Microsoft Viva is not well understood by most. Many are confused… Is it a product? it is a service? Is it a series of products? Why do they call them modules?
Microsoft Viva is a Wave. Microsoft has announced the first four modules, but they aren’t licensed together or bundled together. In the beginning back in February I was calling Viva “Marketecture.” Maretecture is when the marketing team owns the strategy and architecture. I’m saying this a little tongue in cheek, as Viva is a series of products that originally weren’t designed to be together, but with a big enough drum and a marketing powerhouse like Microsoft. The product teams are falling in line and the first four modules of this Viva wave has been announced.
Alone customers are used to SAAS services simply being upgraded along the way. Microsoft Viva is different. Each of these modules needs to be looked at individually and considered as new rich functionality. The positioning around Employee Experience along with Employee Engagement provides an opportunity to engage a number of new business unit technology focused groups such as Intranet teams, Marcom, corporate communications, HR IT, and HR services groups, HR University LMS teams focused on learning and instruction along with CXOs focused on employee services. Imagine executives who may pick up on any of these modules as truly pluggable in Microsoft Teams.
Microsoft Viva is a wave of pluggable modules that need internal campaigns so the right business groups can be aware of them. I’ve put together a graphic to help provide some visibility around these new modules.
If you like the infographics, feel free to download them and share them in your powerpoints with your organization. I’m working to improve the education and awareness on Microsoft Viva.
I’m working on a series of webinars to help provide more background and depth on Microsoft Viva and how to approach it for your organization.
It’s important again that you not just simply think of these as simple apps that you can add optionally to Teams. These are a major investment from Microsoft and this wave is a great opportunity for IT to get closer to the business units and in providing additional functionality to your organizational business solutions. Microsoft recently featured the Viva wave in Microsoft Mechanics. I put together a couple of their screenshots into one. You can quickly see here these are not simple apps, but designed to provide rich integration across the Microsoft 365 apps and services with additional extensibility. I hope you can join me in these upcoming free webinars. 1) Introduction to Microsoft Viva 2) Vivafy – A tactical deeper dive into Viva Connections and Viva Topics.
The first webinar is:
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
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
You’ve invested in your SharePoint for many years and Teams has been your life blood for employee productivity, communication, and collaboration it only makes sense to bring them together even more and Microsoft Viva is that spice to the marriage of Teams and SharePoint. You’ve been wondering if Intranets are dead with all this modern collaboration in Teams and modern work… No, what’s been missing are the individual and enterprise pivots and employee engagement and personalization in all of this. Our ADD/ADHD brains can handle the distractions of chats and working with our Teams in a few channels, but add a ton of Teams and dozens of SharePoint sites and we’re lost.
Microsoft Teams has become the de facto, irreplaceable way to get work done with brilliant chat, meetings, and channels for collaboration. In addition, Teams delivers on a platform of communication with productivity solutions, app catalog, and a customizable app platform, enhanced by the Viva employee experience for engagement.
The out-of-the-box features really put it in a great position to show a wealth of rich collaboration and communication features that not only blow away the competition but set up teams for modern team work. The Office online productivity suite that’s built into Microsoft 365 snaps right into teams seamlessly, even better than native SharePoint.
Next, the app platform is a gold mine for hundreds of first- and third-party apps with rich integration from the likes of Salesforce and ServiceNow, and so much more. The pure scale and repeatability of business solution building starts with templating from the new Microsoft Lists app in Teams (which is SharePoint under the hood. You’ve got templates in Teams itself for taking your best practices in your tabs, apps, and channels structures, and then rich extensibility expends seemingly, endlessly, with the Power Platform of development tools from the likes of Power Automate and Power Automate desktop for workflow, and don’t forget the connectors from hundreds of repositories and line of business applications. Seriously… What can’t you connect or automate and streamline now? Power Apps are the low-code, no-code powerhouse of app building and construction for mobile, desktop and cloud construction of solutions that really span worlds. Bring Power BI for charting and reporting right into your Teams workspace channels, tabs and feeds along with Power Virtual Agents for construction of chat bots. Let’s not forget the star of the show…Viva!
