Microsoft launches Viva software for remote work market


February 4 (UPI) – Microsoft on Thursday announced an employee experience platform called Viva aimed at improving work.

The new Viva platform is designed to unify the employee experience in four key areas: engagement, well-being, learning and knowledge, Microsoft said in a statement.

Viva launched on Thursday, with parts of the platform rolling out through 2021. It is designed to build on the Microsoft Teams communication platform, which is part of Microsoft 365 products.

The need for employee experience platforms has grown as more people have turned to remote working amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Analysts estimate an annual market of $ 300 billion for such platforms.

“As the world of work changes, the next horizon of innovation will come from the focus on creativity, engagement and well-being so that organizations can build cultures of resilience and ingenuity,” said Microsoft 365 vice president Jared Spataro said in the release. “Our vision is to provide a platform for the employee experience that helps organizations create a thriving culture with engaged employees and inspired leaders. “

The platform is spread over four modules.

An engagement module, Viva Connections, allows employees to access internal communications and company resources such as policies and benefits. It also allows employees to participate in communities such as employee resource groups from a single, customizable app in Microsoft Teams. The app will be available on desktop as a public preview during the first half of the year with a mobile app coming later this year.

The wellness module, Viva Insights, offers experiences and personal information visible only to the employee to “help individuals protect time from regular breaks, focused work and learning, as well as strengthen relationships with their colleagues, “said the Microsoft press release. “Managers and leaders can see trends at the team and organizational level, as well as recommendations to better balance productivity and well-being. “

Insights are structured to preserve personal privacy, Microsoft added.

In December, the company was forced to make changes to its controversial productivity score, after widespread criticism that it allowed managers to access every employee’s data, The Verge reported.

The learning module, Viva Learning, brings together an organization’s learning resources in one place, including content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, and third-party vendors, such as Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluuralsight, edX and the the organization’s own content library. The Learning app is now available as a private preview, and integrations with leading learning management systems, including Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, and SAP SuccessFactors, will be offered later this year.

The knowledge module, Viva Topics, uses artificial intelligence to organize news topics, documents and conversations across Microsoft 365 and Teams and help people connect with experts across the enterprise. . Topics are now available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 Business Plans.

“Microsoft Viva is a revolutionary employee experience platform, ushering in a new category of enterprise software that focuses entirely on the day-to-day needs of employees at work,” said Josh Bersin, research analyst and technology expert at employee experience in a press release. “Viva will allow businesses to integrate their fragmented work tools and deliver them into the workflow.”

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