09.11.2022

New intranet world with Viva Connections

Entire company in the palm of your hand.

Remote and hybrid work have become an integral part of our everyday lives. This shift has made it even more important to give employees a central place to go for news, content, services, and interesting conversations. Whether they are working from home or a co-working space, the train or the office, everyone should have the opportunity to feel included and heard. 

The intranet plays a key role in this. As a company’s shared gathering space, the intranet brings people, content, and applications together, so it is growing more and more important. But is a “classic” intranet, in a stationary desktop version and with the features currently available, still satisfactory? 

 

A nice intranet is no longer enough: employee experience counts

My colleague Martin Weinhardt has written a post titled “Put employees first!” about the new needs – or the needs that have finally been taken seriously – of employees, the overarching relevance of the employee experience, and the possibilities opened up by Microsoft Viva. 

The standards that apply to an intranet presence have changed as well, as our customers can confirm. It used to be that an organization's intranet could be said to fulfill its purpose simply by having a corporate design that aligned with the corporate identity, but these days, users are more discerning about what the intranet should do. There is a clear desire for communication, personalized content, and harmonized applications. 

  • The goal of corporate communications is to supply employees with company information appropriate to the specific target group – and most especially, to do this quickly and easily, wherever employees may be. 
  • HR’s aim is to reach employees with a full range of services via a corporate campus and further digitalize processes.  
  • An IT department focuses on consolidating applications and enabling IT structures and processes across various devices from anywhere. 
  • Frontline workers increasingly want to connect with the company through digital channels. 
     

For many companies, the next step is making the intranet an integral element of their steadily growing digital workplace and also putting it on employees’ mobile devices via an app as part of the rollout of Teams. And that is a necessary step toward a positive employee experience! 

 

The smart solution: Viva Connections

Viva Connections makes it possible to fully integrate SharePoint online home sites into Microsoft Teams and brings together resources for efficient work, news, and conversations all in one spot. That is already a big step in itself: everything is presented in a single view, with no hopping between applications needed! Additional functions are available via the three main components – the dashboard, feed, and resources. All three components are adjusted between desktop and mobile devices but are displayed consistently. And even the corporate design doesn't fall by the wayside with the mobile version as the Teams app can be branded. 

This means Connections has now finally made it possible to integrate existing intranet functionalities into a mobile environment. The main objective is for all users to be able to consume the same services conveniently and feel that they are part of the team thanks to Connections. This is a plus for the corporate culture.  

The functions of Viva Connections:   

  • Connections offers a dashboard, which can be expanded into a small “ecosystem” in its own right, with numerous options. It provides practically all the necessary interfaces with apps and bots. The dashboard uses dynamic tiles that employees can use to go to the vacation request form or the IT help desk, for example.  
  • The connections feed has a range of powerful functions that allow it to supply information for certain groups of people at the right time. It compiles content gleaned from Yammer, SharePoint news, and Stream to display a feed that is both personalized and steered by the corporate communications team (targeting takes place at the level of the groups to which the employees are assigned or subscribe).  
  • Thanks to resources, the global navigation is used to serve the intranet on a one-to-one basis in the mobile view, with no need for the parallel structure that used to be required for this.  

 

Simply think ahead and do

These options open up a whole range of possibilities for applications – not only for employees who work at a desk, whether that is in the office or at home, but also and especially for those on the floor or in the field, who don’t have a desktop computer and can now have an app experience in their hand. Martin Weinhardt will discuss the importance of Viva for this group of employees in the next blog post. 

Viva Connections dashboard
Viva Connections dashboard in mobile view
Viva Connections news feed
Viva Connections news feed
Viva Connections ressources
Viva Connections ressources in mobile view

Author

Daniela Kruse-Reinemann

Daniela Kruse-Reinemann

Managing Consultant