Microsoft Viva Insights: What is it?

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Microsoft Viva is the new range of Employee Experience tools from Microsoft and is made up of a range of Viva products:

  • Insights
  • Topics
  • Learning
  • Connections

A brief overview of the four components is here but I want to dive deeper into Viva Insights.

What is it?

Initially it looked like it would build upon the Workplace Analytics product but Viva Insights is now listed as “formerly Workplace Analytics” so it appears to be a rebrand as well as adding new features. Tbh, that makes sense as it helps to keep everything in the “Viva” bucket.

Viva Insights aims to improve employee wellbeing and productivity through using data to highlight people’s work habits such as answering emails outside of work hours and spending too much time in meetings for example. It will also provide reminders to block out time for “focus tasks” and help managers ensure they schedule regular 1-1 meetings with team members. The personal insights also include mindfulness sessions, reminders to take breaks, and a check-in to gauge a user’s mood.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-viva/buy-insights?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

It aims to provide insights at a team level and also an organisation wide level, enabling action to be taken wherever potential issues may arise. Given the impact of COVID-19 and the long-term increase in flexible working, anything that can help organisations better look after their employees – and enable employees to better look after themselves – is well timed and has the potential to be very useful.

I speak to a lot of people who find themselves on constant back to back video meetings and calls, with little time to process any of that information and even less to simply sit back and think and plan. More work = less productivity in many cases and Viva Insights may help with this…if used properly.

Pricing & Licensing

Viva Insights is an add-on license to:

  • Office 365 E1/E3/E5 (plus the A and G versions)
  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5 (plus the A and G versions)
  • Microsoft 365 365 Business Basic/Standard/Premium
  • Exchange Online Plan 1/2

and costs $4 per user per month.

Certain “personal insights” are available to all users with a license that includes Exchange Online, while others require the above add-on. There is also the extra consideration of Viva Insights Capacity.

Viva Insights Capacity

There are a range of additional things that an organisation can do with the data generated by Viva Insights – and this is where we get into the realm of capacity credits.

These additional capabilities include:

  • Analysis templates to quickly generate interactive Power BI reports tailored to common business scenarios
  • Advanced tools to help users query and customize metrics and combine Viva Insights data with external data, such as customer relationship management (CRM) and survey data
  • Analysis accelerators including an R-script library to help analyze organizational data trends, processes and networks
  • Built-in safeguards to help protect personal privacy
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-viva/buy-insights?activetab=pivot%3aoverviewtab

Pricing & licensing

Each Viva Insights license includes 1 capacity credit per month, pooled across the tenant. If an organisation requires additional capacity credits, they are licensed in increments of 5,000 credits and costs $5,000 per month.

Unused credits expire monthly.

Conclusion

Viva Insights represents two growing trends for Microsoft:

  • Software that is sold to parts of the business other than IT
  • Licensing which involves ongoing usage “credits” that can, potentially, be consumed in huge amounts across an organisation…and run up big bills

Organisations are definitely going to be looking for products that help them in this area and, within organisations already using Microsoft 365, Microsoft are well placed to be among the options.

If you’re responsible for Microsoft spend within your organisation, this is certainly something to keep an eye on in the future!

Further Reading

Microsoft Viva Insights

Microsoft Viva Insights Capacity

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