Microsoft Viva Topics, what can it do for your organisation?

Microsoft Viva Topics, what can it do for your organisation?

  • 24 June,2021

Organisations across the world are seeing an ever-growing pool of knowledge that employees are creating but, in many cases, this is not being supported with processes to access that knowledge. This is why Microsoft has developed Viva Topics: one of the four pillars within the employee experience platform, which uses the power of AI to bring the right information to people when they need it.

Why should you care about Knowledge Management?

Do you remember receiving an email or a news article from within your organisation and had no idea what one of the subjects meant, or you had not heard of the project mentioned? Perhaps you were lucky, and someone had shared some insight or link, but more often, they don’t. What does that mean to new joiners, who often won’t have that knowledge or experience to know where projects, standard processes or policies are stored?  It can take a long time to find out more, which may turn out to be pointless.

Reducing the output required to locate and use knowledge, increases the amount of time that can be prioritised on core tasks and helps ensure that staff remain focused and productive. Giving staff the power to get things done also increases their own mental well-being as they feel empowered and supported to deliver their best. Previous knowledge management systems and the need to manually tag and curate all the content, has often reduced the benefits gained. However, with the power of AI, Viva Topics allows productivity gains to be made with less effort and higher quality of content.

What is Viva Topics?

Viva Topics is a set of services that allow content to be created by human experts or through AI driven discovery of your organisation’s content. It establishes and automates the steps of taking content and presenting it in a usable, knowledgeable format.

Users can create a set of topic pages with a description and alternate names defined for the topic. These are built on SharePoint pages allowing the same customisable capabilities such as images to enhance the appearance.

Viva Topics uses AI to recommend people who have contributed to resources mentioning the subject matter, who can be set as experts. These experts can then curate the information including recommended files, pages and sites related to the topic. Users or viewers of the topics can then provide feedback on whether the content was appropriate or suggested recommendations were suited, in a similar way as you would be presented with breaking news. You can see what is happening for a broader, less defined view and reference that to established news agencies for the confirmed news.

The image below shows a standard web path on a Topics page and a way to navigate between related content. This example uses Microsoft 365 as the core topic and its associated topics, the solid lines demonstrates a user defined relationship.

Topics can be related to each other, with the AI making recommendations on these relationships which can be confirmed by the topic experts. These capabilities improve the ability to build out your knowledge hub and aid with navigating and searching for the content that you or your workforce need. Each topic is also surfaced from within Microsoft Search as a top-level card, making it easier to access the knowledge you need.

Surfacing knowledge at the right time

As well as the topic pages themselves, Viva Topics will also highlight references in other SharePoint pages such as news articles, providing a simple card summary of the topic with links to view more directly in the news.

As Viva grows and development continues, the ability to have topics surface in Outlook and Microsoft Teams will come online, giving internal access to your organisational knowledge from wherever your workforce are located. In time, the ability to integrate knowledge from other systems such as ServiceNow (a popular choice for knowledge bases), Salesforce or a bespoke SQL database among others, will become available.

Why you should be looking at Viva Topics?

Your employees have huge amounts of knowledge that is embedded within Microsoft 365 content and beyond, and Viva Topics opens that up to allow greater access to that knowledge. New employees will have easier journeys to find knowledge and understand the processes that exist and knowledge experts will need less time to curate the knowledge that does exist.

The integration between existing Microsoft 365 services and Viva Topics means that your organisation’s content can be analysed, topics recommended, and related content automatically linked to those topics. The power of knowledge management and sharing can be partly down to the AI contribution, but CPS recommends that having a blend of human curated content with the AI driven suggestions, can greatly reduce the cost of implementation.

CPS can help you maximise the power of your knowledge with a workshop focused on finding where your knowledge is stored, organising your top level topics and helping you to build a culture of knowledge sharing to ensure that you get the most from your investment in Viva Topics.

For more information on Viva Topics, and how CPS can support you on this journey, contact us today –