Viva Insights Ways of Working Assessment



Viva Insights is a powerful workplace analytics tool that provides organisations the ability to better understand their collaboration culture and employee engagement. The service provides different levels of reporting including personal, manager, leader and analyst views. The personal, manager and leader dashboards are surfaced in Microsoft Teams as an App experience.

One key point to note is that at all times an individual’s identity is protected and any insights provided are designed to ensure the anonymity of employees. The details of how this is achieved can be found in the privacy and data protection section of the product documentation.

From an analyst’s perspective a good place to start looking at the general collaboration “health” of the company is via the Ways of Working Power BI template. This is one of the 8 predefined dashboards that ships with Viva Insights. An analyst can also generate custom queries, review business processes and create remedial plans.

The short video below shows how to create a Ways of Working Assessment and begin using it to drill down into the organisation’s collaboration behaviour.

Viva Connections Dashboard Introduction



The Viva Connections Dashboard feature, which at the time of writing has just gone into public preview, allows you to present adaptive cards to groups of end users within SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.

The video below provides a quick introduction to the new Dashboard and highlights some of the “out of the box” cards an admin can easily create. Fully customised cards can be coded using SharePoint Framework 1.13, which supports ACE (Adaptive Card Extensions).

Note: ACE is not covered in the video.

Note: For a deeper dive in to Viva Connections Adaptive cards check out this excellent video presented by Microsoft engineering.

Viva Topics 101



Viva Topics leverages AI services from the Microsoft Cloud to pull together and surface knowledge for users to quickly and easily consume. More details on how Topics are discovered and curated can be found in the Microsoft Documentation. When a user navigates through Modern SharePoint pages or types a relevant query into Microsoft Search they are presented with a Topic Card that provides a summary for the specific subject the Topic covers. The end users simply view the details to dive deeper.

So what about security? The key point to know is that Viva Topics complies with an organisation’s Microsoft 365 security settings so that end users will only ever see content they already have permission to access. More details can be found in the Security and Privacy chapter of the docs.

Clear as mud? To help, I’ve created this 4 minute video to provide a concise overview of some of the main components of Topics and highlight where the cards are currently presented. Over time Topic Cards will start to appear across Microsoft 365 services such as Teams. There are also plans to link Topics to 3rd party content using Graph Connectors and future APIs will allow for new custom use cases.

If you want to access some free training on Viva Topics check out the modules on Microsoft Learn.

Viva Connections for Microsoft Teams Desktop



Viva Connections provides a company branded home page experience that can be surfaced directly within Microsoft Teams as a personal App. Some of the aims of Viva Connections are to keep an organisation connected, provide an easy way to allow people to contribute and allow the company to come together. In its current iteration Viva Connections is available for Microsoft Teams Desktops, although the mobile experience has been announced and should be available in the near future.

If you review the Viva Connections Resource Centre you can get a glimpse of the mobile version of Connections as well as the custom dashboard experience that’s planned.

I created the following 4 minute video to demonstrate the “nuts and bolts” of Viva Connection as it exists today (May 2021). I’ll reference this blog as a starting point in future posts as Connections evolves.

Note: You can learn more about Viva Connections from the Microsoft Documentation.

Syntex Forms Processing & Power Automate



I’ve jut started to look at Viva so I can help Microsoft Partners build practices and solutions. As you are probably area Syntex is one of the underlying components. I put together this demonstration to run through the Form Processing model creation process. I also triggered a Power Automate flow to perform additional processing using some of the outputs from my model.

To keep things real I used my own quote form I built using a standard Microsoft Word template. It has a straight forward format but as I was building my first model I decided not to over complicate things. I also triggered a Power Automate flow after the AI analysis had completed to prove I could do something useful with the results.

Check out this video to see what I built.

Note: you can find more information on Syntex in the Microsoft Documentation.