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Even before COVID-19 turned our lives upside down, a new generation of digital tools was opening up new possibilities for the future of work. What we didn’t expect was that this future would arrive almost overnight last March, as millions of businesses around the world responded to the pandemic by moving to remote and hybrid work.

Microsoft built Teams and Microsoft 365 as the organising layer for all the ways people work, learn, and collaborate. In autumn 2020, the daily active users number in Microsoft Teams climbed to 115 million, while Microsoft 365 users around the world generated more than 30 billion collaboration minutes in a single day as people communicated, collaborated, and co-authored content.

Introducing Microsoft Viva

Microsoft Viva is a brand name for a family of products or modules. Microsoft positions Viva as an Employee Experience Platform (EXP). The Employee Experience Platform is described as bringing together tools for employee communications, wellbeing, learning and knowledge discovery into one solution.

Viva is comprised of 4 modules, each can be used/purchased independently. Some are extra cost/licences, some are included in Office 365/M365 plans. It’s unclear if there will also be a “family SKU” for all of Viva.

  • Viva Connections – a combination of company-branded SharePoint portal (aka intranet) in a Teams app with Yammer Communities and stream video integration
  • Viva Insights – Personal and Organisational productivity reporting and tips, building on Workplace Analytics and MyAnalytics but also pulling insights from third-party platforms like Zoom, Workday, and SAP.
  • Viva Topics – Using AI (Project Cortex) to mine data stored in SharePoint and create “Topic Pages” about the topic and pointing to experts on that topic. Pages can be further curated by experts.
  • Viva Learning – an enterprise learning platform that surfaces first and third party training content to employees in Teams.

Viva Connections

Viva Connections centres around an improved, now brandable, SharePoint Home app within Teams. It will surface Yammer communities interaction and leverage Stream for video.

Viva Connections delivers a unified, personalised feed in which employees can explore news and contribute to the conversation.

  • Extend your SharePoint intranet content, including your home site, into Microsoft Teams.
  • Aggregate news and conversations from SharePoint and Yammer.
  • Target your content based on your existing Azure Active Directory groups.
  • Customise your dashboards with Power Apps, SPFx, and the third-party solutions you have already deployed throughout your organisation.
  • Drive engagement in employee communities in Yammer to support employee resource groups, knowledge sharing, and leadership initiatives.
  • Pin files and videos from Microsoft OneDrive and Microsoft Stream

Viva Connections will be available to all customers as part of their existing Microsoft 365 license.


  • Viva Connections will be available as a Teams app on desktop March/April 2021
  • Mobile app in summer 2021
  • Additional features will roll out over the course of 2022.

Viva Insights

Microsoft Viva Insights gives individuals, managers, and leaders personalised and actionable insights. Viva Insights will, over time, bring the power of Microsoft Workplace Analytics and Microsoft MyAnalytics together under the Microsoft Viva brand.

Viva Insights includes:

  • Personal insights
    • Recommendations to “stay connected” with colleagues
    • Recommendations to protect time for focus work and training
  • Manager and leader insights*
  • Advanced tools and integrations*

*Note, Microsoft Workplace Analytics purchase required for these components.

Insights uses data from:

  • Information from email items:
    • Metadata. This includes the email’s timestamp, names of sender and recipients, and “read” status.
    • Task statements. Statements that people have made in the body text of the email. These statements are used to create task cards for your use only.
  • Information from calendar items:
    • Type (meeting or appointment)
    • Status (busy, free, out-of-office, tentative)
    • Category
    • Subject
    • Duration
    • Attendees
  • OneDrive SharePoint data: Viva Insights shows a count of OneDrive and SharePoint documents that you have worked on

To have access to the Viva Insights app, you will need an Exchange Online license.


  • Free tier, including the Viva Insight app (based on/much like MyAnalytics)
  • For manager insights and the organisational view, you need a Workplace Analytics licence, which in the future will be renamed as Viva Insight licence. Plans for Workplace Analytics list at £2 per seat/per month for Microsoft 365 Enterprise E5 subscriptions and list £6 per seat/per month if adding to any other licence level


  • Teams Viva Insights app is available now, full Viva Insights will be available later this year.
  • In the coming months, additional personal wellbeing experiences, including a virtual commute, an integration with Headspace for meditation and mindfulness, and an integration with Microsoft Viva Learning, will be available in Viva Insights.

Viva Learning

Viva Learning app for Microsoft Teams. Discover, share, assign, and learn from content libraries across the organisation—including LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, third-party content providers, and an organisation’s own custom content.

It will index videos but also Microsoft Word documents and Microsoft PowerPoint decks.

Viva Learning has integrated with content providers Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight, and edX.

Learning management system providers Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, and SAP SuccessFactors have announced their intention to integrate with Viva Learning.

Viva Learning also shows all the learning assignments a manager has made, when they are due, and individuals’ reported completion status.


  • Unknown. It may be that the basic application is free but there will be subscriptions for content like LinkedIn Learning and maybe third party content


  • Currently in private preview
  • General Availability expected later this year
  • Later this year, public APIs to allow customers and partners to integrate with Viva Learning

Viva Topics

Microsoft Viva Topics uses artificial intelligence (AI) to collect information around specific topics and generate pages about them.

Viva Topics has the ability to integrate knowledge Microsoft 365 and from a variety of third-party services such as ServiceNow and Salesforce

Topic pages provide a comprehensive view of related information, including:

  • Alternate names.
  • Definitions.
  • Recommended and suggested people.
  • Recommended and suggested content.
  • Related sites and teams.
  • Map of related topics.
  • Optional web part integration, such as Yammer communities.

When Microsoft Viva discovers topics, they appear as suggestions in the topic center. In the future, the topic center can be accessed from Microsoft Teams or SharePoint.

You’ll be able to add the topics web part to any pages in SharePoint or Microsoft Teams, so you can build knowledge into your existing employee experiences, such as intranet sites.

Suggested content and topics are governed by privacy controls, security and the Microsoft Graph. Users can only see the content where they already have access.

In the future, Viva Topics will integrate information from outside the Microsoft 365 cloud using our Graph-based content connectors which integrate knowledge from more than 130 data sources, including Salesforce, ServiceNow, MediaWiki, file shares, and Microsoft Azure services.

Connectors also include a robust set of APIs to facilitate the development of your own connectors.

Viva Topics will also offer Viva learning suggestions within the topic center, along with other knowledge resources.


  • Viva Topics is £5 per user per month, all users who interact with topics need a licence.
  • Microsoft gives a 30 day trial for up to 25 users.


  • Viva Topics is generally available for all commercial tenants

If you would like to discuss how your business could implement and make the most of Microsoft Viva, or have any other questions please feel free to get in touch with us here at Afinite. You can arrange a meeting with one of our team here, just choose the time that best suits you below.

Book a meeting to discuss Viva

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