Microsoft Teams Now Bolstered By AI-Driven 'Viva' Remote Worker Experience Platform

Viva Learning
The world may never go completely back to the way it was before the Coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc across the globe. As we collectively pick ourselves by the bootstraps, Microsoft is preparing for a future in which remote work is the new normal and not necessarily the exception, and has launched what it calls the world's first employee experience platform (EXP), called Viva.

Viva is not an application or a standalone service. Instead, it is a platform designed to bolster Microsoft's Teams and 365 software, in an effort to "help employees learn, grow, and thrive" through new experiences integrated into Microsoft's existing services and software.

"We have participated in the largest at-scale remote work experiment the world has seen, and it has had a dramatic impact on the employee experience," said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. "Every organization will require a unified employee experience from onboarding and collaboration to continuous learning and growth. Viva brings together everything an employee needs to be successful, from day one, in a single, integrated experience directly in Teams."

According to Microsoft, analysts estimate the EXP category will generate $300 billion each year, through a fragmented market of services, infrastructure, and hundreds of tools that may go unnoticed. Viva is an attempt to unify the employee experience (and cash in on the big money that is at stake), through four areas: engagement, wellbeing, learning, and knowledge.

There is an AI element to all this as well. Viva arrives in the form of four modules at the outset, including Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics. The latter of those uses AI to reason over a customer's Microsoft 365 data, to organize company-wide content and expertise into categories like projects, products, processes, and customers

"Think of Viva Topics as a Wikipedia with AI superpowers for your organization... When you come across an unfamiliar topic or acronym, just hover. No need to search for knowledge—knowledge finds you. Viva Topics automatically surfaces topic cards as people work in apps like Office, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams," Microsoft says.

Microsoft says this is just the beginning, which insinuates that more Viva modules could be forthcoming.

Viva Learning creates a central hub for learning in Teams and is als AI-driven (to recommended the right content at the right time), while Viva Insights is a sort of hyper-insights module. Viva Connections, meanwhile, "provides a single entry point for employee engagement and internal communications."