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Monday, June 21, 2021

Microsoft Viva for a new and better employee experience

Microsoft is introducing a new Employee Experience Platform called Viva. Thanks to AI and user data, it should make everything easier and better.

A new Employee Experience Platform (EXP) should make work easier for employees, or at least increase their well-being. Microsoft Viva is divided into four applications and, as part of Microsoft 365, can mainly be used by teams. EXP sees the company as a new product category for which, according to analysts, about 300 billion US dollars per year would be spent in the future.

Microsoft Viva is divided into the areas Connections, Insights, Learning and Topics. Connections should be the entry point. Employees can use teams to find curated content from their own company and can join communities, in other words an intranet. The app should be available for the desktop in the first half of the year, as a mobile app only later this year.

Insights is about work-life balance. “Viva Insights supports individuals and companies with data-based insights and recommendations. Personal insights are intended to help employees take regular breaks, set up focus times for concentrated work and strengthen relationships with colleagues,” the press release said. Microsoft emphasizes that the relevant insights are not visible to other people, not even to managers. However, Insights makes it possible to identify developments at team and organizational level – in order to create better working conditions. Insights is available as a preview.

Learning relies on artificial intelligence and should recommend the right learning content at the right time. Your own training courses as well as courses from other providers can be displayed there. The app is also available as a preview.

Topics also uses AI to make company knowledge and specialist knowledge easily accessible. The information is divided into themed cards and then contains further documents, videos, experts and more. Third-party services can be integrated. Topics is available as an add-on for Microsoft-365, but initially only for English-language content.

Monitoring for the benefit of the employees

“Our vision is to provide an employee satisfaction platform that supports organizations in creating a strong corporate culture with committed employees and inspiring leaders,” writes Microsoft 365 Corporate Vice President, Jared Spataro.

Microsoft was criticized last year for monitoring employees. Functions of the Office Suite 365, for example, made it possible to observe the work habits of the workforce in detail . It is called “Workplace Analytics”, with which a “Productivity Score” could be calculated. Shortly after the criticism, Microsoft removed the user name from the productivity value, but the device number remains in the evaluations. Spataro assured that no one in an organization could access the data on the use of Microsoft services of a single user. Of course, it remains to be seen whether it is possible for people outside the organization.


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