The new Viva killer apps from Viva Connections, the plumbing for bringing the latest and greatest investments from Microsoft and your intranet on SharePoint into Teams. The new SharePoint and Teams app bar incorporates the intranet and employee experience of Hubs and introduces a more integrated SharePoint experience in Teams all with a PowerShell script, a roadmap and a price that’s sure to please.
It’s time to get serious about your information architecture from Hubs along with your terms and topics to support Viva Topics and SharePoint Syntex, which bring knowledge and expertise to search and the Topic Center to Teams. Viva Learning brings an enterprise of just-in-time learning management into an integrated platform in Teams. Microsoft learning and skilling in any Team can be shared in the channels. Recommended, smaller bits of learning and courseware can be integrated daily rather than force feeding.
Viva Insights rounds out the most recent, but please don’t count it as the last as we are already being promised more, rich engaging Microsoft employee experiences. Viva Insights app provides the individual information on productivity and well-being, and based on a large enough organization, it can provide a comprehensive anonymized look at large teams, groups and divisions, with productivity recommendations for the organization. You may be surprised! Maybe you haven’t been taking enough breaks or 45-minute meetings may be better, as meetings aren’t starting on time.
Teams as a Platform has been enhanced with the Viva employee experience, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to get your enterprise communication and collaboration platform in order! Where is that architect anyway? Some may find that they had oversight and guidance during an intranet release and deployment, but this VIVA wave is a fantastic time to revisit the employee experience of your M365 solution as an integrated whole for your employees. Seriously DO NOT take Viva as simply a short sighted set of products that don’t relate to your enterprise. These are killer apps that are purposefully built to engage, connect, skill up, and provide the glue, the stickiness and delight, but not by pressing the setup button… they do need thought, planning, and consideration for your industry, your architecture, your world.
Many intranets may not be modern, communications and news focused, or hierarchical with information Hubs. It is time for a health check to evaluate employee engagement in context of the new solutions. The Viva enhancement (especially Connections and Topics) is not be ignored, as it is really an upgrade to SharePoint and Teams. Now is the time to look at this release as the upgrade we’ve all been waiting for and not as another off-the-shelf feature. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on a long, overdue employee-first strategy.
Join host Valo Solutions for an information webinar on July 29, 2021. Valo is a Microsoft gold solutions partner and provides complete solutions for turnkey, modern intranets, extranets, connections and engagement platforms for Teams and SharePoint solution management along with many products to fill in the gaps.
Wanting to learn more about Teams as Platform or how Viva enhances the employee experience providing rich engagement, connection and insights? Join me in an upcoming webinar hosted by Valo:
Join the upcoming webinar
Valo Solutions, the host for this 07/29 Information Webinar, registration below, is a gold solutions partner to Microsoft providing many offerings related to, not only, filling gaps, but complete solutions, for turn-key modern intranets, extranets, connections, and engagement platforms for Teams and SharePoint solution management.
It is time for this core essential strategy and awareness to kick-off! It is fundamental for corporate communication, intranet teams, extranet solutions, marcom, and Human Resources, to get on board with this latest wave of Teams as a Platform and the Viva Enhanced Employee Experience… all in a platform you invested in long ago.
Join me, Joel Oleson for an information Webinar on this Topic and More! If you liked what you saw here and want more… You can join me on a Webinar where I will dig into Viva Enhanced, Teams As A Platform.
Webinar: Viva Enhanced, “Teams As A Platform”
Date: July 29th, 2021 at 10 am or 1 pm (Pacific Time)
More information and topic summary here, with two session coverage options to choose.
What are you waiting for? Join us already! We can’t wait to see you there!
It’s time to kick off this core essential strategy and awareness that is fundamental for corporate communication, intranet teams, extranet solutions, marcom, and human resources to get on board with this latest wave of Teams-as-a-Platform and the Viva-enhanced employee experience, all in all a platform you have invested your enterprise employee experience and modern teamwork.
If you feel inspired by any of the infographics in this post feel free to share them or use them in your presentations both in and outside your company.
