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Published on February 8th, 2021 | by Emergent Enterprise


Microsoft Launches Viva, an AI-powered Information Hub for Enterprises

Emergent Insight:
Employees are creating data every second of every day. Online conversations, web meetings, documents and more. Much of this input and collaboration could be valuable to the enterprise but it is never analyzed. That is changing with products like Microsoft Viva as we learn from this post at VentureBeat by Kyle Wiggers. Viva is able to analyze all sorts of data from its wide array of enterprise softwares and provide correlations and trends to help businesses make educated decisions. That’s a big plus but it can raise concerns about personal data security. At the same time, employees must realize that anything they do using company resources is subject to review.

Original Article:
Image Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft today unveiled Microsoft Viva, an employee experience platform that aims to deliver first- and third-party products across learning, wellness, insights, knowledge, and engagement. As a part of this, the company debuted Viva Topics, Viva Connections, Viva Insights, and Viva Learning, modules stemming from Project Cortex.

Most enterprises have to wrangle countless data buckets, some of which inevitably become underused or forgotten. A Forrester survey found that between 60% and 73% of all data within corporations is never analyzed for insights or larger trends. The opportunity cost of this unused data is substantial, with a Veritas report pegging it at $3.3 trillion by 2020 if the current trend holds. That’s perhaps why the corporate sector has taken an interest in cognitive search and robotic process automation products that ingest, understand, organize, and act on digital content from multiple digital sources.

“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 coauthored content … But to truly empower people to feel connected, supported, and able to bring their best selves to work we need to do more,” Microsoft 365 CVP Jared Spataro said.

Spataro added that consulting partners including Accenture, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young will provide services to bring customers onboard with Viva. “Viva brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights into an integrated experience that empowers people and teams to be their best, from anywhere,” he added.

Viva Topics

In September, Project Cortex — a Microsoft 365 offering that analyzes documents, conversations, meetings, and videos to identify domain experts and populate a knowledge database while surfacing info in Office apps, Outlook, and Microsoft Teams — exited preview. But rather than launch Cortex as a single platform, Microsoft said it would make its capabilities available as “a set of unique innovations” starting with SharePoint Syntex, which taps AI to automate the capture, ingestion, and classification of content, building on SharePoint’s existing content features.

Viva Topics is the second such innovation. According to Microsoft, it uses AI to reason over an organization’s data and automatically organize content and expertise across systems and teams. Topics funnels data into related subjects like projects, products, processes, and customers. When employees see an unfamiliar acronym or project in email or chat, for example, they’re able to hover on the word and pop out a topic card with a description and related experts, documents, and videos.

Microsoft Viva Topics

Above: Knowledge discovery in Viva Topics.

Image Credit: Microsoft

The AI system that powers Viva learns from signals, or behavioral data derived from inputs. These come from the pages that employees visit, the videos they watch, and the support tickets they submit. That’s not to mention detailed information it collects about users, including job titles, locations, departments, coworkers, and potentially all of the documents, emails, and other correspondences they author. Each signal informs the AI system’s decision-making so that it self-improves continuously, automatically learning how various resources are relevant to each person and ranking those resources accordingly.

Within Topics, clicking on a “card” calls up a knowledge page curated by AI and experts with information like diagrams that map contextual relationships between each different topic. This page also connects topics to recommended subject experts, with expertise added to individual users profiles and extended into people cards throughout Microsoft 365. Topics plays nicely with Microsoft apps including SharePoint and Microsoft Search, Microsoft says, and highlights will be integrated into the hub from Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and other Microsoft 365 apps throughout 2021.

Viva Connections

Complementing Topics is Viva Connections, which brings together news, conversations, and other resources in devices and apps like Microsoft Teams. It’s designed to deliver a personalized feed in which employees can explore news and contribute to internal conversations.

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The Emergent Enterprise (EE) website brings together current and important news in enterprise mobility and the latest in innovative technologies in the business world. The articles are hand selected by Emergent Enterprise and not the result of automated electronic aggregating. The site is designed to be a one-stop shop for anyone who has an ongoing interest in how technology is changing how the world does business and how it affects the workforce from the shop floor to the top floor. EE encourages visitor contributions and participation through comments, social media activity and ratings.

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