Microsoft Viva Needs an Email TeamMate

February 10, 2021

Microsoft Viva Needs an Email TeamMate

Microsoft’s recent announcement of Microsoft Viva puts new focus on the daily experience of remote workers. “Viva is the first of Employee Experience Platform (EXP) built for the digital era,” says Seth Patton, General Manager, Microsoft 365 Next Gen Productivity & Employee Experience. Specifically, Viva is intended to help remote workers become more self-sufficient by using the following four new Teams modules: Insights, Learning, Topics, and Connections.

  • Insights is a dashboard that provides information about how people work and feel, including how teams are collaborating and who is in danger of burnout. It includes some intervention tools to prompt workers to take breaks and to meditate.
  • Learning is a hub through which employees discover training and other learning content in a single place. It integrates content from LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn, Skillsoft, Coursera, Pluralsight, edX, as well as from custom sources.
  • Topics is the next step in Microsoft’s Project Cortex journey, which is designed to organize information into terms that are familiar to workers. Cortex’s first step was SharePoint Syntex, which employs AI to extract topics from SharePoint documents and assign them as document metadata. In Viva, Topics “use AI to automatically organize company-wide content and expertise into relevant categories like ‘projects,’ ‘products,’ ‘processes,’ and ‘customers‘".
  • Connections is a personalized employee (SharePoint) portal accessed from Microsoft Teams. It surfaces individualized information from SharePoint, Yammer, and Streams. While the idea of a personalized portal is certainly not new, Viva’s special sauce is using AI and signals from the Microsoft Graph to present the most relevant and interesting content for each worker.

What’s the Big News?

Viva is an ambitious undertaking because it, for the first time, seeks to provide a single interface, using Teams. Through this interface, remote workers can access all the information they need in order to be productive, whether that information is contained in documents, solicited through collaboration with close team members, or is found by searching for expertise in the organization.

It is important to note that Viva is not only intended for ‘at home’ workers. It is also suited to serve workers in satellite offices and other remote locations, places from which people will work in the post-pandemic era, as organizations have realized significant cost savings and productivity gains by reducing commute time and centralized office space.

What’s Missing?

Viva will be a boon for internal collaboration as it helps workers focus by spending an increasing amount of time in a single app, Teams. But it won’t help the millions of remote workers to manage external parties, like customers, suppliers, and partners. Communications with external parties will continue to take place in email because email is the only universal standard for written communications that leaves both parties with a persistent record of all correspondence. As such, remote workers working in Teams who need help from colleagues to answer customer requests and inquiries, will need a way to pull important customer emails into Teams conversations.

Email TeamMate to the Rescue

Email TeamMate is just THAT app. Email TeamMate is the first Teams app that allows workers to get help from colleagues by bringing important customer emails into a Teams conversation, without leaving Teams. With Email TeamMate, a colleague can even answer a customer email directly, without leaving the conversation. Staying in the conversation is critical to remaining productive, as constant toggling between apps drains energy and lowers productivity.

Try Email TeamMate for free, today.

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