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Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a new Employee Experience & Engagement platform, that will be added natively to the Microsoft Teams platform, Microsoft Viva.

Microsoft Viva comprises four key modules:

  • Viva Learning: An app that aggregates learning content in MS Teams.
  • Viva Connections: A curated company news and resources hub in MS Teams.
  • Viva Topics: A solution that connects people with organizational knowledge.
  • Viva Insights: A wellbeing hub that provides personalized activity insights.

Depending on your role, each of these modules will have a different bearing on your job.

In this blog, we are going to focus on Microsoft Viva Learning.

What is Viva Learning?

Viva Learning is essentially a training aggregation app that appears in Microsoft Teams. When a Microsoft Teams user opens up the Viva Learning app they will see a number of courses curated for them. The courses they see will be relevant to their job title, skill set and experience. The user will be able to consume training from a variety of content providers and training systems all aggregated into the Viva Learning app.

Here’s how we imagine it working: imagine you are a Marketing Assistant at a medium sized business. From right within Microsoft Teams, you click on the Viva Learning app and you see training articles and videos from a variety of providers. This might include your company’s own training content as well as various third-party training apps or websites. Instead of leaving your Microsoft Teams environment to brush up on your marketing skills, you can access all of that information from right within the app where you spend your days.

Why do we need Viva Learning?

There is already a wide variety of learning options for organisations to train their staff. So why do we need Viva Learning? Some of the key reasons Microsoft decided to introduce this technology includes:

  • People are spending more time in Microsoft Teams

Due to the pandemic and the rise in remote working, Microsoft Teams has become a central hub where many people now spend their days at work. It therefore makes sense to bring training direct to the user where they spend time – rather than expecting them to go elsewhere for their learning.

  • Addresses common training challenges

Viva Learning attempts to overcome some of the most common challenges when it comes to training staff. If people have to go out of their way to find learning, it is relatively unlikely that they will actually do it. What is more, because there is so much training available it can be very hard for individual employees to decide what they need to focus on. Viva Learning brings the most relevant training to the individual in the place they spend most time. That means they’re more likely to actually learn.

What content will you see in Viva Learning?

Microsoft has so far announced integrations with a variety of training content providers and learning management system (LMS) companies.

Content that will be immediately available comes from a variety of sources including:

  • Your company’s own learning resources
  • Microsoft Learning
  • LinkedIn Learning
  • Skillsoft
  • Coursera
  • Pluralsight
  • edX

Articles and videos from these sources will appear right within Microsoft Teams and can be accessed by any user.

In terms of Learning Management System (LMS) integrations, Microsoft Viva has so far announced collaborations with:

  • Cornerstone OnDemand
  • Saba
  • SAP SuccessFactors

How will employees find training in Microsoft Viva Learning?

Viva Learning is almost like a Spotify for company training. What this means is that the app is focused on self-discovery and recommendations based on the individual’s profile and learning history – just like the popular music streaming app.

  • Self-discovery

Opening up the app, the user can search for terms and find training based on their current needs and interests.

Take our example of a marketing assistant. Perhaps she wants to read her company’s guidelines for social media campaigns. She simply opens up the Viva Learning app within Teams and enters search terms. The relevant training sections or documents will then appear for her.

  • Recommendations based on the Microsoft Graph

Microsoft Graph is a powerful AI tool that underpins Microsoft 365. It gets to know the individual and how they use the platform. Based on various data points related to their profile and activity, it will start to recommend training sessions in Viva Learning that it estimates might be relevant to them.

Here’s how it might work for our fictional marketing assistant. Over time, the Microsoft Graph starts to notice she is reading a lot of training articles about social media marketing. Based on this activity Viva Learning might start to surface articles and videos about more advanced aspects of social media marketing which could help that employee further enhance her skills.

  • Training assignments from managers

Managers can also use Viva Learning to assign training tasks to colleagues. If they decide an employee or the whole team needs additional learning on a specific topic, they can assign training modules and verify whether or not they have been completed.

In our example of the marketing assistant, a manager might decide to set up one weekly training task to bolster her skill set.

When will Viva Learning become available?

Viva Learning has just become generally available and is £3 per user/month. Or for a limited time, Microsoft are offering 25% off for the Microsoft Viva Suite (all four modules together) for just £6.80 per user/month.

Predictions for Viva Learning

So, what does the arrival of Viva Learning mean for how businesses train their employees? Here are our predictions:

  • Viva Learning will become a curated search engine for training

Employees will be able to seek out training modules that are highly relevant to them.

  • Microsoft-centric LMS (Learning Management System) systems will integrate further

Any LMS system that already provides training related to Microsoft will adapt their solutions so that training content integrates easily with Microsoft Viva Learning.

  • Complements existing learning systems

The Viva Learning app is fundamentally a training content aggregator. In this sense it does not really replace any other training environments. Instead, it enhances and complements your existing investments in business training and helps you to make more use of them.

If you would like to discuss how your business could implement and make the most of Viva Learning, 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.

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