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Microsoft Viva Connections brings the intranet into Teams

1.10.2021

Microsoft Viva Connections brings your intranet inside Microsoft Teams as an integral part of your collaboration and productivity platform. Read tips on how to set up the Viva Connections desktop application. This article has been updated October 1st 2021 after the release of Viva Connections (Preview).

By clicking an icon in Teams app bar, employees navigate directly to intranet home page defined by the organization. Each user may install the app for themselves or it may be pre-installed for everyone, by the organization.

From their intranet users can find news of their interest and content relevant to their work, such as guidelines, company presentations and policies. All necessary resources readily available to employees.

Streamline internal communication on your intranet directly in Teams

Even the users who strictly prefer Teams will find their way and feel welcome to intranet resources with Viva Connections.

Viva Connections app in Teams
  1. Make important content available effortlessly
    • Viva Connections provides resource links, either global navigation or site navigation links of the intranet home site, that can be configured in SharePoint.
    • Global navigation links can be customized according to target groups, in which case the content is displayed to a specific group of users. In this case, SharePoint’s user group-specific targeting settings also apply in Teams.
    • In addition, the application displays personified content, namely news, Yammer posts and Stream video links, based on recommendations by Microsoft 365 algorithms. These recommendations are not editable. Read more about recommendations in my article on Delve.
  2. Leverage intranet resources in Teams
    • Browse content such as guidelines, company presentations, policies, and other modern SharePoint pages and sites that support your work, in Teams
    • With all intranet content just a few clicks away from Teams, finding information does not require a shift of context nor is your work flow disturbed.
  3. Search for information, documents and experts in Teams
    • Using Microsoft Search it is to find and make use of information and expertise of your colleagues.
  4. Share content and collaborate effortlessly
    • The top of a SharePoint page dynamically displays subject and topic-related tools that help users work together, e.g. by sharing pages and documents.
    • With these tools you can start to follow a site or open the page in browser as well.
Documents in Microsoft Search results

How do I enable Viva Connections in my organization when I am not a Microsoft 365 user?

If your organization does not already have Microsoft 365 cloud services for time, place, and device-independent work, here’s how to get started:

  • Update document management to SharePoint Online
    • Improve the discoverability and availability of information in your organization by accessing content, applications, and other resources that are important and relevant to everyone’s work.
    • Work seamlessly with colleagues with Office 365 programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Online
  • Set up an intranet utilizing SharePoint Communication Sites, Hub site and SharePoint home site by following detailed information later in this article.
    • Modern SharePoint sites and communications sites can be viewed as intranet content using Viva Connections
  • Create Yammer communities
    • Help people find each other and group their resources to ensure smooth collaboration.

How do I enable Viva Connections in my organization as a Microsoft 365 user?

If your organization has Microsoft 365 license already, installing the Microsoft Viva Connections desktop application is not difficult.

  • Define a SharePoint Home site for the intranet home page displayed by Viva Connections in SharePoint Administrator role with PowerShell
    • The default page opens whenever the user accesses Viva Connections in Teams
    • Defining SharePoint Home site will be available in SharePoint admin portal later in the fall of 2021
  • Enable global navigation and specify navigation links as the owner of the SharePoint site a
  • Allow Viva Connections (Preview) app in Microsoft Teams admin center
  • Update content and links on Viva Dashboard page automatically created in the contents of your Home site
  • Manage Viva Connections and make it the default application in Teams
    • After completing the previous step, the desktop application will be available to all Teams users
    • You can manage the application like any other application in the Microsoft Teams admin center and publish it to everyone or to selected Microsoft 365 groups with a Teams app setup policy
    • You can assign permissions to an application so that only certain user groups can find the application in the Teams application directory.

Boost intranet use with Microsoft Viva Connections

Viva Connections allows employees a new kind of work experience that combines personalized news and content recommendations, as well as powerful search features to find information and experts easily and quickly.

Microsoft Viva Connections will now be available as a public preview version for desktop and mobile. While writing this, no tablet version is available yet, but most likely will be some time soon, as will the general availability (GA) version of Viva Connections.

Viva Connections (Preview) terms of use, valid until the release of GA version, come with zero surprises. Viva Connections (Preview) is not covered by Microsoft customer support. All features are provided “as-is” and customer Data provided to Microsoft through the use of Viva Connections (Preview) may be transferred, stored, and processed in the United States.

Viva Connections apps in desktop and mobile

Learn more about what Microsoft Viva is and its benefits in building an inclusive organizational culture that focuses on the balanced work and well-being of employees.

Henry Scheinin
Leading consultant, partner

Vilma Lindell
Consultant

Ask our experts for more information about Microsoft Viva deployment!

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