Step-by-Step Guide to Viva Connections

Microsoft Viva Connections is part of the Viva suite – the employee experience platform. You can create a personalized dashboard for your users with the latest information, news feed, and dedicated tools. Users can use it from a web browser or a mobile app. You can also embed the entire SharePoint Online Intranet into Teams. Let’s go and check how to start with Viva Connections.

Viva Connections Overview

There are 3 main components and the app:

Viva Connections app for Teams

This is the dedicated application for Teams. It displays the Intranet SharePoint site in the teams’ application. The application provides the ability to navigate through Intranet sites and pages. All content stored on the Intranet site can be opened (documents, pages, lists, etc.). Users can also search for Intranet content directly from the Teams search bar. All permissions are valid in the app.

It’s simply Intranet in Teams without switching apps/tabs/browsers.

Dashboard

A Dashboard is a dedicated place with curated information. The main component is a card. It’s a webpart dedicated to Viva Connections Dashboard. It can display news, predefined information, links, or Teams’ apps. Authors can arrange cards on the Dashboard and assign them to specific audiences using Azure AD groups.

Microsoft provides multiple out-of-the-box cards, but you can create your own using SharePoint Framework. Custom cards can consume external data, display formatted information, or even provide interactive functions for users (for example, confirm tasks, enter data to a timesheet).

By default, Dashboard is visible in the mobile Teams app as a separate application. It can be added to the SharePoint page using a dedicated webpart.

Feed

Feed uses internal mechanisms to display tailored information for users. It checks group memberships, Yammer, and SharePoint sites with news, and content popularity. It is an intelligent news feed.

Resources

This is a navigation section where users can find all elements from the SharePoint app bar. Elements can be audience targeted (visible for a specific group of people based on group membership).

Prerequisites

Before you start building your Dashboard or playing with Intranet in Teams, you have to configure a few things in SharePoint Online/Teams.

Technical requirements:

  • Set up a home site in SharePoint
  • Enable and prepare the global navigation
  • Configure and install Viva Connections Teams app

Set up a home site in SharePoint

To set up a home site you have to create a new SharePoint site (modern) or use any existing modern site. This site should contain Intranet content so plan the content if you start from scratch.

To configure a home site you must be a SharePoint Online Administrator.

Steps:

1. Navigate to SharePoint Admin Centre and go to the Settings section

2. Open the Home site section and enter your Intranet site URL

3. Confirm changes

Enable and prepare the global navigation

Enabling and configuring the global navigations allow your users to work with Resources in Viva Connections.

Steps:

1. Navigate to your site, go to Settings, and click the Global navigation element

2. Enable global navigation (1), upload a logo (2), enter Intranet title (3), and Edit navigations elements (4)

3. Edit global navigation elements – arrange elements, add/remove/edit

4. Confirm all changes and wait – it can take up to 24 hours for the changes to take effect.

Configure Teams app

You must have Teams Admin rights to enable the app for users.

Steps:

1. Go to the Teams Admin Center and navigate to the Manage apps section. Now search for Viva Connections

2. Click on the app and change the status to Allowed (1). Now every user in Teams can install the app.

3. This new app can be customized directly from the Admin Center. Click on 3 dots, then on Action, and then on Customize.

4. Customize the app’s details (name, description, etc.) and logo (you can upload your own)

Install the app in Teams

1. In Teams go to the Teams Store and search for Viva Connections app (or the name that you created) and install the app. Simply as that.

2. When you open the app, you get your modern Intranet page created in SharePoint Online

Mobile App

If you open Teams on your mobile device you will get the same app! Click on the app and you get your Intranet in mobile experience with 3 tabs – Dashboard, Feed, and Resources.

  • Dashboard – This is a toolbox for employees. You can create a Dashboard using links, apps available in Teams, and custom extensions build in Spiff. The Dashboard can be designed for device type (mobile or desktop).
  • Feed – Personalized feed with the information provided by SharePoint news, Stream, and Yammer. The feed can be targeted.
  • Resources – Navigation from Global navigation can be targeted as well.

That’s it. You have fully worked Viva Connections in Teams. If you started without the Intranet site you can now plan your content. If you have already the Intranet site – you can use it from the Teams app.

The next step is to create a Dashboard. We will go through that process in the next post.

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