Viva Connections: Building a More Engaged Work Environment

Microsoft’s Viva Connections is one of four facets of the Microsoft Viva Suite along with Viva Insights, Viva Learnings, and Viva Topics. Viva connections, specifically, is an application that drills into the employee experience to enable connection and engagement like never before.

With remote and hybrid work settings becoming the norm, connecting your team and preventing isolation is more important than ever. Read on to learn more about how this powerful tool works and how you can implement it to better your organizations culture.

The Objective

Viva connections’ goal is oriented around (drum roll please) …keeping people connected! It does this by offering users a a personalized view of news, conversations and groups with the same applications and devices they already utilize in their day to day, giving your employees have everything they need to stay engaged.

This application also focuses on enabling team members to contribute their ideas easily and freely, to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. Not only are you sure to gather key insights from your team, but you can drill deeper into them with polls and surveys.

These features and capabilities are imperative tools that allow you to create a culture where everyone feels their voice is heard and build trust in a fun and easy way!

Furthermore, Viva Connections lets you curate your dashboards to provide fast and easy access to company resources, such as events, holidays, even health and wellness reminders! With Microsoft Viva Connections, you can have all the benefits of a remote workspace, while still maintaining that ‘togetherness’ feeling of an in-office setting.

Primary Benefits

  • Expands upon already existing Microsoft capabilities to help you specifically target the growth of your company even in a remote setting.
  • Deliver information to team members on desktop and mobile devices.
  • Curate content and tools that best fit your team’s needs.

What Makes Connections Different?

Viva Connections amalgamates content from Microsoft 365 services like SharePoint, Teams, Yammer and more—into a fully-integrated and personalized, singular view for every employee. You can even integrate Viva Connections with other services such as stocks, weather forecasts, and vacation/ holiday schedules to boost engagement beyond Microsoft 365 content.

What ultimately sets Viva Connections apart from other engagement platforms is how customizable and scalable the service is. With Viva Connections, you can build your apps for specific objectives (as needed) and continue to personalize content to improve users’ overall experience as your company grows!

What all is Included?

Viva Connections combines the power of your SharePoint intranet with Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Stream, and other Microsoft 365 applications to allow companies to create and display more intentional content for their employees. These functionalities are delivered through three primary aspects of the application: Dashboard, Feed, and Resources.

Dashboard

As we mentioned, the Viva Connections Dashboard lets you to create a customized experience with Dashboard cards that give your employee's access to the most useful content, tools, and task lists for them. It is essentially a digital toolbelt for your team that allows you to pick the best resources for your current needs -- and change them out as you grow and evolve.

Feed

The Feed on Viva Connections allows users to connect from a tailored view and explore important announcements and relevant information -- and join in on conversations throughout the organization. You can optimize your Feed by delivering SharePoint and Yammer communities together.

Resources

Resources are the navigational links that are set up and customized in the SharePoint app bar from the home site. These resources will get displayed on both the desktop and mobile instances of Viva Connections.

In the mobile app, users can view resources by selecting the Resources tab. This type of functioning provides users with a familiar navigation structure and allows them to open sites, pages, news, and more—right from their mobile devices.

How to Increase Engagement with Viva Connections

It’s no secret that better engagement leads to higher creativity and productivity. However, a huge challenge for businesses in the remote era we find ourselves in, is developing a culture where that kind of engagement flourishes.

What we (and obviously, Microsoft), have found, is that by connecting and unifying your employee’s, you can build that spectacular culture and enthusiasm in your workplace. Viva Connections allows you to do just that in following ways:

  1. Personalize

Delivering a modern, custom experience by pushing relevant content, information, and resources to your users in one place, enables a more purposeful way for your team to engage.

  1. Simplify

Personalizing your engagement platform not only makes the experience more tailored to your team members, but it also makes it easier for them. By customizing the dashboard to your preferred settings for navigation, appearance, and etcetera… you can simplify and therefore streamline communication throughout the application.

