four modules – VIVA Topics, VIVA Learning, VIVA Insights, and VIVA Connections – people-centric, secure, and delivered inside Microsoft Teams.

  • VIVA Topics enables employees to harness the organization’s knowledge by leveraging AI to reason over the content and organize information into categories like products, projects, processes, and customers. It creates “topic cards” by compiling all the information about a particular subject from siloed company apps while employees work within Teams, SharePoint intranet, and Office.
  • VIVA Insights combines data from Microsoft Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics to deliver actionable insights and recommendations that help employees and managers build conducive work habits and ensure better work-life balance.
  • VIVA Learning makes learning a part of an employee’s everyday work by bringing together all learning resources such as Microsoft Learn, LinkedIn Learning, SAP Success Factors, and the company’s own LMS, under a single platform, i.e., Teams.
  • VIVA Connections brings conversations, news feeds, tools, and content people need and makes all of it available inside Teams.

To know more about Mesh 3.0 and its integration with Microsoft VIVA, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.

Let’s understand how Microsoft VIVA helps augment Mesh 3.0 to provide holistic employee experiences.

Microsoft VIVA and Mesh 3.0: Better Together

Mesh 3.0 is Acuvate’s autonomous SharePoint intranet solution that helps clients deliver a unified platform for employees to access the tools, information, apps, and resources they need to collaborate, communicate, and work productively.

In addition to powerful Microsoft technologies, including Office 365, LUIS, Azure Search Services, Office Graph, and MS Natural Language Stack, Mesh now leverages the Microsoft VIVA modules to enhance the overall employee experience.

Let’s explore how.

1. VIVA Connections

With 145 million daily active users (DAU), Microsoft Teams has become the primary place for users to collaborate. Microsoft’s webinar, “Living in Microsoft Teams? Now, so does your intranet,” the M365 team revealed, “When we speak to Microsoft 365 users, we consistently hear that they’re spending a majority of their time in Microsoft Teams. Staying within a single hub helps them to focus and maintain their flow without getting distracted by multiple apps or browser tabs.”

That’s where Microsoft VIVA Connections comes into the picture. How so? VIVA Connections provides a gateway for organizations to deliver Mesh 3.0 to employees where they already are, i.e., Microsoft Teams.

VIVA Connections generates a personalized Home Sites Page and surfaces personalized news, frequently visited pages, and projects the employee is working on, right within Teams.

While the VIVA Connections dashboard or Home Site app within Teams essentially looks like the Mesh 3.0 homepage, branded as per your company’s logo and colors, in reality, it merely provides the infrastructure to make Mesh 3.0 accessible within Teams.

A well-run intranet with centralized resources, targeted content, SharePoint sites, robust content management, and a governance structure are required for VIVA Connections to function.

2. VIVA Topics

As discussed earlier, VIVA Topics generates comprehensive topic pages for the different topics it identifies within the organization’s apps. So, where does Mesh 3.0 come into the picture?

What Mesh does is that it surfaces these topics or information to the users either on the mobile app, as notifications, or on the home page as “trending topics,” personalized to each user’s role, current projects, interests, locations, etc.

When a particular topic is mentioned in emails, news, and SharePoint pages, it will be highlighted, and the user must click on the title to view the full Topics page. In short, Mesh can deliver more intelligent information to end-users in a smart and personalized way.

3. VIVA Insights

As seen above, VIVA combines MyAnalytics and Microsoft Workplace Analytics to generate powerful insights that help manage employee productivity and well-being.

Mesh 3.0 complements VIVA Insights by surfacing recommendations (For example, fixing time for focus work, blocking the calendar for meetings and commitments to follow through, taking time for breaks, meditation, and mindful reflection), and helping managers identify work patterns that hamper productivity and indicate burnout (such as long hours, fewer breaks, meeting overload, etc.)

Mesh delivers such recommendations and insights to employees and managers on the Mesh home page, on the mobile app, as push notifications, or through its intranet chatbot – MeshBot.

4. VIVA Learning

VIVA integrates learning resources and material from various sources, including Microsoft Learn, LinkedIn Learning, SAP SuccessFactors, Coursera, and the company’s own Learning Management System (LMS).

Here, the role of Mesh 3.0 is to surface recommended courses and training material based on the users’ roles, interests, profiles, and activities.

AI-driven personalizers tailor content suggestions and surface them on the home page as “Courses you may like,” and also send reminders to employees to complete pending courses.

Moreover, end-users may set filters or specific keywords to control the kind of recommendations they receive. SharePoint administrators may recommend additional learning resources or set personalized guidelines for learning based on an employee’s role, level, and profile.

Use Microsoft VIVA along With Mesh

An integration between Microsoft VIVA and Mesh 3.0 creates a new integrated employee experience platform that delivers knowledge, communication, insights, and learning within Teams, in addition to the core features of Mesh 3.0.

To bring the right information to the right people at the right time, Mesh 3.0 also provides a plethora of powerful features, including –

  • AI-driven content personalizers – Deliver tailored content suggestions based on the employee’s role, geography, interests, etc.
  • Azure cognitive enterprise search – A unified intelligent search engine that aids employees in retrieving files, documents, and information from anywhere on the organization’s network.
  • Content management systemAn intuitive content management system with drag and drop features and custom page templates to simplify content creation and delivery.
  • Knowledge mining – Access knowledge mining tools powered by Azure Cognitive Services that analyze, manage, and maximize value from structured and unstructured content locked away in siloed apps.
  • Idea management system – An idea management system called “Wave” helps discover the best ideas with features like idea upvoting, reviewing, and filtering.
  • Collaboration and communication tools – Social capabilities, including blogs, messaging apps, and discussion forums, help discuss the latest news and upcoming events and coordinate projects. Moreover, flexible integrations with everyday apps, including Workday, Office 365, SAP, etc., allow employees to collaborate and get work done seamlessly without switching between multiple windows.
  • Multilingual chatbot – An intelligent intranet chatbot (i.e., MeshBot) that automates routine employee tasks, sends personalized updates, and allows employees to access required information quickly.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we support the integration of Microsoft VIVA with Mesh 3.0 to help clients unleash the power of SharePoint intranet within Teams, reach users where they are, unlock maximum engagement, and deliver end-to-end employee experiences.

Mesh 3.0 complements Microsoft VIVA to bring out the best of both worlds and deliver modern employee engagement.

To know more about Mesh 3.0 and its integration with Microsoft VIVA, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.


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