Success with Viva Topics

Success with Viva Topics

Viva Topics one of the founding Viva Suite modules focused on User Experience. Search has been one of the challenges users face in any corporate enterprise environment. Struggling to get up to speed, or earnestly trying to be aware of what’s going on around you. Viva Topics helps one keep in tune and be aware of what’s going on around them through a series of topics pages that are intertwined in the work we do everyday. The goal of any organization should be to capture knowledge and make it repeatable and easy to access, securely of course. Knowledge at your fingertips.

The Viva Suite is known as the user experience platform. While Viva is still relatively very new to most organizations, Viva Topics has been beyond reach to most organizations. It’s been a struggle to even imagine what it could be as it’s a challenge when you’re trying to build a pilot environment without documents, collaboration signals, active employees and taxonomies. Prepping for Viva Topics will stretch your technical team in a number of unusual ways. Ultimately the management of the Topics should find it’s home somewhere in the business, but just like getting someone to get the Acronyms of the organization started, it takes someone caring enough to get the Topics center started. The ways to find success in Viva Topics come from a number of unusual practices not seen in other areas of technology.

  1. Seed taxonomies and terms to Topics
    1. Departments
    2. Customers
    3. Project, Teams, Sites,
    4. Acronyms
    5. Locations
    6. Offices, Buildings, Conference Room names
    7. Industry Specific Terminology – You really don’t want thousands of random topics in a short period of time, but if you had approved terms that made sense it could really give you a massive jumpstart.
  2. Gathering Ontologies, I like to think of Information Architectures and Connecting the Structure in Centers of Excellence, Communities of Practice, Knowledge Centers, Knowledge Bases
  3. Hand Holding Adoption Change Management: Training on the power of using #Hashtags and @mentions in email, yammer, SharePoint pages and news, Teams chats, etc… integration with ToDo and Viva Insights
  4. Feedback and Office Hours
  5. Expertise Finding Strategy – Focused vertical for Who bot or Search based results
  6. Connectors – where is the company knowledge?
  7. Topic Page Template and considerations
  8. Syntex – Structured and Unstructured content that can help drive answers, taxonomies, and terms.
  9. Sensitivity – Topics does give you an opportunity to ensure that people are using Terms. Topics is security trimmed by default, but also has additional layers for keepings rights restricted or even from displaying the topics cards. Topics won’t just show up… they take approval, editing and review prior to publishing. What I call the curation process of culling the topics into the things that add the most value.
  10. Organizational knowledge, preparation and integration

An effective pilot may be a limited scope of users, a limited set of sites and teams, with a limited set of licensed or trial users. Imagine an engineering group and the very specific terminology, expertise, and processes. Even a sales team, there’s the customers, the deals, the locations, and so on which all could drive to a powerful hierarchy of information surrounding and connecting the knowledge to the expertise. Not you don’t need to license Viva Topics immediately, you can start with this scoped set of up to 25 users in a trial. Tony Redmond put together an article worth reading on getting started with a Viva Topics trial.

I’m excited to share my experience setting up a demo tenant loading up documents adding relevant taxonomies and then building the topics, topic pages, and exploring the #hashtags in the UX that are now working in SharePoint pages and news, Outlook web access, and soon to see Teams and yammer.

If you’ve been waiting to get your hands dirty, I’m hopeful you’ll be excited about what is possible today.

Viva Topics

Free Webinar: Success with Viva Topics

>> Register Here

Join us on June 7 at 9am Pacific. In addition to hearing about my stories of working with Viva Topics and sharing steps to find success. You’ll also get some updates from Microsoft’s CJ Tan and Chris McNulty and hear about the latest from WAND to help accelerate your investigations, trials, or deployments with seed taxonomies.

Note: This webinar will be delivered in Microsoft Teams Webinars.

Viva Connections webinars for Executive engagement, Corp Comms and Front Line Workers

New Webinar Series… “Viva Connections Webinar Series for Executive Engagement, Comms Teams, and Front Line Workers” A lot has been happening in the Viva space and it starts with Viva Connections. In this 3 part webinar series for a variety of different roles you’ll get a variety of different perspectives including relevant demos and insights. Bring Together Communications, Knowledge, Learning, and Resources in the flow of work just in time. Accelerate Learning. Improve Productivity. All in a customized and personalizable way.

Microsoft Viva Connections is a company-branded experience that brings together relevant news, conversations, and resources in the apps and devices you use 

Connectand Engage. Empower Teams. People at the Center. 

Viva Connections for the Front Line Worker 

Teams has had incredible growth with 10x adoption over the past year.   Teams is the hub for modern teamwork.  Employees can communicate and collaborate on content and tasks in a streamlined way.  Viva connections helps provide targeted links to information like official and featured news, key tools, along with personalized and trimmed content based on role, location, division etc…  

Viva is designed around the employee experience, key things that pull a team together including schedules, tasks, team conversations for both individual and team productivity in adaptive interfaces from mobile, tablet, browser, and rich teams client.  In this session focused on the front line worker we will look at the latest and greatest in Viva focused on the experience of and art of the possible for the front line worker. 

