Improving the Employee Experience Part 3: Centralizing Comms Inside Microsoft Teams

Employee Experience in Microsoft Teams

When it comes to employee experience centralizing comms inside Microsoft Teams is essential. Having your intranet inside Teams means you reduce context switching and provide a much more seamless user experience, says MVP Joel Oleson in the final instalment of our Q&A.

According to Joel bringing SharePoint into Teams via Viva means hubs, search and targeting can be leveraged from a communication perspective for organizational news, in a much more official way.

Read on to find out all the benefits of centralizing comms inside Teams.

What are the best digital tools to use to centralize comms?

Joel: We’re absolutely talking about Microsoft Teams here. It’s gone from a handful of daily active users, just a couple of years ago, to 200+ million today.

And Teams is not just for big business. It’s being used by small businesses as well.

The fact that Teams is in the cloud, and people can connect from their laptops at home or on the go on the mobile, means they can collaborate from wherever they are.

How does bringing an intranet inside Teams benefit the organization as well as the employees?

Joel: Using Viva to plug in and bring in your intranet inside Teams means being able to get at your resources in the platform where you’re working from.

From an organizational perspective, being able to share company news on a dedicated corporate communication channel, as well a location or department, means you can really target content to any audiences.

Having an intranet inside Teams helps reduce context switching. Users are already overwhelmed with lots of different systems. Being able to centralize or connect several different interfaces people have to use, allows the business to reduce context switching.

There’s a tonne of benefits from being able to have the productivity platform, the file sharing platform, the communication layer, right in Teams, where employees are chatting with their team, and accessing their data. It’s a much more seamless user experience.

Do you agree that Teams is now the front-end whilst SharePoint is the back end?

Joel: Absolutely, Microsoft Viva allows us to look at Teams in such a way that Teams is the front end.
Typically, Teams is the is this communication portal and the way to organize our teams and modern teamwork.

The way to understand it is thinking of it like a stack. SharePoint is the back end. Teams is the front end. And Viva, essentially, is this plumbing to connect the two, with some PowerShell, and packaging of the internet as an app.

Viva helps us to bring SharePoint into Teams. It bring hubs, search and targeting and a number of new SharePoint features into Teams so that we can then leverage them from a communication perspective for organizational news, in a much more official way.

How does Valo Connect further enhance Microsoft Viva?

Joel: Valo Connect provides a rich user experience on top of Viva. It provides rich features and functionality inside of SharePoint, and then hence Teams because of, of Viva.

Valo enhances the user interface. Whether that’s an extranet site using things like some of the extranet features that Valo has. Or, whether you’re using an intranet, and exposing that. Either way, Valo essentially adds a rich layer on top with a fantastic user experience.

The key differentiator that you’re getting with Valo, from pretty much any other intranet platform, is the fact that it actually did what Microsoft was looking for, and built on top of Modern.

To effectively leverage Viva Connections or Valo, you really should be on Modern, because it allows you to dive in, connect and use the SharePoint site without popping open the browser. A classic SharePoint site does not give you that capability.

Want to upskill your EX game?

We’ve got you covered with some great content:

  • Read part one of our Q&A with Joel Oleson where he talks about Teams as a Platform and how to avoid the Teams’ “sprawl”.
  • Read part two of our Q&A with Joel Oleson where he talks about the importance of workflow automation and governance inside Teams.
  • Watch our “Teams as a Platform” webinar, hosted by Joel, now available on demand.
  • Plus, download our latest ebook by Daniel Anderson: “Elevate your total employee experience with The Flow of Work”.
  • Watch Daniel Anderson’s most recent webinar The flow of work: how to improve the employee experience, now available on demand.


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