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Microsoft Viva overview: Why context is crucial for Microsoft learning

By Asif Rehmani
Updated February 10, 2021


Microsoft Viva is a new employee experience platform that appears directly within Microsoft Teams. It was released on February 5th 2021, and the idea is to create a great user experience within Teams. 

Microsoft Viva helps workers to:

  • Stay connected with others
  • Have the insights they need to be successful
  • Discover information they need easily
  • Learn at their own leisure without leaving Teams

Viva is based on an employee experience platform idea which was made popular years ago by industry analyst Josh Bersin. And this type of platform makes more sense now than ever when many of us are working remotely.

Employee experience in general is something that all companies are paying more and more attention to, especially because of the pandemic. For example, companies like Qualtrics that recently had its IPO, ServiceNow or Slack (which competes directly with Teams), shows how everyone is on board with making employee experiences great. At VisualSP, we could not agree more that that's how it should be.

Overview of Microsoft Viva

Microsoft Viva is specifically about experiences that are delivered directly within Teams. It's made up of four applications - you've got connections, topics, Microsoft learning and insights. Let’s look at each of these applications in turn:

  1. Connections is more like a portal that would appear directly within Teams where you can see top-level communications from your company. Connections would connect you to anything within your company that you needed to know, and bring data so that you can see it in your portal.
  1. Insights is basically workplace analytics for your company as well as your people. These are recommendations on ways in which you and your people can stay healthy, prevent burnout, increase morale and performance – all while respecting privacy. It gives managers a better understanding of behavioral insights into how their people are working and if there are any issues.
  1. Topics is about knowledge management. Artificial intelligence surfaces information as you need it directly to you wherever you are within Teams. So, for example, if you're looking at some content and don't know what it's about you just hover over it and it gives you a brief overview which you can also drill into and find out more if you wanted.
  2. Learning is a destination in Viva you visit for training. It's a learning portal where you get access to your own learning content. The training content itself could come from LinkedIn, Microsoft learning, your own custom training content or from other learning management systems that you have. Platforms that are supported right now include Cornerstone and Saba, and there will be more added later.

More support for Microsoft learning

At VisualSP we completely believe in the notion of bringing the learning to the learner rather than bringing the learner to the learning. It is so effective because you provide help to your people in the context of their environment, in the flow of their work and at their moment of need.

Whitepaper: Why microlearning in context is so important

So, just as Viva helps your employees within Teams, VisualSP help them when they are navigating your applications within the web browser. VisualSP surfaces relevant learning in all your apps, such as:

With VisualSP, wherever employees go, they have the help and the information they need right at their fingertips by easily clicking the VisualSP help tab. They get contextual information that's relevant to them based on their location.

And you can also augment that by creating your own custom content and serve it contextually for any web application content. For example, you can:

  • Build powerful interactive guided walkthroughs which take users through a new digital workspace or a new functionality.
  • Offer inline help items that provide very specific support to the user based on a particular page component that they're looking at.
  • VisualSP also allows you to create a banner that comes up automatically informing employees of important information that they need to know directly within their environment.
  • You can create video which provides a very specific message regarding the correct way to, for example, set up their out of office reply message.
  • Offer quick tip sheets that help your employees with useful knowledge they need to perform their tasks.

Boost Microsoft learning with VisualSP and Viva together

Just as Microsoft Viva does for the Teams app, VisualSP helps employees within the web browser, delivering them content contextually in their flow of work and precisely at their moment of need. With Microsoft putting their weight behind the importance of context in the user experience, we see this as an exciting opportunity to help employees get more from their technology.

Let us know if you have any questions about Viva or Microsoft learning more generally. We would love to talk with you about how we can help your organization deliver great contextual experiences to your users. Schedule your demo today.

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