New Microsoft Viva products – Pulse and Amplify

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The Microsoft Viva family continues to grow – they have announced new apps as well as a host of new features…let’s take a look.

Microsoft Viva Pulse

This allows managers to gather feedback from their team members, in a regular and confidential manner via Teams. It comes with templates and suggested questions which help ensure the right questions are being asked in the best way – something which can be difficult for a manager to get right on their own.

Microsoft also mention that Glint, currently a separate but related product, will be “coming to Viva” in 2023.

Apply for the Microsoft Viva Pulse Customer Advisory Board here.

Microsoft Viva Amplify

This is aimed at supporting “effective communication at scale” and will help leaders write effective messages to their teams and organisations, and then publish it across multiple channels and receive analytics to understand how well they were received etc. It sounds quite useful as internal corporate messaging can often be disjointed with little insight into effectiveness…but I know some will be concerned about whether the analytics allows for invasive tracking of employees.

Apply for the Viva Amplify preview program here.

New features across Viva

Viva Engage Leadership Corner

This, as the name suggests, has been developed to help leaders better communicate and connect with people across the organisation. It enables Ask Me Anything (AMA) events, surveys, and news to be published and, again, tracked with metrics and sentiment analysis.

Answers in Microsoft Viva

This will be available within the Viva Engage app, to users licensed for Viva Suite, and will work with Viva Topics and Viva Engage. It uses AI to match user questions to existing answers and highlights relevant topics and experts. It also uses gamification to to encourage people to add content to the knowledge base.

The continued growth of Viva through 2022 shows that Microsoft are betting big on this area an also shows it’s likely to reach Dynamics 365 levels of confusion pretty quickly 😊 Some things are apps, some are features, some are in the suite, some are standalone, some are inside one thing but work with another and so on…it’s definitely going to be its own ecosystem!

Check out the Microsoft post here which has even more new features and info.

Microsoft Viva Sales – another new member

Hot on the heels of Viva Goals, Microsoft have introduced Viva Sales. This latest family member is a “new seller experience” that brings Microsoft 365 & Teams together with “any” CRM system to streamline processes for salespeople…it also adds a hint of AI into the mix.

Areas it helps with include:

  • AI organised data and tasks
  • Inbuilt sentiment analysis
  • Surfacing unstructured data from Office documents
  • Automated data capture
  • Reminders

and more, with Microsoft describing it as a sales coach that helps move deals along. It will also surface “business context” data within Outlook and Teams and allow salespeople to update their CRM from those platforms too.

Much of this is, as with many other products, about keeping people within Teams as much as possible – making it the “collaboration hub” for users across organisations.

A feature called Sales Conversation Intelligence (SCI) will help sellers byl:

  • Generating meeting summaries
  • Tracking customer sentiment
  • Suggesting action items

all to keep deals on track and moving along.

Licensing and pricing

Viva Sales is free for users already licensed with Dynamics 365 Enterprise and Premium – for everyone else it will be $40 per user per month. It hits General Availability on October 3rd, 2022 and is NOT part of the Viva Suite.

I like the sound of what Viva Sales can do and am keen to check it out further – as anything that makes sales and customer management easier is a good thing. No matter the CRM you use, it’s never as intuitive and easy to use as users would like…perhaps Viva Sales will go some way to alleviating that. Or perhaps it will just be one more thing to add to the mix?!

Further Reading

Microsoft Announcement

Microsoft Viva Sales page

More info on features and pricing

Microsoft Product Terms: November 2021

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The November 2021 Microsoft Product Terms contains quite a few updates!

Microsoft Managed Desktop

As an offering, it’s been available for a while as a bit of a hidden secret almost but now it’s in the Product Terms.

Microsoft Viva

A few additions here:

  • Microsoft Viva
  • Viva Learning
  • Viva with Glint* add-on added

which rounds out the Viva line-up in the Product Terms (I think!):

*Glint is a 3rd-party product that sits in a similar, complementary area – see more here.

Defender products

Another addition to the Defender line up as:

“Microsoft Cloud App Security (MCAS)” is renamed to “Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps”

I’m not 100% sure I agree with this name change as I feel it downplays the capabilities of MCAS as a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) for a start.

Additionally, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint Plan 1 has been added (see more here) and the existing version renamed to Plan 2.

Following on from the above, a new product has appeared…

App Governance add-on for “Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps”

This is a “security & policy management” product for OAuth-enabled apps that access Microsoft 365 data via the Microsoft Graph and aims to help organisations govern, detect, and remediate 3rd-party access to corporate data in Microsoft 365.

