New tools from Microsoft help you adapt to the realities of remote work


Knowledge will also play a key role. Viva Learning brings together educational resources from services such as LinkedIn Learning and Coursera as well as company-specific courses. Viva Topics adds to this a “knowledge discovery” system that displays information relevant to conversations and documents when using Microsoft 365 and Teams.

It will be some time before all of the pieces of Viva fall into place. Only Topics is now widely available as an add-on to the Microsoft 365 Business Plan. Information and learning is currently limited to public and private overviews respectively. The connections will only be available in a public preview during the first half of 2021 and will have a mobile app later in the year.

Microsoft has a clear motivation to launch Viva. If it can cover more aspects of working life outside of work itself, companies might be more likely to stick with 365 and Teams instead of switching to alternatives like Google’s G Suite. However, this also addresses a real problem with remote working. Today’s businesses often have to rely on a patchwork of apps and services to keep you connected and informed. If Microsoft can deliver a sleeker, more unified experience, your employer might be happier to allow you to continue working from home.

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