August 06, 2021

Microsoft Viva – What is it? How can I plan for it?

Microsoft Viva is a wave of new products referred to as modules that are truly the killer apps of Teams. These 4 new modules plug right into your Teams environment to provide rich employee engagement. Join MVP Joel Oleson and Power Platform Architect Chris Barber as they deliver a series of free Viva based webinars focused on helping you ramp up on Viva and help you “Vivafy” your Microsoft 365 environment.

You need to prepare for Viva Connections by getting your Intranet and Corp Communications strategy and environment ready. Some may still be running in “Classic” mode or not even have their intranet and corporate news in the M365 SharePoint Online cloud yet. The user experience is much improved with modern, classic is a poor experience in Teams with Viva Connections. We’ll discuss a number of things in this webinar to help you get ready for Viva.

  • Information Architecture – Hubs, Global Navigation (prepare for app bar)
  • Design your audience targeting strategy
  • PowerShell scripts to prep your M365 SharePoint Environment with the root site, and setting your Official news
  • Refresh and Update your branding header, footer and site designs including creating Viva Connections icons
  • You’ve heard of Hubify, Teamify… now it’s time to Vivafy!

Viva Topics also has a number of things you can do to prep your environment including adding acryonmys and any seed taxonomy. The new modern termstore has a number of enhancements including more to come with improvements in search, search connectors and Microsoft graph.

Microsoft Viva modules. Powered by the full breadth and depth of Microsoft 365, Viva is experienced through Microsoft Teams and the other Microsoft 365 apps you use every day. For now, Microsoft Viva includes four modules—Viva Connections, Viva Insights, Viva Learning, and Viva Topics—with more on the way.

  • Viva Topics uses AI to automatically organize company-wide content and expertise, making it easy to discover information and put knowledge to work.
  • Viva Connections is a gateway for your digital workplace. It provides a curated, company-branded experience that brings together relevant news, conversations, and other resources.
  • Viva Learning centralizes your learning resources in Teams to help you quickly discover and share learning content across your organization.
  • Viva Insights gives individuals, managers, and leaders personalized and actionable privacy-protected insights to improve productivity and wellbeing. Viva Insights (personal insightsmanager insights, and leader insights)

Viva are all modules inside of Microsoft Teams. Viva Connections is NOT your intranet. It is the plumbing with some new features to enhance the experience.

Platform extensibility. Designed to be an open and extensible platform with a strong and growing ecosystem of partners, Microsoft Viva is easy to integrate with the systems and tools your company already has in place. Integrations with Microsoft 365, Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and third-party products and services can deliver a complete employee experience in the flow of your everyday work. For example, you can build custom web parts for your home site and topic pages using the SharePoint Framework and you can use adaptive cards for your Viva Connections dashboard to expose specific content and target the right employees with the right resources. 

Join us for two upcoming exciting and educational webinars:

Introducing Microsoft Viva

Microsoft announced Viva in February 2021, it is a movement toward employee experience that brings together communications, knowledge, learning, resources, and insights. Powered by Microsoft 365 and experienced primarily through Microsoft Teams. Viva fosters a culture where people and teams are empowered to be their best from anywhere. Viva itself has four main components: – Viva Connections – as the enabler for plugging your SharePoint Intranet into Teams formerly known as Teams Home Site App. – Viva Topics – one of the products from the Project Cortex initiative. It is focused on connecting knowledge and experts. – Viva Insights  – delivers focus on employee engagement with consideration for health and wellbeing. – Viva Learning is an aggregation of your skilling across the enterprise with LMS platform integration and just-in-time delivery in the your Teams. We’ll dive into each of these tools and help you better understand availability, licensing, and enterprise positioning and roadmap. Audience: Marketing, Communications, HR IT, IT Managers, Directors, Microsoft 365 Admins, and Teams Administrators Level: 100 & 200 : Introduction and Assumes Basic Microsoft Teams Experience

Register for this free webinar

Tue, Aug 10, 2021 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT

>> Register Now<<


“VIVAFY” Your SharePoint Intranet with Teams and Viva

Most companies are using Teams for chat, meetings, and basic collaboration.  SharePoint Online has been a neglected investment who have invested in Microsoft 365 with many companies still running their Intranets in classic or even in SharePoint on premise.  What is to be done?

