Viva Topics is a younger Microsoft services residing in the Microsoft 365 stack. As I wrote in an older blog post, What’s the new Microsoft Viva Employee Experience Platform? – erik365.blog, Viva is an Employee Experience Platform (EXP) and Viva Topics is one module. Topics enables companies get their organizational knowledge better organized, managed and accessible by mechanism using artificial intelligence (AI). In this post I like to highlight and summarize the state for Januar 2022 and what’s next for Viva Topics.

Source: https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/lernen-hinweis-schule-betreff-3245793/
Source: https://pixabay.com/de/illustrations/lernen-hinweis-schule-betreff-3245793/

Viva Topics as-is Januar 2022

Viva Topics is available for some time by now and the following features are available:

  • Viva Topics web part to be used in Viva Connections
  • Viva Topics Center app for Microsoft Teams
  • Accessibility improvements for people with low vision
  • Manage visibility of AI-suggested topics
  • Management Dashboard for Topics

Viva Topics Roadmap highlights January 2022 and beyond

In the near future there are some further improvements and features planned by Microsoft as mentioned in the official Viva blog and at Ignite Fall 2021 edition. The following is targeted to be available soon in 2022:

  • Outlook integration
  • Yammer integration
  • People profile cards
  • Utilize terms for topics from the taxonomy service
  • Availability for Microsoft GCC

Conclusion, opinion and summary

The amount of data and information we have to cope with is steadily rising as statistics and forecasts tell us. There is no complicated math required, in my opinion. If you just think about how many more (IT) devices and systems you have compared to 5-10 years ago. There are more mobile devices (smartphones, notebooks, tablets) and connected devices which are generating data (e.g. cars, smart home, voice assistants, smart speakers, smart TV, …) in the personal as well as in the business/industry. Somewhere the data is collected and some system/s are trying to make sense of it, generating information to be used for customized advertisement, gain insights, predictive maintenance or else. Maybe and finally the data might be inserted directly or indirectly to Microsoft 365 e.g. via data bases (SQL, Dataverse …) to be used for PowerBI dashboards and transform data into valuable information.

Probably the more common way in regards of Microsoft 365 are common office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDFs, …), that amount is also increasing. This is leading to the challenge find what you need at the point in time at which you need it in an organization. A conventional search engine isn’t that helpful. Viva Topics is utilizing AI to help here and deliver results and organize data. That’s not easy but that’s what’s needed to achieve more with all the data in backends. I’m really excited for the product’s future because there is massiv potential but today Viva Topics is not included in the common Microsoft 365 suites subscriptions, it’s extra. That’s probably something what could hold organizations back from starting with Viva Topics soon especially prices for Microsoft 365 go up starting from March 1, 2022.

Additional resources