SharePoint & Microsoft Resources

What is Viva Connections?

What is Viva Connections?

Viva Connections is part of the Microsoft Viva employee experience platform, alongside apps like Viva Engage, Viva Goals and Viva Amplify.

We take a closer look at what Viva Connections is, how to access it, key features, and how much it costs.

Jump to:
What is Viva Connections?
Where to Access Viva Connections?
Viva Connections Key Features
How Much Does Viva Connections Cost?

What is Viva Connections?

Viva Connections is part of Microsoft Viva, Microsoft’s employee experience platform. It’s a branded, centralised hub where employees can access news, conversations, documents, company apps, and more. It’s like your company homepage, or a front door to your digital workplace.

Microsoft explain it as…

“A gateway to other Viva apps and services with the ability to curate specific content and tools by providing easy access to resources, tools, relevant news, announcements, and popular destinations.”

It’s the place employees start each morning. Their launchpad to access everything they need during the working day. They can:

  • clock in for their shift
  • see what’s on the lunch menu
  • catch up on the latest news
  • book in annual leave
  • see their daily tasks
  • find and connect with colleagues
  • jump into other work apps – like project management tools, or HR systems
  • …and lots more

Plus, content can be personalised based on things like job role or location. News posts, dashboard cards and resources can be curated so each employee sees what’s most relevant to them.

Connections can either use content from your existing SharePoint intranet, or be a separate stand-alone experience. We’ll explain that a bit more in the Key Features section.

Depending on which license you have, your organisation can also enable multiple experiences. This is particularly useful for multi-brand organisations, who can create a unique branded experience for employees of each sub-brand. Or, for organisations with a high proportion of frontline workers who want to share different content with teams on the ground. We’ll cover more in which license you need in our section on pricing.

Where to Access Viva Connections?

Viva Connections is an app that lives in Microsoft Teams. You can choose the name and icon, to create a more personalised and branded experience. Many organisations choose to name the app in line with their company intranet.

Admins can opt to pin the app to the sidebar in Teams, to make it easily discoverable and accessible for all employees. If your organisation doesn’t opt to pin the app, you can search for it using the ‘Apps’ button in Teams and choose to pin it yourself.

Accessing via the Teams mobile app is the best option for frontline and deskless workers, as there is currently no separate mobile app.

You can also access via your browser. Log in at microsoft365.com, click ‘Apps’, and search for Viva Connections.

Plus, there’s the option to add the feed or dashboard into a SharePoint site using out-of-the-box web parts.

Viva Connections Key Features

Viva Connections is made up of three key components; the feed, the dashboard, and resources. Before we dive into each of those, we’ll cover the two options you have when first getting set up.

Stand-Alone or SharePoint-Based

The stand-alone experience, also known as the Viva Connections ‘Home’ experience, does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a blank slate. You can populate the news feed, dashboard and resources with content of your choosing – whether it’s external links or existing content in your Microsoft 365 environment.

This is a good option for smaller businesses who don’t yet have a SharePoint intranet. Or, for larger organisations who have a non-Microsoft intranet solution. It’s a quick way to get started and gives you the option to scale as you grow. If you decide to build a SharePoint intranet later, you can add it into Viva Connections at any time.

The SharePoint-based experience uses your existing intranet or home site as a starting point. It automatically carries over your existing global navigation, branding and theme. Choosing this option will pull in your existing SharePoint content, and make it available via Viva Connections in Teams. In simple terms, it brings your intranet into Teams.

For companies who have invested a lot of effort into crafting their intranet, this is your best option. It’s not a replacement, it’s an ally. Enabling Connections alongside your existing intranet means employees can access the same content without leaving the flow of work. It also makes it much easier for frontline and deskless workers to engage with intranet content via mobile in the Teams app.

Once you’ve decided on which option is best for you…it’s time to take a closer look at the core features.

An example of a Viva Connections homepage, showing the spotlight, dashboard, resources, and feed tab.

Viva Connections Feed

The feed is where employees get their most important updates. Each employee can access their feed from a tab at the top of the Connections homepage, and includes:

  • For you: A personalised stream of content and updates. It includes things like recent files shared with you, comments or documents you’ve been tagged in, and updates to files you’re working on.
  • Stay on top: This section is all about collaboration, and keeps you in the loop with updates and progress on projects and documents you’re working on.
  • Meeting insights: Helps you prepare for upcoming meetings with relevant content, and catch up or see insights on meetings that have already happened.
  • My network: Discover what’s new with colleagues in your network, like who’s got Automatic Replies switched on and who’s changed their photo.
  • News: A stream of all the latest news from across the business.

The feed is highly personalised, and means no two employees will have the same experience. It also takes into account audience targeting, so admins and internal communicators can ensure the right news reaches the right people.