How do you take advantage of this Viva wave? Agenda: In this session we’ll break down the tactical steps to take your SharePoint Intranets in whatever phase you are in, into your modern Teams environment for an improved experience. Some may simply be ready to create the powershell package and get Viva Connections deployed to take advantage of the app bar, search, and targeting, but others will need to prepare and should prepare.  Here are some of the topics: – Get Your Intranet, Corporate Communications and Org News to Modern SharePoint Online – Design your Branding, Header/Footer, Site Design & Look Strategy – Design your Global Navigation, Information Architecture, and Hubs – Create and Deploy Powershell Package including Icons – Set your Root site and Official News – Manage your Taxonomy, M365 Groups, and Audience Targeting

Audience: Marketing, Communications, HR IT, IT Managers, Directors, Microsoft 365 Admins, and Teams Administrators Level: 100 & 200 Introduction and Assumes Basic Microsoft Teams Experience

Tue, Aug 17, 2021 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT

>>Register Now<<

These webinars are hosted by TeamsHUB by Cyclotron and will feature demos from the popular Microsoft 365 Governance and Management tool for Teams, SharePoint, and more. TeamsHub can help you automate provisioning, archiving, ownership, compliance, security considerations and notifications for change management.

Read more

April 16, 2020

A modern workplace: Unified Communications, Cloud apps & MS Teams

In this article, we take a look at the capabilities of Microsoft Teams and the evolution of the modern workplace
Unified Communications

Introduction

Unified communications makes a dynamic and productive team. Microsoft Teams introduced cloud-based conferencing tools and redefined collaboration. Consequently, organizations achieved productivity in the virtual workspace. Microsoft Teams proved that it is the powerhouse of unified communications. Additionally, It won the Best of Enterprise Connect Overall award last year. Microsoft Teams established rapid growth and popularity soon after its launch. In addition, Microsoft Teams integrates with various Azure and Microsoft365 services and apps to provide a unified platform for the next generation workplace. Furthermore, by leveraging unique features and integrations with its Intelligent Cloud suite products it became more than a unified communication application.

Currently, 500,000 organizations have adopted Microsoft Teams with around 44 million daily active users. Also, with every release, Microsoft Teams marches ahead with intelligent virtual collaboration.

Let us take a quick walkthrough at its transformative features that have contributed to the evolution of the modern workplace using unified communications, cloud apps & MS Teams.

Unified Communications

Instant Messaging

Instant messaging connects teams across any device or location instantly. Microsoft Teams allows one-on-one and group- messaging to keep the conversation private or public.

Persistent Chat

Complete chat history is available in conversation windows. Also, users can send emails using threaded conversations in a team’s channel. Thus, conversations continue seamlessly across multiple digital streams.

Emojis

Also, animated gifs, stickers and emojis add an element of fun to conversations.

Translation Services

Additionally, Microsoft Teams offers an in-line translation solution for users to converse fluidly with users in their native language.

Meetings

Teams delivers an extraordinary meeting experience through high-quality interactive videos. Users can host meetings, seminars, conferences or presentations from any part of the world. Broadcast up to 10,000 people at a time using Teams for live events.

Record meetings and calls for future reference and use. Easily share files during meetings and calls. Another point of note is that users can quickly switch between chats, audio/video and screen sharing. Furthermore, make any user a presenter or control the screen once permitted while screen sharing.

Voice and Video Calls

Video conferencing is the most preferred business communication tool. Microsoft Teams allows for seamless two-way audio and video transmissions to collaborate effectively in real-time.

Firstly, users can connect with anyone in the organization around the world with a single click. Secondly, Invite users outside the organization by searching for their phone numbers. Add them to the ongoing call as well once found.

