Microsoft Viva is Teams’ attempt to replace your company’s intranet

Microsoft Viva is Teams’ attempt to replace your company’s intranet

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Feb. 4. It has been updated to reflect the new status of Viva Learning.

Microsoft has announced Viva, a new “employee experience platform” that integrates with Microsoft Teams. If your company uses Teams, chances are that you’ll see Viva, along with some of its more familiar features like Topics and Insights, soon.

Microsoft already uses Teams as a launchpad for apps like Word and PowerPoint, plus shared resources on OneDrive and SharePoint. Inside Viva are features that Microsoft is calling Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics. Topics is available today; Insights is available in preview, and Insights in private preview. As of April 26, Microsoft has pushed Viva Learning live into public preview.

Microsoft designed Connections for employee interactions, and Topics to allow employees to seek out answers from their colleagues. If they can’t help, Learning is designed to provide company-designed and external online courses and videos to help out. Finally, there’s Insights—the management tool that keeps track of what’s working and what isn’t, a respin of sorts of the controversial Productivity Score tool. We’ll describe them in more detail below. 

Microsoft is positioning Viva as a tool that takes the pandemic, and its changes in the workplace, head on. Pre-pandemic, Microsoft had already said that online collaboration was the next step in the evolution of individual employees working on individual documents like Word and PowerPoint. It then tweaked its messaging once the pandemic made remote work a reality. Now, Microsoft’s trying to establish Viva as a sort of online community hub—a place for new employees to learn about the company, its policies, and who their coworkers are and what they know about, much like the intranets some companies already maintain.

Microsoft sees Viva as the online manifestation of an office employees can’t physically visit right now. “We need to stop thinking of work as a place, and start thinking about how to maintain culture, connect employees, and harness human ingenuity in a hybrid world,” Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, said during a pre-recorded briefing video for reporters.

Read more stories about Microsoft Teams:

What’s inside Microsoft Viva?

Viva’s components each play a distinct role, which we’ll describe here: 

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