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Microsoft Viva

Viva Connections is the New and Improved Intranet Feature from Microsoft and now it is on your Mobile App too…

At Konsolute, we think Viva is a gamechanger, that’s why we’re developing consultancy kickstart packages to get your journey off to a great start.

In this new blog series we’re going to be taking a deeper dive into the world of Microsoft Viva, addressing and sharing knowledge around each of its four core modules- Connections, Insights, Learning and Topics. This week is the turn of Connections, the new face of the SharePoint Intranet.

Connections

Microsoft Viva has been on the scene for a while now but new releases and improving accessibility are making it a talking point that has extended into all Quarters of 2021. Today we’ll be considering the newest features of Viva connections including the development of a mobile intranet experience. In addition we’ll be unpacking some of the practicalities around Connections, from dashboarding to implementation and training. So, lets dive in.

The latest Mobile UX gives Viva even more appeal for remote employees

Microsoft have worked hard to create a mobile version of your revised SharePoint homesite to give you all of that connectivity and uniformity on your tablet and mobile too. The mobile strategy was designed to be a native experience right in your teams app. Everything you need to see whether that’s yammer, headspace, FAQs, recommended reading will all be available on the mobile homepage.

From an intranet perspective, Microsoft have allowed a button that can be branded like the desktop app to give you a personalised company feel. The button will take you to three tabs: Dashboard, feed and resources.

The dashboard is the same quick access panel described above, rendered as touch-friendly buttons. Then a self-explanatory company newsfeed, which will be driven by algorithms and audience targeting settings- topic cards can be delivered to selected groups of employees. Resources are your ‘recently opened’ and a place for useful items like training and handbooks.

For employees who are on the move having all of this homepage connection built into your teams means a richer experience even when your desktop isn’t readily available.

So what’s the difference between your previous SharePoint homesite and Viva Connections?

Connections makes your SharePoint Intranet accessible within Microsoft Teams and improves functionality- it is not a replacement for your existing SharePoint. The background processes remain the same with Teams acting as the new interface for employees with SharePoint doing the ‘hard labour’ underneath. An example of this can be seen when you create a team and you seamlessly create a SharePoint team site in unison. Essentially your files and folders will still reside within SharePoint.

Viva Connections is another layer added onto the Teams/ SharePoint engagement experience, in Layman’s terms, tell it which SharePoint site you want it to show, avoid redesigning or rebuilding an Employee landing page and create personalised company homesites. The main new features Viva is actually bringing are welcome homesite elements- a fly-out panel with global navigation, recent files and “My News.” Targeted corporate news is now delivered with Yammer content into one stream

I already have an intranet, is it worth it?

Before we dive into user adoption it must first be noted that, moving an existing intranet into a Connections-ready state takes a little more time and expertise. In particular you need to ensure your intranet landing page is a SharePoint ‘home’ site. (Introduced way back in 2019, A home site is a site that has been set to be the default site when users open the SharePoint application from the Office, and it is also where the global navigation is configured. It was pitched as the intelligent intranet and is still a great foundational piece for Connections.)

Although there’s no denying that embracing the world of Viva is a great thing, home sites are new to the market and intranets are rarely built around them. If this sounds familiar, your organisation may be in for a structural reshuffle or redesign to make the most of this new offering.

Consultancy and making the most of Viva Connections

So we’ve established that Viva is bringing more engagement, connection and understanding to the user experience from the moment we open our Teams App. Microsoft are proving they see the unavoidable link between wellbeing and productivity and Viva is the product that proves that- placing people at the centre of business processes and bringing together systems of work with systems of support. provides people with the resources and support they need to be achieve more.

We’re launching a series of assessments and workshops designed to help you embrace all of Viva’s four modules, if you’re interested in gaining consultancy at any stage of your Viva Connections journey from set-up to onboarding we’re here to empower you with the tools to harness Microsoft 365. Why not get in touch?

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