Microsoft Viva: What’s the Deal?

ICYMI last week — Microsoft just did a cannonball into the middle of Work Tech’s pool with the announcement of Viva, a new platform focused on the employee experience. If you want to take deep dives into smart people’s takes on this, Josh Bersin (of course) has a long take on it and so does Stacia Garr at RedThread Research. Already Skillsoft and Cornerstone have announced Viva integrations. And HR Executive is hailing this as a “massive opportunity” for HR executives.

Why is this such a big deal? Glad you asked.

It’s Microsoft. They have scale.
It can’t be understated how much the phenomenal 2020 growth of Teams, SharePoint, and Azure factored into this work. Viva is built on Microsoft 365 and delivered in Teams. So, Viva in a lot of ways is an integration play that lets IT and HR departments standardize their Employee Experience strategy.

Microsoft reimagined work applications for today.
When you’re Microsoft, you can definitely make things happen quickly. In a lot of ways, Viva is a response to Work From Home with new applications — Connections, Insights, Topics, and Learning — that reimagine what employees need rather than iterating on traditional talent management and its tech debt. Microsoft is leveraging its AI work as part of Project Cortex as part of all these applications. 

There’s a giant market opportunity.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the The Wall Street Journal he expects spending on technology, currently at about 5% of GDP, will continue to accelerate after the pandemic. “It’s going to double in the next 10 years to 10%,” he said. Global GDP is roughly $80 trillion. Microsoft hit $125 billion in revenue at the end of 2019. By the end of last year, they were at $143 billion in revenue. Work Tech isn’t just about getting to $3 trillion. This is about getting to $10 trillion and beyond. With that kind of money, you will see Amazon, Google, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Workday, ServiceNow, and others up their game.

As we’ve said in previous newsletters, everything in Work Tech is really real right now.

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