Expanding the Scope of Microsoft Viva
Message Center notification MC282545 (published September 2) announces the expansion of the Microsoft Viva brand to replace the Insights moniker used for MyAnalytics, Outlook Insights, and the Cortana daily briefing email. It’s all part of the strategy to bring the technology used to analyze signals gathered from user activity within Microsoft 365 under the Microsoft Viva brand.
Viva Insights is the new name in town for insights derived from user email and calendar activity. This trend has already surfaced in the Viva Insights app for Teams, which surfaces the same user-based analysis of behavior as available in MyAnalytics, wrapped up with some mediation and mindfulness videos and audios from Headspace and some additional functionality for a virtual commute to close the working day.
What’s Happening in the Viva Insights Rebrand
In practical terms, the announcement means:
- The daily briefing message from Cortana now comes from Viva. Microsoft says that the content will be expanded with recommendations to help users prepare for the day and week ahead.
- The MyAnalytics digest will now come from Microsoft Viva and be delivered monthly rather than weekly. The first edition of the digest (Figure 1) turned up in my (targeted release) tenant. on September 5. Microsoft says that the new digest will “aggregate insights across these four outcomes: focus, wellbeing, network, and collaboration.” Like the weekly digests from MyAnalytics, the monthly digests are injected directly into user mailboxes and don’t pass through the Exchange Online transport system, which means that they’re not subject to inbox or transport rules.
- A new Viva Insights home page will be available to Microsoft 365 users.
- The Outlook Insights add-in will be rebranded as Viva Insights.
- The MyAnalytics settings available in the Microsoft 365 admin center (Figure 2) to control the defaults for new accounts will soon have the Microsoft Viva branding. The same will happen for the MyAnalytics user dashboard where individual users can see insights derived from their activity and control if they can access the dashboard, receive the monthly digest, and use the Outlook insights add-on.
Microsoft says that the changeover and rebranding should be complete in all tenants by the end of November.
Controlling User Insights Settings
The Viva rebranding will respect existing user and admin settings. To control the settings for individual users (mailboxes), you can:
Turn Viva Analytics on or off for individual mailboxes by running the PowerShell code in this article. Users can re-enable Analytics afterwards if they wish. As explained in the article, administrators can use the Set-MyAnalyticsFeatureConfig cmdlet to remove access to individual features. For instance, many users don’t like the twice-monthly digest message containing an analysis of personal work patterns. You can block the digest email while allowing users access to the Analytics dashboard and Outlook add-in by running a command like:
Set-MyAnalyticsFeatureConfig -Identity Vasil.Michev@office365itpros.com -PrivacyMode "opt-in" -Feature digest-mail -IsEnabled $False
Remove the Insights by MyAnalytics service plan from individual user licenses using the PowerShell script described in this article. It’s likely that Microsoft will rename the service plan in the future to reflect the Viva brand. Users cannot reenable Analytics after the service plan is removed from a license.
We don’t know yet if Microsoft plans to rename the Set-MyAnalyticsFeatureConfig and Get-MyAnalyticsFeatureConfig cmdlets (in the Exchange Online management PowerShell module) used to control individual mailbox settings. It wouldn’t surprise me if this happened or if Microsoft combined the controls with those exposed by the Set-VivaInsightsSettings cmdlet, currently only used to configure access to the Headspace feature.
Although the information extracted from user email and calendar activity now comes under the aegis of Microsoft Viva, the same is not true (yet) for the document (item) insights used in apps like Delve and the Office 365 profile card. If you want to disable item insights for user accounts, you need to update the tenant configuration using the Microsoft Graph by following the advice contained in this article.
Branding exercises can be confusing (think of the absolute clarity Microsoft achieved when it renamed Office 365 Pro Plus to Microsoft 365 apps for enterprise). In this instance, it probably makes sense to bring everything relating to email and calendar insights together under the Viva brand. Come November, it probably won’t make a different as those who use insights won’t care too much that they then have the Viva moniker.
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