In February 2021, Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft Viva, an “employee experience platform” that lives within Microsoft Teams and cements the company’s positioning of its workplace collaboration tool as the center of any workforce using the company’s Microsoft 365 productivity suite.
At the time, CEO Satya Nadella explained the need for Viva by saying, “Every organization will require a unified employee experience from onboarding and collaboration to continuous learning and growth. Viva brings together everything an employee needs to be successful, from day one, in a single, integrated experience directly in Teams.”
To distinguish Microsoft Viva from a company intranet, the employee experience includes four separate modules:
- Connections – This module provides a curated, company-branded experience including news, conversations and other resources for employees.
- Insights – This module will, over time, bring Microsoft Workplace Analytics and Microsoft Analytics into Viva, and give users insights personal wellbeing experiences, including a virtual commute, an integration with Headspace for meditation and mindfulness, and an integration with Microsoft Viva Learning
- Learning – This module is an app in Teams that creates a central hub for learning where people can access training or assign it to others. It will be tied into LinkedIn Learning.
- Topics – This module would surface content and expertise across the workplace to help connect employees and pool information.
These modules are separate and will roll out to Microsoft 365 tenants for customers at different rates. Unfortunately, these Microsoft Viva modules do not become automatically available within Microsoft Teams when they enter early access, preview or private preview. Administrators will need to manually make them available for their end users utilizing the Microsoft Teams Admin Portal.
This article will show what steps IT admins can take to activate Microsoft Viva modules and make them available across any eligible Microsoft 365 tenant.
Above is the main dashboard for Microsoft Teams admin center, and it is the default view when a user logs in with admin credentials for any tenant.
To access the specific area for managing apps, go down to the Teams App icon on the sidebar and select Manage apps.
Once the Manage apps page is opened, select the Search by name box and type in the module name. In the below image, I typed in “Insights,” as it is the only module available in this tenant right now. Other modules will show up in this search as they are rolled out to a specific Microsoft 365 tenant.
Next, to enable Microsoft Viva modules, highlight the specific module you want by clicking on its entry in the search results, then click Allow at the top of the list to enable the apps availability for users across the tenant in Microsoft Teams.
Once this step is complete, the app will be available for users to install in their Microsoft Teams team and will be accessible to all members of that team.
Microsoft 365 also has options for enabling automatic permissions for an app to become available across Microsoft Teams on any tenant using app permission policies.
Access this policies page by going to the same sidebar menu that led to the Manage apps area. Now select Permission policies from the dropdown menu.
Once on Permission policies, select to either add a new app permission policy or use the existing global policy for the entire organization, which is provided by default. If an organization has already created a Microsoft Teams app policy, that one can be used as well.
In this example, we will use the provided global policy. Click on the Global entry to move forward.
There are four options for this policy as shown above. Admins should select the one which works best for the organization.
If necessary, apps can be permanently blocked from a tenant’s Microsoft Teams app store in this same dialog.
The final option an organization can utilize for Microsoft Teams App store availability is to create policies for different categories of users. This utilizes the App setup policies settings page, which is also available in the Microsoft Teams Manage apps menu on the sidebar.
This allows an organization to fully customize which Microsoft Teams app are available in the Teams App store based on the type of worker or role they fill in a company.
That's how to enable Microsoft Viva in a Microsoft 365 tenant.