Microsoft Viva Connections - More Than A Modern Intranet
Over the past year, there have been many changes in the way people work. organisations all over the world had to mobilize quickly and provide workers with new tools they needed to do their jobs in order to adapt to the past social and economic changes. The increasingly distant work makes it more difficult for people to feel connected and participate in the business reality. That’s one of the main reasons why it is so important to provide an engaging experience and the ability to develop to all employees.
What is Viva Connections?
Viva Connection is actually the gateway to a modern employee experience. It’s accessible within the apps and devices that most employees use on a daily basis (such as MS-Teams). Even for leaders, Viva Connections offers new possibilities to implement a corporate culture and attract employees to participate in a co-motivating work environment. In fact, it supports leaders in establishing and/or strengthen strong bonds with employees, no matter where they are physically located.
A fundamental factor you must always pay close attention in any company is internal communication. Since the number of tools which allow to exchange information and interact with it, there is a risk that some content will be lost or worst, not found.
With this in mind Viva Connections allows people to easily discover and find all the content they need. Within the feed offered by Viva Connections people have a unified and personalized experience allowing them to contribute to conversations wherever they are.
One of the most useful aspects of Viva Connections feed is actually the possibility to seamlessly integrate content from M365 app services such as SharePoint, Yammer or Stream and also include external content which you want to publish to your employees.
Viva Connections Feed also allows employees to easily share feedback with the Yammer com unity and participate in corporate news and announcement conversations without interruption.
It is now possible to quickly access your company intranet with MS-Teams. In order to be able to use this function, your intranet must be on the SharePoint homepage of your Microsoft 365 tenant.
The homepageis the main site of your SharePoint Online instance. It can collect news, content and information from all sites within the Microsoft 365 subscription. Thanks to this icon users can access the intranet directly, quickly and during everyday work.
One of the most interesting features about Viva Connection is the “Dashboard”. Viva Connections Dashboard is an app-/widget-panel that presents content or features for the user that can be customized by the company. You can easily add Adaptive Cards and configure them to interact in harmony with the needs of your company streamlining processes and information.
Dashboard is a personalized feature built around the enduser. One of it’s main advantages is that users can remain in the flow by not having to change apps or when e.g. they need to check their open tasks or how many vacation days they have or whatever (depends on what you publish on your Viva Connection Dashboard). You can think of the dashboard as the company home designed for employees and developed with the intention of being the meeting point where everyone can find the company resources they need.
In the dashboard, you are also able to customize resources for different group of employees (audience targeting). This encourages endusers to visit their dashboard since they will only get what is relevant for them (and not everything from the company).
SharePoint Online Homesite allows us to have a global navigation. With the global navigation we can move between contents and sites which we access throughout Microsoft 365. This means that communication (finding information on the intranet) and collaboration (finding the files you’re working on with others) is getting closer together allowing more efficient work.
Other than the personal feed, company feed represents the integration between Yammer and SharePoint Online. Company feed makes actually conversations in Yammer easily available through SharePoint and MS-Teams allowing users to interact without changing the app. Company feed can be customized to include content from a Yammer Core-Community or from specific communities.
During the last years, I had the pleasure to work on various intranet projects for companies and hospitals. When MS-Teams came out, the question where to put the Intranet has often been asked. Until Viva Connections came out, there have been various way about how to bring your intranet to the MS-Teams app. I admit, not all were elegant. However, with Viva Connections we have now a clear way to integrate a rich and living intranet into MS-Teams. Global Navigation and the Viva Connections Dashboard make the whole experience even better. Being able to create meaningful tiles (or better “Cards”) for your employees has never been so easy. For Companies which are planning to move their current intranet-solution to M365, i strongly suggest to consider Viva Connections from the beginning. In most of the cases you’ll have the benefits included in your M365 subscription.
So I can’t wait to see the further development of Viva Connections! I can immagine, most of the customers may only start seeing the benefits at a later stage… however, in many cases you can start building your intranet-solution on SharePoint already considering a potential move to Viva Connections without any implications. So actually, there is almost no excuse to use any other solution than Viva Connections if you’re already on Microsoft 365.