With the recent announcement of 145 million daily active users for Microsoft Teams it’s not surprising to hear call quality troubleshooting, and Teams performance issues are top of mind for everyone. When Microsoft has an outage it makes the news and it’s a big deal, but not all issues are Microsoft related and even that it often takes Microsoft 30 minutes to scope the issue and do their own root cause analysis. With the recent push for flexible work schedules, increased working from home, from literally anywhere the emphasis and need for IT to quickly address quality issues has never been more important, but also never been more complex. According to Call Quality Data millions of signals from Teams users, “90% of Teams performance issues are NOT Microsoft related.” In fact, most happen with the client machine including CPU, Memory, and at home or with the local internet service provider.
When troubleshooting Teams support issues, don’t jump to conclusions. It’s important to break down the data and look closely into the 4Ws…
When Every Minute Counts: (Who, What, When, Where, Why, Which and How?)
When tickets start to come in, you need to quickly qualify the issue to determine the best course of action.
Who are the users impacted?
What workloads are affected?
When did it start?
Where are the bottlenecks?
Why did this outage occur?
Which team is responsible?
How are the lines of business affected?
It typically takes between 30 minutes to an hour for Microsoft to send a notification to its users indicating that there is an outage occurring. So, what do you do during this time? Will your entire company wait for a confirmation tweet from Microsoft before taking any action?
Martello’s DEM Solutions for Microsoft 365 Can Help
Martello’s Digital Experience Monitoring (DEM) solution for Microsoft 365 helps organizations to qualify any service issues they have in minutes, allowing them to identify where the problem comes from, what is affected, where, and who is really experiencing its effects.
Martello gathers data from your existing monitoring tool and correlates them into a Microsoft service delivery map to quickly pinpoint the root cause of the issue.
These are key Metrics Microsoft Teams Metrics:
From a general point of view, to reach these targets you should make sure that:
Being able to quickly determine if home LAN or egress including local network components, your VPN, as well as ISPs are to blame is beyond what most IT organizations have access to, otherwise they are blind in a situation like this waiting for complete Call Quality Dashboard reports that often miss individual call quality data impact on the client itself.
Lay the Foundation
Martello DEM has just helped you to considerably reduce the impact of the Microsoft outage by allowing you to identify, qualify, understand and take decisive actions before any official announcement of the problem.
As the problem is solved, Martello shows you in real-time that the performance is improving, and you know again beforehand that the service is about to be restored.
Martello provides the following:
Don’t wait for the next outage to start laying the foundation for an exceptional Microsoft user experience. The time to act is now.
Want to improve your monitoring? Start with looking at this Microsoft Teams performance guide that describes the 8 metrics you need to be measuring. It also outlines Microsoft’s best practices and more “actionable nuggets” from Martello dashboards so you can improve your Teams user experience. Martello helps you identifying where the problem comes from, what is affected, where, and who is really experiencing its effects.
It’s hard to put to words what Microsoft 365 Virtual Marathon as an experience was for me and many others. I’m sure everyone had a different experience, but what started not this year but last year at the beginning of the pandemic brought a great need to find a way to help the community find connection through technology. Last year it was pushing Microsoft Teams Live events to host an event that brought so many of us together. This year, a year later it was the evolution of Teams Meetings leveraging the community tenant, using Presenter mode, videos on Together Mode, attendee, Microsoft Teams.
I’m happy to share a number of statistics in the spirit of transparency. Only just a few short weeks ago there was a plea for less virtual events. I know and realize many are exhausted of virtual events. So many of these events and there’s already fatigue. How and why would we possibly run a 60 hour event? We had 5150 wonderful attendees register for event with over 20,000 express interest. When we started this was to meet a need and we’ve evolved the event to focus on the purpose of “By the Community For the Community.” Last year we were able to help out sponsors who were looking for help with the transition to virtual from a number of failed events. This year we decided we wouldn’t focus on money and instead focus on any sponsor money would go toward marketing the event and getting the word out. None of the Executive Producers pocketed a dime from this event.
My proudest moment of the event was seeing just how far the reach went. As a traveler I was super excited to see in our attendee reports that we had over 115 countries represented across our attendees. Japan really took on the vision of the event as the #2 position with Mexico, Canada, Germany and India all with over 200 attendees. It was the fact we had participants joining from Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Maldives and Faroe Islands helped us realize we truly are a global community.