Audience: Business Decision Maker, IT Decision maker, IT Services, IT Manager, Business Manager 

>> Register Now >>

Viva Connections for Executive Engagement 

Executive Leadership communication and engagement with employees is critical to the business.  Viva Connections provides increased visibility and focus on employee experience.  Some of the greatest features in the latest release of Viva Connections is the global news with featured news, webparts and feeds perfect for video or streaming content including AMAs, fire side chats from executives.  Bring Communication, Knowledge, Learning, and Insights into an Integrated Experience. Viva Connections is the launchpad for Microsoft Viva and the gateway to your employee experience. Effective communication is essential to a healthy business, but with so many channels, information overload is a real thing. 

Audience: CXO and Decision Makers, IT Managers, Business Decision Makers, Yammer & Teams Admins

>> Register Now >>

Viva Connections for Corporate Communications 

Corporate communications this is for you!  In this session we’ll dive into Viva Connections for the communications teams.  Viva Connections is your gateway to a modern employee experience – are you ready to inform, engage and empower your organization? Join us as we show you how Viva Connections provides a curated, personalized and company-branded experience that centralizes relevant news and conversations. We’ll dig into the targeting and personalization features including the global nav and Deploy easily as it’s fully integrated in the apps and devices your teams already use every day, like Microsoft Teams. Platform Extensibility for Customization and Integration.  Discover how you can shape culture and foster communication to help your business and employees thrive. 

Audience: SharePoint & Teams admins, Corporate communications, business leaders, Intranet teams, and HR Comms teams

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Darkweb, ransomware, and Human mistakes: recovery for Microsoft 365

The push for Digital transformation has accelerated due to the pandemic, but so have ransomware attacks and other threats to business data. With cyber attacks getting more sophisticated, is your data protection plan robust enough for the attacks? 

More than 25 million! employee passwords at Fortune 1000 companies are available readily in dark web markets & data dumps.

Preparing for this webinar I came across tools on the darkweb for hacking Microsoft 365 and Office 365 among other SaaS services. It’s very sad to see how easy it is to do a targeted attack. I expect you’ll be surprised as well with how simple the hackers have made it to get into any SaaS system… and if you think your on premise environment is any harder, don’t fool yourself… those passwords aren’t just for the cloud. The sophistication of the tools, and the ability for hackers to get at your environment puts extra pressure on ensuring you have proper backup tools as simply providing antivirus and layers of security tools aren’t enough.

By 2022…70% of organizations will have suffered a business disruption due to unrecoverable data loss in a SaaS application. Source: Gartner 2019 “Assuming SaaS Applications Don’t Require Backups is Dangerous.”

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • Recent real-world cyber attacks examples and understand how it could happen to you
  • How to setup centralized backup for business data scattered across different locations
  • How to build a robust disaster recovery plan for ransomware preparedness
  • Understand Zero Trust and how critical and relevant it is today

 When it comes to cyber attacks, it’s not “if” but “when” will it happen! Join the webinar with Microsoft MVP Joel Oleson and Synology to learn how to build a robust data protection plan.

Join me Tuesday November 9 for “Darkweb, Ransomware, and Inevitable human mistakes: Disasters and recovery for your Microsoft environment” hosted by Synology.

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The CEO’s Microsoft Teams calls keep dropping… What do you do?

Troubleshooting Teams can be intimidating when it seems like you aren’t getting clear answers for executives, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m delivering a webinar with Panagenda to quickly get to the bottom of these call dropping and call quality issues… who wants to sound like a robot?

Join me and the experts at Panagenda on an educational webinar on troubleshooting call quality for executives, VIPs, and those special people in your life…

With Microsoft Teams replacing your organization’s phone system, it is imperative that Teams call quality be consistent and reliable, especially for executives. But when problems arise you need to react quickly, spotlight the problem, and get it fixed. However, without the detailed telemetry data to perform root cause analysis, reported issues continue unchecked by most IT groups. This is painfully true for remote workers where IT has visibility gaps for home networks, internet service providers (ISPs), and endpoint computer performance.

Having the viewpoint from the end-user digital experience is of utmost importance when trying to find the root cause for Teams call quality performance issues. And it’s NOT about just identifying the area related to the problem (i.e., High CPU or Memory Usage, Slow ISP Speeds), it’s about understanding what was causing the problem during the call. What processes and applications were running on the endpoint computer and how was the performance from the home office network and ISP (i.e., Dropped Packets, Hop Count, Round-Trip Times, Peering Distance).

