Welcome to the overview of the all-new Viva Connections experience. An innovative section of the Microsoft Teams app, this branded experience was developed with the aim of empowering both information and frontline workers by providing them the necessary tools and resources to remain well informed and engaged.
The app is built atop existing Microsoft 365 abilities including SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, and Stream. Released only a year ago, Viva Connections has entered its next phase as a resource for the ultimate employee experience and has become a home base for the Viva suite. Its new home experience significantly cuts down the time required to deliver workforce-centric experiences with help from easily customizable, rich default designs.
The current Viva Connections experience places your organization’s home site at the center, utilizing both the Feed and Dashboard web parts. This will remain accessible and is ideal for highly customized home sites. The associated mobile experience concentrates on Main Viva Connections components, which include the Dashboard, Feed, and Resources.
Enter the Dashboard. Acting as your employee’s digital toolset, this offers the tools your employees need in one easily accessible place, whether in the office or on-the-go.
The Feed delivers crucial updates to appropriate personnel at precisely the right moment and effectively integrates with Yammer, SharePoint news, and Stream to display a personalized feed based on the groups that employees are part of.
Resources is dedicated to enabling efficient navigation across platforms, leveraging navigation elements from the SharePoint app bar which can be audience-targeted. The new home experience being developed is intended to strongly resemble the improved version of the mobile experience, accentuating the Dashboard and Feed while offering additional navigational elements that highlight your home site and other experiences.
Users expressed the desire for a more straightforward setup process for the existing experience. Microsoft took that feedback on board and invested in a refreshed default experience that requires minimal setup from administrators and streamlined editing experience for content creators.
The new experience automatically integrates with existing home sites and any past configurations, including content created by independent software vendors and partners. If a home site is detected, it will clearly feature an icon and link in the top-right corner near other navigational elements to maintain visibility. These shared navigational elements aid in navigation between apps and the ability to return home.
The overall design of the new home experience prominently displays the Dashboard, Feed, and Resources in addition to navigational elements. The Dashboard now features content targeted towards various roles and regions, providing the tools necessary for daily workplace tasks. Similarly, the Feed automatically populates with content from SharePoint sites and Yammer communities that colleagues in your organization follow.
The Resources experience enables your organization to easily access popular portals and destinations. It can be accessed at the bottom of the home design or by selecting the icon from the home experience. Navigational links in Resources are the same set of links in the SharePoint global navigation.
Navigation elements connect to a SharePoint home site (should it be detected) and other experiences to create a smooth and integrated experience. Logos and labels will auto-populate based on your tenant's licenses. Home sites remain an essential part of the experience. Organizations with a home site will have the option to decide the best default landing experience.
Regarding customization, there will be opportunities to modify parts of the new experience. Initially, customers will have the option to change the banner image and will still be able to customize the app name and icon. The Dashboard will feature default cards requiring minimal configuration for first-time users.
Overall, this new experience reduces setup friction, easily delivering rich employee experiences in a native Teams app. For post-setup, all previous Dashboard content and settings will carry forward to the new design. Ultimately, the goal is a more seamless user experience.Read the full article Explore the New Viva Connections Experience - Your Ultimate Guide to Viva Modules
Viva Connections, an app encompassed within the Microsoft Teams platform, is designed to bolster the productivity of information and frontline workers through easy accessibility to critical resources. It’s built on multiple innate capabilities from the Microsoft 365 ecosystem which include SharePoint, Teams, Yammer, and Stream
Since its launch about a year ago, Viva Connections has been progressing into the next stage of delivering the ultimate employee experience. The new iteration significantly cuts down on the time it takes to craft worker-centric experiences, starting with pre-built rich designs for quick setup. The new home experience or an existing home site can be made the Viva Connections' default landing page.
The existing features of Viva Connections include a desktop experience tailored to your organization's homepage and utilizes the Feed and Dashboard web parts. This designed for home sites which are heavily customized, while the mobile experience centers on Dashboard, Feed, and Resources - the primary components of Viva Connections.
The new Viva Connections home experience mirrors an enhanced version of the mobile experience prominently featuring the Dashboard and Feed. It provides optional navigational elements displaying your home site and other Viva experiences. The Viva-related apps, line-of-business solutions, custom 3rd party integrations, and dynamic user content are accessible via the desktop and mobile experiences.
Feedback indicated the need for simplifying the setup process for the existing Viva Connections. To address this, effort has been invested in a new default experience which requires minimal setup from administrators besides a streamlined editing experience. These necessities are made easier by integrating with existing home sites and any previous configurations for Viva Connections, including content created by partners and independent software vendors.
For accessing the new home experience, all that’s needed is a SharePoint license. This can be acquired with a Microsoft 365 enterprise license or Microsoft 365 for frontline workers. To make the app easily available for organization members, it can be automatically pinned after searching for it in the Teams app store.
The all-new home experience design displays the Dashboard, Feed, Resources, and navigation elements. If setting up for the first time, the home design will feature default Dashboard cards that require minimal setup. Conversely, the Feed is automatically populated with content and does not require any setup. The Resources experience aids your organization by providing easy-access to other popular portals and destinations.
One of the unique aspects of the new design is its capability of reducing friction when setting up for the first time. This enables organizations to quickly and easily provide rich employee experiences via a native Teams app. Home sites and site authoring skills aren’t required. Home sites continue to be a fundamental aspect of the Viva Connections experience. For organizations that already have a home site, there will be an option to choose the best default landing experience.
Rest assured, the newer Viva Connections home experience is just a new configuration option and feature. It does not equate to a complete name change or additional app. If your organization already has a home site, elements from it will be automatically set up in the new home experience. The home site experience and the new Viva home experience make it easy to navigate between the two.
The new home experience is designed to be a gateway to other Viva apps. This latest addition allows the organization to decide between a user’s home site experience or the new Viva home experience as their landing page. It has been optimized for Teams app interactions, is easy to set up, aligns better with the mobile experience, and provides instant value to your organization.
For organizations that wish to switch between multiple home experiences, Microsoft is working on a feature to accommodate this. The new home experience will also allow for customization of the banner image along with the app name and icon. There are also provisions to build custom cards for the Dashboard.
The current and new Viva Connections experiences will merge into a seamless user experience, where no interruptions or changes will be experienced by viewers. The ability to pin the app to the Teams app bar will remain. If an organization chooses to retain their home site as the landing experience, an entry point to the new Viva Connections home experience will be provided and vice versa.
Currently, only a single instance of Viva Connections is supported. But work is actively being done on supporting multiple instances that can target different audiences. This guide aims to afford you a comprehensive understanding of Viva Connections and its benefits to your organization. And with Microsoft's continuous upgrading, even more useful features are expected.
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