  1. Target

Keep your eyes on the prize, so-to-speak. If your goal is to build connection and unity within your company, then you need to get involved with resources that are built to specifically target that.

Ultimately, finding an application or tool that fits your teams’ specific needs for improved connection can be a major step to reaching your engagement goals.

How to Implement

Viva Connections integrates seamlessly into with Microsoft Teams where users will be able to access it. Your organization can easily deploy Viva Connections by building onto existing capabilities in Microsoft 365. Click here and let us help you and your team adopt viva connections today!

outsourced IT during an economic downturn blog feature image depicting happy call center workers.

Outsourced IT: Maintaining Growth During Economic Downturn

Since the pandemic began in 2020, businesses have faced one financial strain after another. The economic state we’ve found ourselves today has certainly raised concerns. Although we are not currently in a recession -- most experts agree that we may be heading for one in the following year.

That being said, no one can really predict the future – especially not when it comes to economics. However, we can prepare for it. Regardless of what is thrown your way, rest assured that there are tools and resources that can help you can tighten the financial belt while also increasing revenue.

One key area of opportunity is in your very own IT infrastructure! In fact, there are many ways that you can leverage and optimize IT assets for growth, even during economic downturns.

Reduce Costs

Reducing costs are important for an onslaught of obvious reasons, but you may be surprised to find just how much an outsourced IT infrastructure fit can help your company’s cost-reduction.

Having fully staffed senior expertise in-house can be expensive. By outsourcing, you can provide your team and clients with the support of knowledgeable IT professionals at an affordable price. You can even find a plan that is customized to your business’s specific needs – learn more here!

Leveraging a quality MSP is not only a wise-investment in-and-of itself, but the money you save by making this calculated switch is then free to be invested further into revenue-building initiatives. More on than below.

Maintain and Increase Revenue

As we mentioned, saving money by utilizing external IT will allow you to re-invest that money into your revenue operations. But furthermore, by putting necessary but mundane tasks into the hands of outsourced IT support, you and your team are free to build upon key strategic ideas to bring in even more (you guessed it) revenue.

This makes outsourced IT a wise investment of both time and money, and only enables your company more access to resources that will allow it to thrive in any climate. Not to mention, you’ll be advancing your customer service during a time-period where nurturing long-term business relations is especially crucial.

With a quality MSP, you’ll still be able to meet your IT needs and while also satisfying the needs of your customers. Quality IT technicians with excellent customer support are a critical part of maintaining the business of clients.

It is important to note that where you outsource to is a critical part of your success. International IT companies are notoriously unsatisfactory for callers. Likewise, a spread-thin in-house IT team simply won’t be able to meet the demanding needs of customers.

That is why we encourage you to look for companies who can offer 24/7*365 support on a national level. This quality service allows you to really boost your position in the eyes of clients, form those lasting relations, and reap in new business via word-to-mouth marketing from satisfied clients.

Protect Data During Vulnerable Times

Not only does having the support of an MSP allow you to capitalize on areas of opportunity, but it also ensures that your key data is protected. It’s no secret that hackers are increasing their attacks daily, and they know that economic stress leaves companies vulnerable and spread thin.

Thriving though economic decline makes maintaining security, compliance, data protection all-the-more important. This can be achieved with a pro-active IT management approach when you leverage the support of outsourced IT experts.

In short, working with an MSP will enable to you focus on the important strategic decisions while also ensuring your data is secured.

In conclusion, as we go forward into the economic unknown of 2023 considering IT outsourcing can give you a leg up in the game. The right managed service provider can allow you to reduce costs, increase revenue, and keep that precious data protected in even the most tumultuous climate.

Also do keep in mind that even outside of economic crisis these benefits remain true for clients that utilize an MSP.Outsourced IT Service blog featured image depicting group of helpdesk workers at their desks.

“Our switch to Managed Solution was like a breath of fresh air. They carefully and competently analyzed our entire ecosystem and suggested changes (not one option, but multiple) to better our systems. There were a number of cost efficiencies put into place…”– Jeffrey G. Penta, CEO, San Diego Eye Bank”

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