In this webinar, you will receive an introduction to OfficeExpert Endpoint Performance Monitoring (EPM). This new module provides data analytics for Microsoft Teams performance and availability from the end-user perspective. If you want to know the truth about your Teams call quality experience, then please join us to see how actionable insights can speed troubleshooting and help remediate issues before they become frustrations for one of your executives.

The webinar will explore topics including:

· Fast troubleshooting for call quality issue resolution

· Proactive monitoring remote user digital experience

· Identify slow ISP’s causing poor call quality for remote users

· Detailed analytics for end-point computers (CPU, memory usage, background processes, etc.)

· And more… 

Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of this timely information.

>> Register and attend for a chance to win a free Xbox One!

Teams Admins and Architects Essentials Webinar Series

September is a busy month with 3 new webinars in a series I’m titling this series the “Teams Admin and Architects Essentials.” I’ll be delivering 3 one hour free webinars diving into the latest and greatest from Microsoft across three key areas of governance, architecture, and recovery. Feel free to register for one or all of them.

The three webinars all in September should build upon the concepts of Teams as an organizing layer with emphasis on governance, management, architecture and design with a focus on service management and administration. The series is sponsored by TeamsHub which will be featured in each of the 3 webinars. Here are the details of each of the webinars:

Governing Teams, SharePoint, and Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365, SharePoint and Teams have grown exponentially during COVID and the work from home mandates. In addition, Teams now has over 145 million daily active users as of April 2021. SharePoint Online has over 200 million daily active users. With all of this incredible momentum in remote work, online productivity, collaboration, and communication there’s a lot of pressure to provide good guidance around adoption with transparent governance. Unfortunately due to the rush of the platform the opposite has been happening with poor adoption techniques and poor habits around both provisioning and non existent oversight and cleanup. With the uncontrolled viral growth many customers have taken a back seat allowing things to grow out of control. In this product focused 1 hour session we’ll dive into the key success factors of governance and help you understand how to automate and keep your environment secure, encrypted, auditable and trustworthy. In addition this webinar will include a demo on TeamsHUB designed to help you get your arms around your environment providing easy to use automated processing to govern.

Thursday, Sept. 2nd at 1 PM Eastern/10 AM Pacific

>> Register Now or Get More Info

See you there!

Architecting Microsoft Teams for Lifecycle

Out of the box Microsoft Teams is open and ready go viral from an external sharing perspective, but it quickly gets to a point where it goes from being a trusted platform to being considered a liability.  Companies may find it tedious to audit and automate.  It is absolutely imperative you keep a handle on your environment with enforcement policies. You shouldn’t go without any cleanup and archiving, and oversight is key… this is where automation and approval routing can simplify your life.  Following guidance along a maturity model to help the organization learn the platform, learn the tools, and understand the platform and capabilities along with building support for a structured dev ops and business supportability through an entire lifecycle will position your environment in a unified approach for modern teamwork.  Getting your hands around proper archiving of inactive Teams not only makes it easier to manage, but keeps the environment more secure and trusted.

We’ll cover a Unified Governance approach for Teams breaking down People, Process and Technology.  Help you understand how to build out a proper information architecture in Teams that supports a global navigation, strategies for discovery, and integrated communication.  Along with a more comprehensive approach to business unit builder and dev ops strategies with preproduction environments. All services across the Microsoft 365 platform can find their way into Teams with Microsoft 365 Groups which when positioned properly can create a powerful unit for security and lifecycle. – Microsoft Teams as a Platform – Maturity – Initial Adoption and On boarding for Commercial Apps – Repeatable Provisioning with Consistent Best Practices with App Templates – Defined Preproduction Environment and a Culture for App Makers – Managed Structured Power Platform COE with Intranet and Personalization including N Tiered Apps including Viva Connections

Wednesday, Sept. 15th at 1 PM Eastern/10 AM Pacific

>> Register Now or Get More Info

See you there!

Microsoft Teams – Managing Archiving, Deletion & Recovery across Microsoft 365

What happens when someone deletes a team or a file? How long and when does Microsoft provide the recycle bin and recovery services? What happens if someone runs a malicious ransomware script that encrypts and locks them out the OneDrive or SharePoint libraries and anything they are connected to? In this session we’ll cover recovery options in Microsoft 365 services. It’s not just Teams, but OneDrive, SharePoint, Exchange, Stream and Planner that increasingly contain critical business these days. What about Dataverse? When was the last time you looked into the recovery options for these services? Microsoft has been very clear about backup and recovery and yet 70% of organizations have simply ignored any plans to setup their own backup and recovery. In this session we’ll cover the out of the box options, Microsoft SLAs as well as introduce you to the archiving, deletion, and lifecycle management options of TeamsHUB with Azure backup options for quick file, document, site and Teams recovery.

Audience: IT Managers, Architects, Admins, Tenant Admins, Business IT Groups

Tuesday, Sept. 28th at 1 PM Eastern/10 AM Pacific

>>Register and Get More Info

See you there!