The feed isn’t the only place employees can access news. The homepage also features a Spotlight section, which displays up to 11 news items. It pulls in news from your SharePoint home-site, other SharePoint sites, or you can add links to external URLs. In May 2024, Microsoft released a new update allowing admins to pin important news in the Spotlight section, adding an extra layer of control for internal communicators.

An example of the Viva Connections feed, showing personalised news, meeting insights and content from around the business.

Viva Connections Dashboard

The dashboard is made up of a series of cards, and is where employees go to find quick information, and complete actionable tasks. Microsoft call it the digital toolkit.

There are currently 10 default card options available to everyone. These are:

Approvals
The Approvals card is linked to Approvals in Microsoft Teams. The Approvals card lets you request and sign off on things that need approving, like annual leave, expenses, or project documentation.

Assigned Tasks
The Assigned Tasks card is linked to the Tasks app. Employees can see their upcoming tasks, and managers can easily assign new tasks from this card.

Shifts
Employees can easily see information about current and upcoming shifts, clock in and out, and track break time.

Teams App
The Teams App card lets you link to an existing Teams App or Bot. Common ones are things like book a room, celebrations, or colleague appreciation.

News Card
The News card helps you promote important news from around your business, including boosted SharePoint news.

People Card
The People card acts like a people directory. Employees can search for colleagues, find contact information, and jump straight into a chat or email.

Events Card
Showcase and promote upcoming company events, including webinars and town halls. Employees can click to join the event straight from the card.

Viva Learning
This card gives employees quick links to recommended or required training in Viva Learning.

Viva Pulse
Internal communicators, managers and team leads can seek feedback from colleagues and teammates with the Viva Pulse card.

Web Link
A straight forward card – link out to an external URL.

There are also two additional options for organisations whose needs go further.

The Third Party App card let’s you link directly to other workplace apps outside of Microsoft, like Workday or HubSpot.

The final option is to use the card designer tool to create your own. With this option, you can create custom cards without the need for custom code. You can choose the layout, the size, and how the card looks.

Pretty much everything in the dashboard uses audience targeting. This means not every employee needs to see every card. It’s also a great way to stop dashboards from becoming cluttered, and ensuring employees only see the information they need.

The dashboard can also be added to a SharePoint site using a web part. If you add the web part to you intranet homepage, employees will be able to access their most important content and tasks whether they’re in Teams or SharePoint.

An example of a Viva Connections dashboard, showing cards including Tasks and Viva Learning

Viva Connections Resources

Resources are navigational links, and is where organisations can curate a list of useful links that appear as icons. This could be to important policies, departmental portals or sites, key company tools.

An example of the Resources section in Viva Connections, showcasing links to useful tools like Employee Toolkit and  Travel Policy.

How Much Does Viva Connections Cost

Viva Connections is included with every E3 and E5 license. If you’re already using other Microsoft tools like SharePoint and OneDrive, you already have access.

It’s the Viva app that has the most functionality included for free.

There is only one feature that you need an additional license for – the ability to create multiple experiences. This option enables organisations to create different homepages with different branding, icon, name, theme, content. This is especially relevant for organisations with multiple brands under their umbrella, or different legal entities.

To enable this option, you will need:

  • The full Microsoft Viva Suite subscription at £9.90 / $12.00 per user/month, which includes every Viva app
    or
  • The Communication and Communities license at £1.64 / $2.00 per user/month, which also includes Viva Engage and Viva Amplify

An Internal Communicator’s Guide to Microsoft Viva

For a more in-depth look at Viva Connections, Viva Engage, Viva Amplify and Viva Goals, including key features and real life use-cases, download our guide to Microsoft Viva especially for internal communicators.

Front cover of the Internal Comms Guide to Microsoft Viva

Silicon Reef are people-first Microsoft 365 experts. We help organisations make the most of M365 to elevate the employee experience. Get in touch to learn how we can help with Viva Suite, including Connections, or other Microsoft tools like SharePoint or Power Platform.

More from Silicon Reef

Why Viva Engage is the Best Meta Workplace Alternative

Why Viva Engage is the Best Meta Workplace Alternative

Following the news that Meta is shutting down Workplace, thousands of organisations will be looking for an alternative solution to act as the social hub for employees. Some of those organisations will already be using Microsoft 365 – whether it’s SharePoint, Outlook,...

Accelerating Your Journey to Knowledge Management

Accelerating Your Journey to Knowledge Management

It’s not a new idea for businesses to use their knowledge to gain a competitive edge. But the bigger they get, the more dispersed that know-how becomes. Technology has taken us some way towards storing and managing that intellectual capital, but all too often...