Viva la viva

I’m a bit slow on this but been catching up today with last week’s Microsoft Viva announcements. It seems I partly missed this as the posts, that I saw at least, had instead picked up more on Microsoft making a bold prediction that Black Mirror-esque creepiness is going to be mainstream employee experience in the future:

Anyway, away from that slightly odd video, here is a good introduction video to Viva:

Donald Taylor picked up on Josh Bersin’s good summary here:

Personally, my initial thought was – “oh, great, ANOTHER platform”. With a bit more digging, Viva is clearly a lot more interesting than I thought. MS are looking to put a layer over Teams, SharePoint, etc and surface (pardon the pun) to the user a more personalised work experience. Rather than building Teams out to do this, as I had previously presumed, we have a different model here. Huge potential for us to finally “put learning in the flow of work” and facilitate knowledge/information sharing in new ways. However, like with Teams, it will take organisational approaches to drive people to work in ways that make the data, information sharing, etc actually helpful.

No doubt there will be a considerable consultancy market here – especially considering the knots people seem to be able to get themselves into even with the existing stack of tools like the classic issue: “do I save this file in email, Teams, shared drive, Onedrive….?”.

It is particularly interesting that by charging extra for this, Microsoft are acknowledging this has considerable value add (or at least they think it does). This isn’t just another tweak to M365 based on new AI, an aquisition or other tech. This is something where they have pulled together different things into a clear new, priced, product.

For learning/HR pros this could be a major market shakeup – see the Bersin post for more on that. The partnerships with LMS/LXP companies, for example, threatens to create an API monopoly, i.e. there is a risk that traditional L&D vendors will only be able to sell to companies if they are in the Viva network. One suspects the monopoly and merger authorities on both sides of the Atlantic will be keeping an eye on this – as should all HR/L&D pros.

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