It’s hardly surprising considering the chaos that ensued this past year: improving the employee experience and revisiting Knowledge Management’s power is currently in vogue. Today, Microsoft launched Viva, its employee experience platform (EXP), building on the foundational work of Project Cortex. Microsoft describes Viva as an organizing layer across 365 leveraging teams. Nothing too surprising there, but where it does get interesting is its ability to co-ordinate insights, alerts, and information across the enterprise. So, for example, a feature called Viva Connections is essentially a reframed, re-imagined corporate intranet. Providing a much more personalized cross-app experience, much needed in today’s distributed and disrupted work environment. Similarly, the Viva Insights feature provides the facility to drive data-driven and actional insights to the employee. Moving the entire experience from a pull concept (go and find it) to a push concept (here it is). No doubt there is a lot of work involved in optimizing Viva, but it’s an important launch for the companies and its legion of customers.
In a broader context, though, it is worth noting that although Microsoft may be the biggest and arguably most ambitious, EXP as a concept is gaining traction everywhere. We previously looked at Salesforce and their Work.Com product, and these past few weeks, we have been talking with firms in the open-source world like Acquia & LucidWorks that are also pushing the boundaries around EXP. And frankly, we love it; as we have written before and will likely write again, the foundational structures of Knowledge Management were some of the most important ever devised. However, when KM first gained traction at the dot-com boom, the technology was unable to deliver on the promise. Today, with advances first in the cloud, more recently in AI & Machine Learning, the technology has finally caught up. Sadly, it took the disruption of a pandemic to raise the employee experience’s importance to critical levels. But we expect to see significant advances this year and in the years to come. At Deep Analysis, we plan to take a much closer look at Microsoft Viva over the coming weeks and may well publish a full report on it soon. We have a new report on LucidWorks on the way, and Work.Com is already available on our site, and if you like, you can read our regular ‘Ethical Innovation’ column for KMWorld magazine.
Enterprise Search, Corporate Intranets, and Employee Portals come with a legacy and a bad reputation. But they were all designed and implemented with good intentions. Regardless of how they are labeled, the next generation of these systems promises to be not just an improvement on the old but revolutionary.
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