Fueled by the pandemic last year was a significant realization that exceptional employee experience should be the foremost priority of all organizations. And technologies that enable knowledge discovery, support corporate culture, facilitate on-the-job learning, and enhance employee engagement are “must-haves” to boost productivity and ensure employee well-being.
Within a nascent employee experience platforms market of over $300 billion in annual spending, Microsoft launched VIVA in February 2021. VIVA is an employee experience platform that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights across four modules, and this blog will delve into VIVA Connections in detail.
What is VIVA Connections? VIVA Connections helps organizations access their SharePoint intranet within Teams, thereby boosting employee productivity by allowing them to view all relevant content in one place. Hence, it fosters a culture where people and teams are empowered to be their best from wherever they are.
Let’s understand in detail.
Microsoft Teams has become a primary place for users to collaborate with colleagues, with 145 million daily active users (DAU), up from 75 million last year. People are basically living in Teams. Many employees start their day by logging into Teams and spend most of their day on it.
Microsoft VIVA Connections delivers relevant content to employees within Teams, making it easier to consume information without switching apps and accessing the SharePoint intranet separately. Consequently, it boosts employee engagement and productivity and overcomes login fatigue.
Microsoft VIVA Connections informs, engages, and empowers people to bring their best selves to work. It takes company news, conversations, feeds, tools, and other content people need from their SharePoint intranet and makes all of this information available inside Teams.
While Microsoft VIVA Connections looks like an Intranet inside Teams at first glance, in reality, it does not create an intelligent, modern intranet for your organization. Instead, it provides the gateway or infrastructure to deliver your SharePoint intranet to where your users are already working.
Moreover, the VIVA Connections dashboard or Home App Page inside Teams can be branded to your company’s colors and logo, so it looks and feels like your SharePoint intranet’s homepage.
As seen above, your SharePoint intranet forms the foundation for Microsoft VIVA Connections. VIVA Connections doesn’t replace your SharePoint intranet. Instead, it makes it conveniently accessible to all employees within Teams with some additional functionalities.
A well-run intranet with robust content management and appropriate microsites, along with knowledge of who your users are, is essential to deliver an exceptional employee experience.
Here’s a glimpse into the VIVA Connections features that organizations should look out for.
Besides being an enterprise messaging app, Microsoft Teams will now function as a one-stop-shop for company news, SharePoint sites frequently visited by employees, and the documents they have recently worked on, all within the Teams home site page.
While these are the same things that any user can get on the intranet home page, with Microsoft VIVA Connections, they can now access these features within Teams without logging into the Intranet home page.
VIVA Connections increases engagement among employees who don’t log in to the SharePoint portal frequently and might otherwise miss out on important company news and updates.
VIVA Connections allows SharePoint managers to generate personalized news feeds by publishing news or announcements that are relevant to specific audiences.
In short, VIVA Connections surfaces content based on an employee’s activity, the projects they are working on, and their specific interests.
On the Homes App page, employees can search and discover relevant sites, content, and news from across the organization in the Teams search bar, with the results being displayed on a SharePoint site in the browser.
An icon in the SharePoint site header allows employees to share a link to a SharePoint page within Teams with colleagues and team members, probably with a side note saying, “Hey, I think you might find this interesting. Have a look.”
Due to come out later in 2021, VIVA Connections for mobile will give employees quick, round-the-clock access to a dashboard of required apps, tools, and information, making it easy for them to find files and other information anytime, anywhere.
Microsoft VIVA Connections is available to all customers as part of their existing Microsoft 365 and SharePoint licenses at no extra cost. However, the functionality won’t appear automatically, and the organization needs to decide whether it wants to deploy it or not.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Acuvate helps clients deploy Microsoft VIVA Connections and integrate it with our autonomous SharePoint intranet solution called Mesh 3.0.
VIVA Connections helps our clients meet their employees where they are (i.e., Microsoft Teams) and unlock maximum functionality and the full potential of their SharePoint intranet, delivering an engaging, modern user experience.
With 14+ years of experience deploying SharePoint intranets for enterprises from different industries, Mesh 3.0 is recognized as the intranet of choice by top industry analysts, including Gartner, Forrester, and ClearBox Consulting.
To know more about Microsoft VIVA Connections and the integration of Mesh 3.0 and Microsoft Teams, please feel free to schedule a personalized consultation with our experts.
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