Business Cases for Viva Connections

As announced in September at Microsoft IGNITE, Microsoft Viva Connections will have new capabilities including Viva home. This new Viva home experience will surface all the Viva modules you’re licensed for, all the adaptive cards you’ve added to your dashboard, Yammer conversations, SharePoint news and navigation through the SharePoint app bar, frequent sites, and followed sites etc. One of the best parts is that all of this will be accessible through Microsoft Teams with minimal configuration. Viva home is an excellent place to begin your intranet journey, especially if you have had not had the time or skill set to make a SharePoint Communication Site to centralize your content across the tenant.

This new Viva home is a great starting place for your intranet. There are some amazing out-of-the-box dashboard capabilities as well as low-code to pro-code options to further customize this experience. We’d like to highlight two of our favorite out-of-the-box cards available on this homepage. The first is the Weblink card. You can use either the medium or large size and it functions with an internal or external link. You can further customize the card via a new title, description, and imagery of your choice. This gives you the ability to add internal or external links to your intranet. Create a central place for your colleagues to get to all they need to do, whether it is inside or outside of Microsoft 365.

Another card we find extremely helpful is the Assigned Tasks card. It’ll roll up all your tasks across To Do and Planner so it is immediately helpful as soon as you add it to your dashboard. Therefore, with minimal configuration, you can create a centralized location for content across your environment.

Viva home is also extremely powerful on mobile. We like to think of it essentially as a fancier version of the SharePoint start page surfaced in Teams. Now that we have explored all of the out of the box options, let’s see how you can extend this dashboard and make a new custom solution for your organization.

Extending Adaptive Cards

There are a few different methods and moving parts that can be used to customize and extend the dashboard. You can use the adaptive card framework for the front-end user interface. However, this is only useful for static data. If you want to customize beyond the front end, you can use the SharePoint framework (SPFx) for dynamic content populated into the adaptive cards. The sky then becomes the limit as you can build a custom API that can then be accessed on the client side. These solutions will work across browsers and devices regardless of if you have an android, iPhone, or desktop. Also, they are effective in SharePoint, Teams desktop, and Teams Mobile maintaining the same user interface throughout. This reduces your efforts in training as you offer the same action consistently across interfaces in Microsoft 365.

One main thing to keep in mind is that at the moment, you can only have one dashboard. The dashboard can only live in your SharePoint home site. Until multiple home sites are available, we can only have one dashboard across your organization. However, you can audience target the cards which is a great solution to customize this dashboard per user.

Use Case: Help Desk

Are you thinking to yourself - what is a use case? What is a practical application of this? We have you covered! We created an adaptive card extension on the Viva dashboard so you can see a real-life example.

The card we created is a help desk ticket. This allows users to create and submit a help desk ticket from anywhere and on any device. It also integrates to a backend system which could be anything with a web API that you can write into. In this solution, the goal was to go beyond the “create ticket” step and allow technicians to see and interact with the tickets on their end. In this solution, the technicians are able to see their tickets, report on them, and close them when they are finished. Also, due to the audience targeting capabilities, the cards can be surfaced so “Create Ticket” is available to everyone but “My Tickets” are only available to the technicians.

There are multiple other examples of where Viva Connections can be extremely helpful. For example, for mobile front-line workers. This will allow users to get their tasks immediately. For managing leads and sales teams you can keep a list of who you need to follow up with and quickly check off those tasks. Other uses include cases and claims for insurance, shipping and logistics, event registrations, inventory, and employee shifts. It can also be used to drive employee engagement through managing profiles, checking pay slips, praising colleagues and employee recognition, and highlighting time off and company holidays. Not only can you create these cards, but there are also a ton of custom cards created by third parties that are available for you.

The onset of Viva Connections and the ability to interface adaptive cards is super powerful. The introduction of Viva home offers a way to centralize content across your entire tenant with minimal configuration. These cards can be used in a variety of locations within your Microsoft365 account, and that consistency is a positive user experience. Having a centralized list of links and the ability to quickly connect to external systems with chosen images and titles helps connect all the different systems that your organization uses. Although we don’t have specific timelines for the launch of the new Viva home in 2023, keep an eye out on the updates from Microsoft.

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