Even before COVID-19 turned our lives upside down, a new generation of digital tools was opening up new possibilities for the future of work. What we didn’t expect was that this future would arrive almost overnight last March, as millions of businesses around the world responded to the pandemic by moving to remote and hybrid work.
In my role at Microsoft, I get the chance to talk to our customers every day about their experiences in this new digital era. It’s exhilarating to work on the tools that have unlocked new forms of connection and collaboration for their people—even as they navigate the challenges of the pandemic. We built Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 as the organizing layer for all the ways people work, learn, and collaborate. Microsoft Teams is the only solution with meetings, calls, chat, content collaboration, and business process workflows—all in a secure, integrated user experience. This fall, we saw the daily active users number in Microsoft Teams climb to 115 million, while Microsoft 365 users around the world generated more than 30 billion collaboration minutes in a single day as people communicated, collaborated, and co-authored content. And in our new hybrid work reality, Microsoft Teams is empowering everyone in organizations—from information workers to frontline workers, and everyone in between.
But to truly empower people to feel connected, supported, and able to bring their best selves to work we need to do more.
Today, organizations spend over $300 billion a year on employee experience. That number includes employee development and training, benefits and wellbeing, and a whole host of employee experience technologies. But too often, these technologies are fragmented, hard to find, and disruptive to the flow of work.
As digital tools become more crucial to a great employee experience, business leaders across every industry are embracing the opportunity to learn, and they’re re-evaluating both their spending and their approach.
We believe what’s needed is a new approach and a new category of technology solutions called employee experience platforms (EXP). In the past few months, my team and I have been talking with analyst Josh Bersin, who closely studies this space. These conversations helped solidify our vision of EXP as a digital platform that provides people with the resources and support they need, seamlessly integrated within the same tools they use to do their work, so they can succeed and thrive no matter their location.
Introducing Microsoft Viva
Today we’re introducing Microsoft Viva, the first EXP built for the digital era. Microsoft Viva brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights into an integrated experience that empowers people and teams to be their best, from anywhere. Powered by the full breadth and depth of Microsoft 365, it is experienced through Microsoft Teams and other Microsoft 365 apps that people use every day.
A new kind of employee experience
To start, Microsoft Viva will include four modules: Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics—with more on the way. I’ll walk you through each one.
Research from our Work Trend Index shows nearly 60 percent of workers feel less connected to their team since the move to remote work. And we’re struggling to replace the comradery once created by things like company town halls, offsites, and events. This is challenging for all of us, but especially impactful on new hires—imagine how it feels for an employee who has never been to the office or ever met anyone face-to-face.
Accessed in Microsoft Teams, Viva Connections provides a single-entry point for employee engagement and internal communications. You can think of it as a gateway to your digital workplace.
Viva Connections is built on Microsoft 365 capabilities like SharePoint to provide a curated and branded employee destination. Leaders can connect with employees via company town halls, and employees can access everything from company news, policies, and benefits to employee resource groups or communities they want to join with Microsoft Viva’s integration to Yammer. It provides a personalized feed and dashboard to help you find all the helpful resources you need from Microsoft Viva and from other apps across your digital workplace. The content can also be customized for specific roles within the company—including frontline workers—so that they have a comprehensive view of just the resources they need.