Finally, Microsoft Teams functions as a fully qualified business phone system. Direct Voice Routing, allows organizations to integrate their existing phone infrastructure with Teams. In selected countries, Microsoft Calling plans are also available for use as an alternative.

An important point is that Teams transcribes and automatically time-codes every voice content. Search for a phrase that was spoken during a meeting, and it will take you straight to the specific audio/video moment.

Backgrounds

To enhance focus, the feature to blur background helps to cut down distraction. Also to add an element of fun, Microsoft has released a few wallpaper backgrounds as well and is in plans to release a feature where backgrounds can be customized by the end-user per their taste too.

Voice Assistant

Teams also has integrated speech recognition with Cortana. Cortana acts as a virtual assistant helping users to set up conference calls and join meetings with voice commands.

For more information on automating some of the advanced configurations in Teams using TeamsHub by Cyclotron visit our blog.

Let us take a further look at evolution of the modern workplace using unified communications, cloud apps & MS Teams.

Cloud Apps: Microsoft Teams and Azure

Using Azure DevOps, Azure Boards and Azure Pipeline with Microsoft Teams helps streamline the entire software development lifecycle.

In the following few sections, we will see the benefits of integrating Microsoft Teams with these tools:

Azure DevOps

Azure Devops is used in agile software development to cover the entire lifecycle from requirements gathering, project management, reporting, build and release management, and testing. It also provides a single source to maintain software versions, branches and builds.

With Azure DevOps and Teams, software development teams get instant access to everything they need in a single source. This brings teams, conversations, content, and tools from across together into one place.

Using these two tools can be a powerful combination to collaborate for software teams.

You can find more information here – https://www.azuredevopslabs.com/labs/vstsextend/teams/

Azure Boards

Azure Boards is a lightweight app available for Microsoft Teams to help create work activity items and track it from the Teams channel itself.

You can find more information here – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/boards/integrations/boards-teams

Azure Pipelines

Azure Pipelines lets you build, test and deploy applications in Azure cloud and other supported platforms.  Using Microsoft Teams and Azure Pipelines app helps to easily monitor the events. Set up and manage subscriptions for builds, releases, YAML pipelines, pending approvals and more from the app and get notifications for these events in your Teams channels.

You can find more information here – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/devops/pipelines/integrations/microsoft-teams

Let us delve further into evolution of the modern workplace using Unified Communications, Cloud apps & MS Teams.

Cloud Apps: Microsoft Teams and Power Platform

Power Platform integration with Teams provides a single point of communication and business process improvement in a Teams channel

PowerApps and Power Automate

Firstly, Power Apps and Power Automate help companies build custom applications. These apps can automate routine processes. Microsoft Teams integrates with these services to build custom apps combining it with the conversations, meetings, and chat of Microsoft Teams.

You can find more information here – https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-teams-blog/introducing-the-teams-and-power-apps-whitepaper/ba-p/1005945

Power BI

Secondly, Power BI and Microsoft Teams address the data visualization scenario together to encourage a culture of data for an organization. Combining business process automation with Power App and Power Automate provides critical data that can be harvested to provide business insights. A team can interact with data in a visual format in Power BI right from their team’s site.

You can find more information here – https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-new-power-bi-tab-for-microsoft-teams/

Power Virtual Agent

Finally, add quick conversational chatbot capabilities using Power Virtual Agents with Teams with little or no code.

You can find more information here – https://poszytek.eu/en/microsoft-en/office-365-en/pva-en/pva-series-add-power-virtual-agent-to-teams/

Summary

Evidently, ultra-modern communication services are inbuilt in Microsoft Teams. It is also an industry leading unified communications platform along with robust integrations in the Microsoft cloud ecosystem. Furthermore, Microsoft Teams is fully integrated with AI and future releases will involve mixed reality. Personalization and gamification of Teams is not very far as well.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article on evolution of the modern workplace using unified communications, cloud apps & MS Teams.

Read more