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Microsoft Intros New Hub for Work Learning

Microsoft has set up a new hub for work and learning that works through Microsoft 365 and Teams, placing learning, well-being and collaboration resources closer to the user and the organization he or she works for. Microsoft Viva, as it's called, is intended to get rid of the separation that exists among work elements. According to the company, the application unifies the employee experience in four areas — engagement, well-being, learning and knowledge — and belongs to a newly identified technology segment, the "employee experience platform."

Viva's initial set of modules include:

  • Viva Connections, a portal or "digital gateway" for the workplace that delivers company communications, resources such as policies and employee communities. A public preview of Connections will be available in the first half of 2021, with a mobile app coming out later in the year.
  • Viva Insights is viewable only by individual employees, to help them balance well-being and productivity, by encouraging them to take regular breaks, make time for focused work and push learning. Employers will be able to view trends at a team and organization level. A new dashboard integrates employee feedback data from LinkedIn's Glint with Insights data, to identify areas where teams might be struggling. Companies can also pull in data from other services, such as Zoom, Slack, Workday and SAP SuccessFactors. Insights functionality is already available in public preview.
  • Viva Learning combines professional development and learning resources into one place. That can include content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight and edX, as well as an organization's own content library. The Learning app is already available in private preview. Later this year, according to the company, there will be integrations offered for specific learning management systems, including Saba and Cornerstone OnDemand.
  • Viva Topics is a "knowledge discovery" module to help people find information and experts across the organization. The program is generally available as an add-on to Microsoft 365 commercial plans.

"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, Microsoft CEO, in a press release. "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."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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