We learned a number of things running an event of this size… here are a few of my key takeaways:
One of the more interesting things about an event like this where you have hundreds of MVPs and community leaders providing sessions is the variety of sessions. Getting over 100 power user, end user, business level sessions as the largest topic is very powerful. Often the Microsoft focused events focus exclusively on Admins or Developers. Finding sessions focused on the users and power users are harder to find.
I was also pleased to see from an attendee perspective that the technologies they were most interested in were all of them. Right at around half of all attendees checked all the boxes when given a choice between individual technology focus. There’s a lot of interest in Teams right now and that’s totally understandable. I was also excited to see the panels and diversity and inclusion topics have gained a lot of momentum in the past few months. We have encouraged more panels and think those can reduce the online exhaustion. Our AltSpaceVR community sessions still have a long way to go, but one session on mixed reality was conducted in VR and while we had a dozen or so attendees, it was a great start at doing more community events in mixed reality with an even more immersive experience.
The session recordings that were allowed will be posted to the Virtual Marathon Youtube account at http://bit.ly/M365VMVideos the best way to get info on the recording availability is to subscribe.
Thanks so much for attending. We couldn’t have done this without you! We hope you will plan to join us next year… Will there be a next one? Yes, this event is not like other virtual events that are simply virtual due to COVID. We plan to keep up the tradition of getting the global community together once a year and we hope the interest continues… see you next year on May 4, 2022!
We Love Microsoft Teams, But We Hate Call Quality Troubleshooting!
Every IT admin has been in this fretful situation at least once. The solution or platform they support is broken and failing. They want to research what is causing the issue so they can get it fixed quickly. But they need the detailed information to do the troubleshooting and find the root cause. There in lies the challenge when it comes to troubleshooting call quality issues for Teams. Getting to the root cause fast often means getting to the data otherwise you’ll end up pointing fingers saying… It’s not me.
Microsoft Teams has quickly surpassed all other enterprise tools to become the heartbeat of the enterprise. Combining communication and collaboration in one tool puts all our energy and focus on a single tool to get work done. But what happens when calls start dropping for Executives, or meetings are garbled with audio that sounds like a robot voice? Call quality is essential, and no one wants to wait around to hear excuses from IT.
When Teams call quality gets jittery, fingers start getting pointed and you aren’t sure if it’s Microsoft, or the Network, the ISP, the client device? You need answers FAST!
The folks at panagenda know this story well. They have been helping customers quickly isolate and identify the issues with IT collaboration platforms for years. And there are a lot of moving parts involved in the end-to-end voice traffic for Teams. Having full visibility into the complete experience from the user perspective is the key. Any given hop could contain answers as to why you’re having call quality issues and having the accurate data to quickly pinpoints the smoking gun will help remediate the issue fast!
Some examples of issues that cause call quality problems …
I’m excited to announce an upcoming webinar hosted by panagenda where we will deep dive into troubleshooting Microsoft Teams Voice Call Quality. We’ll also get a close look at their OfficeExpert End Point Monitoring solution and see how it makes troubleshooting fast and easy for IT support teams.
WHEN? MAY 6TH, 2021 at 1PM (EDT) | 12PM (CDT) | 10AM (PDT)
IT administration and support has shifted their focus over the past few years – USER experience is CRUCIAL. Enterprise organizations are looking for ways to improve usage and adoption for technologies at the heart of digital adoption, especially Microsoft Teams for calls and meetings. This has prompted IT support groups to find better methods to track and identify quality issues, especially for users working remotely.
Traditional network monitoring tools are optimized for data centers and centralized office locations where employees would access SaaS cloud applications from the corporate infrastructure. These tools no longer work in today’s enterprise landscape with many users working from home. Instead, enterprises need a holistic monitoring tool that provides end-to-end visibility into the employee experience, regardless of where they are working.
In this webinar, you will receive an introduction to OfficeExpert Endpoint Performance Monitoring (EPM). This new module provides data analytics for Microsoft 365 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 escalations from an executive.
During the webinar demonstration you will explore topics that include:
Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of this timely information.