The integration of app governance with Azure AD and Microsoft Cloud App Security.

See more from Microsoft on this here.

Power Apps

A new “Power Apps per User” 2000 seat minimum SKU has been added – clearly Microsoft are seeing/expecting large scale rollouts of PowerApps…especially after its 202% year-on-year growth in Q1!

Productivity Servers

It was revealed a while back that the next releases of the Productivity Servers (Exchange/SharePoint/Lync), as well as Project, would be subscription only and now some of them have arrived in the Product Terms.

Just Project and SharePoint have been added currently but I’d imagine the same rules will apply to the other products. They are now officially known as:

  • Project Server Subscription Edition
  • SharePoint Server Subscription Edition

and active Software Assurance (SA) is required to run the latest “Subscription edition”. However, should SA lapse, you receive perpetual rights to run the 2019 version.

Microsoft Clouds

Two previously announced Microsoft Cloud products:

“Financial Services”


have been added, as add-ons, to the Product Terms. They can be added on top of the following licenses:

Financial Services

  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5
  • Microsoft Project
  • Power Apps/Power Automate/PowerBI
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Service Enterprise
  • Dynamics 365 Digital Messaging
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Insights
  • Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Voice


  • Office 365 E3/E5
  • Microsoft 365 E3/E5
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  • Power Apps/Power Automate/Power BI
  • Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise
  • Dynamics 365 Marketing
  • Azure App Service

Non-Profit comes in 3 flavours:

  • Basic
  • Plan 1
    • Available to orgs with up to, and including, 250 total employees
  • Plan 2
    • Available to orgs with 251+ total employees

Microsoft make more acquisitions: October 2021

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Microsoft have made two acquisitions recently, both of which show where their focus lies when looking ahead.

Clear Software

Acquired for an undisclosed amount, Clear Software focus on business process solutions that integrate into Oracle and SAP systems. Microsoft have acquired them because their:

“API access and system knowledge will strengthen Microsoft Power Platform’s integration with outside systems and accelerate how customers leverage data and processes that reside beyond Microsoft first-party services”

Microsoft state this will make it easier for users to create Power Apps and Power Automate flows that connect into Oracle & SAP. This will make Power Platform even more attractive to citizen developers across the world and also increase the 3rd-party license non-compliance risks that organisations may face.

See the announcement here

Learn more about Clear Software here

Focused on Objectives and Key Results (OKR), has been acquired by Microsoft to:

“revolutionize how organizations use technology to bring deeper connection to work, purpose and results in the hybrid world”

and it will be used to power a new module within Microsoft Viva alongside Connection, Insights, Learning, and Topics. The new functionality will also be integrated through Office, Power BI, and the wider set of Microsoft 365 apps.

This is further proof that Microsoft see the Employee Experience (EXP) sector as a big new direction for them and that Viva will likely grow to be a key part of the Microsoft stack.

See the announcement here

Learn more about

Microsoft Viva: An introduction

Image by Christine Sponchia from Pixabay

Microsoft Viva is a new announcement from Redmond, focused on the world of “employee experience”, in part at least driven by the changes that COVID-19 has brought to the workplace. It’s split into 4 products:

  • Viva Topics
  • Viva Connections
  • Viva Learning
  • Viva Insights

Viva Topics

This, via AI, automatically curates content from across an organisation to help people find information and answers from throughout the business – something more important than ever with so many now working remotely.

It costs $5 per user per month and, as an add-on license, requires one of the following as a base:

  • Microsoft 365 F1, F3, E3, E5, A3, A5
  • Office 365 F3, E1, E3, E5, A3, A5
  • Microsoft 365 Business Basic / Business Standard / Business Premium
  • SharePoint K, Plan 1, Plan 2

More info here.

Viva Connections

This Viva product seems aimed at helping keep remote employees connected as, according to Microsoft it will bring together “relevant news [and] conversations” from across an organisation – and surface it in Teams. They cite stats that highly engaged employees are less likely to leave and help generate greater profitability – it seems they’re trying to make HR software more mainstream.

More info here.

Viva Learning

This product will serve as a central hub for learning -enabling content form various sources to be presented to employees within Microsoft Teams. As well as Microsoft Learn and LinkedIn Learning, it looks as though partners will include companies such as Coursera, Pluralsight, SkillSoft, SAP SuccessFactors and more.

More info here.

Viva Insights

This looks to be an evolution of Workplace Analytics and will, in fact, require Workplace Analytics for many of the features to be enabled. It will help provide information to employees to enable them to reduce stress and increase productivity, with connections to products such as Headspace.

More info here.

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