Microsoft Viva Topics Discover Information Without Searching For It

Microsoft VIVA Topics: Discover Information Without Searching For It

Research by Microsoft shows the average employee spends more than an hour a day, or seven weeks per year, searching or recreating information that already exists in their organization. As the pool of information in an enterprise grows, so does the complexity of consuming that knowledge.

Surfacing relevant content, understanding company jargon, and finding SMEs can be a tedious job, especially for a new employee, leading to knowledge drain and problems in onboarding and skill development. Wasting time on such tasks is unproductive and hampers employee engagement and efficiency.

What is the solution? How can leaders optimize employees’ time, preserve knowledge, reduce disruptions, and improve decision-making by delivering the right information at the right time?

Let’s find out.

Discover information without searching for it

For those new to the subject, VIVA Topics is one of the four modules of Microsoft VIVA, Microsoft’s employee experience platform that brings together knowledge, communications, learning, and insights into the flow of employees’ everyday work.

Microsoft VIVA Topics uses artificial intelligence to empower people with knowledge and expertise in the apps they use every day and connect, manage, and protect content across systems and teams.

VIVA Topics brings together the capacity of Microsoft Cloud with the AI capabilities of Microsoft Graph to help customers transform content into knowledge that works.

Starting February 2021, Microsoft opened up this powerful solution for all Microsoft 365 customers to try or purchase. VIVA Topics is based on Project Cortex, which Microsoft introduced in 2019 to leverage the information stored in various cloud systems, notably Microsoft 365.

How does Microsoft VIVA Topics work?

Microsoft VIVA Topics builds and reasons over the content present in an organization’s network and leverages AI to organize such content and expertise across systems and teams into relevant categories like processes, products, customers, and projects.

VIVA Topics creates “topic cards” for different subjects as employees work in apps like Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Employees, particularly those who are new to the organization, need to spend valuable time searching and studying a lot of new information. Often, information about a particular subject is stored in siloed apps and tools.

What VIVA Topics does is that it compiles all the information about a particular topic, including a short description, pages, sites, and files related to it, and people working on the topic on a single card, reducing employee burnout and allowing them to access the right information at the right time. 

When users come across an unfamiliar term, they may merely hover over it to find videos, documents, and people related to it. In short, they need not search for knowledge – instead, knowledge finds them.

Features of Microsoft VIVA Topics

Here are a few noteworthy features to look out for in VIVA Topics –

  • Subject matter experts can assist in curating information around a subject by sharing their expertise and knowledge through simple, customizable websites called Topic Pages.
  • When a particular topic finds a mention in SharePoint news and pages, it will be highlighted by the system, and the user must click on the title to view the full page.
  • A topic answer may be thrown up by search results when the user searches on the SharePoint start page,, a SharePoint site, or Office apps like Outlook, Excel, and Word.
  • Employees may view recommended content based on the Topics they follow and manage, personalized by Microsoft Graph. However, access is restricted by security and privacy controls. Additionally, users can control the topics they wish to be associated with.
  • Knowledge admins may select which SharePoint sites may be crawled by the system to identify topics.
  • In addition to the content from Microsoft Cloud, VIVA Topics also integrates and surfaces knowledge from more than 130 data sources, including ServiceNow, Salesforce, MediaWiki, etc.
  • VIVA Topics also builds on integrations with partners like Raytion, Accenture, BA Insight, and many more.

VIVA Topics Pricing

Microsoft VIVA Topics is available at $9.00 user/month (annual commitment), as a user-based add-on for Microsoft 365 plans for commercial customers, with an option for a 30-day free trial for up to 25 users.

Setting up Microsoft VIVA Topics

Indeed, a system that defines project names and complex company terms and presents the same definition everywhere (emails and other apps and documents) is much needed. However, setting up VIVA Topics isn’t as straightforward.

Even with AI at the backdrop, VIVA Topics still requires curating well-structured content with appropriate meta-tagging and taxonomy to start.

An organization must be subscribed to VIVA Topics and be a global administrator or SharePoint administrator to access the Microsoft 365 admin center and set up topics. Click here to learn more.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Acuvate helps clients implement VIVA Topics and seamlessly discover meaningful information at the right time.

Moreover, Mesh 3.0, our autonomous SharePoint intranet solution for enterprises, complements the various capabilities and components of VIVA to provide a holistic, end-to-end employee experience.

We help clients leverage VIVA Connections to surface Mesh 3.0 within Teams, increase employee productivity, and unlock the maximum potential of their intranet.

We have 14+ years of experience in deploying SharePoint intranet solutions built with the best of Microsoft technologies. Our solutions are recognized by leading industry analysts, including Gartner, Forrester, and ClearBox Consulting.

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