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Viva at Ignite: Microsoft Makes Platform Available for Purchase, Touts Partner Apps

Microsoft announced several updates to its Viva "employee experience platform" during this week's Ignite conference, including expanded support for partner applications.

First announced in February, Viva combines capabilities from Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 into a suite of apps designed to improve employee, manager and HR experiences, especially in remote-work environments. Currently, there are four Viva applications:

  • Viva Connections: News feed and content sharing
  • Viva Insights: Employee time management
  • Viva Learning: Employee-accessible learning libraries
  • Viva Topics: For surfacing information within organizations

Viva Apps Availability
On Tuesday at Ignite, Microsoft announced that the Viva suite, consisting of these four apps, is now generally available to be purchased.

"Today, we are excited to announce that all four Viva modules...are now generally available and with the purchase of just one plan, the new Viva suite, you have access to all of them," wrote Microsoft 365 General Manager Seth Patton in a blog post.

Microsoft is currently offering promotional pricing of $9 per user per month for the full Viva suite. The promotion will last until August 2022, according to Patton.

As previously reported, a fifth Viva application based on technology from Ally.io, a player in the objectives and key results (OKR) space that Microsoft acquired last month, is in the works. Those who purchase the Viva suite during the promotional period will automatically get access to the Ally.io-powered app when it's released at no extra cost.

Partner Integrations
Microsoft also announced at Ignite new support for partner apps in in Viva. "This ease of integration will help expand the discoverability and use of your existing systems and tools as well as engage your employees with even richer Viva experiences," wrote Microsoft's Geeta Ramakrishnan in a separate blog post.

Partner apps that are now generally available for use with Viva include: SAP SuccessFactors, Cornerstone OnDemand, Saba, Coursera, Skillsoft, Pluralsight, edX, Udemy, Go1, Infosec, Josh Bersin Academy, Qualtrics, ServiceNow, UKG, Talentsoft, StandOut by ADP, Adobe Sign, Moveworks, Lifeworks, Limeade, Tribute, Blue Yonder, Zebra-Reflexis, Headspace, Qualtrics and Glint.

The following partner apps will be generally available in January 2022: Udacity, Harvard Business Review, OpenSesame, EdCast, Workday, DocuSign and Espressive.  

To help more partners build apps around Viva, Microsoft says it plans to release toolkits and APIs for each of the modules throughout 2022 (though the Viva Connections toolkit is apparently available now).

App Updates
A few planned updates to two Viva applications, Insights and Topics, were described during Ignite.

The Topics app will receive the following updates "in the coming months":

  • The ability to source data from Yammer communities and Outlook e-mails.
  • A "concierge service" for questions.
  • More topic management capabilities.
  • French, German and Spanish language support.
  • Integration with Microsoft's U.S. Government Community Cloud.

The Insights app, meanwhile, will get meeting-related improvements "in the coming months," including suggestions and tools to improve "meeting habits." By the end of November, users will also get access to mindfulness tools via the aforementioned Headspace partner app integration, as well as suggestions for how managers can "improve personal habits."

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editor of Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and AWSInsider.net, and the editorial director of Converge360.

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