Microsoft is elevating Viva from pure employee portal to job support platform starting with sales – TechCrunch

When Microsoft launched Viva last year, it frames the platform as an employee portal, which you can access to learn about parental leave policies or other internal communications geared towards public policy and culture. company more generally. It reinforced this idea last month it released Viva Goalsa Viva module designed to give employees access to their KPIs.

But it seems that Microsoft has bigger ambitions for Viva beyond simply making the key employee information found in the typical employee intranet. Today, it announced the first of what could be multiple jobs supported inside Viva, starting with sales.

Emily He, corporate vice president of business applications at Microsoft, says that the announcement is what brings information together in ways for specific jobs that she’s been hearing like a sort of holy grail. of employees over the years across companies and jobs, and that’s one of the reasons she’s drawn to Microsoft.

“Viva Sales in my mind really represents a new way of doing things by breaking down data warehouses and breaking down experience stores,” she tells TechCrunch.

She says one thing she’s learned from working with salespeople is that they have too many tools, and they need a way to pull meaningful information out of the tools they’re using to present it in a meaningful way. more focused. “They really wanted a more simplified experience. So Viva Sales allows sellers to use the tools they already love and use every day including your email system like Outlook, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, as well as Teams,” she said. .

This tool is built on top of Office 365 and is tailored for Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM. By tagging a customer or contact name, Viva Sales can automatically pull documents, spreadsheets, presentations, emails, and other documents into the CRM tool, all organized. tabbed, greatly reducing the amount of manual data entry.

“Sellers take a long time to manually enter account information or forecast data. So this removes [much of the] manual data entry. But more importantly, it now creates a more holistic view of the customer,” he told me.

With all that data stored in one place, that means customers can use that data to feed machine learning models on how to improve sales. “You can use AI and machine learning to make recommendations to sellers and send those recommendations to sellers whether they’re writing emails or in virtual meetings,” she says.

While it appears to be Microsoft-centric, it will also support Salesforce CRM, and he says they could add support for additional tools over time as customer needs require it. Furthermore, the company plans to add more types of work to Viva over time.

Game over here seems to be expanding the employee communication portal to include not only company documents that are useful to employees but also tools to do their specific job. surname. She said they are doing this because they have heard the staff members asking for such help from within the same portal.

It’s worth mentioning that Viva Sales will be offered for free to Microsoft Dynamic 365 customers, but when you access third-party data like using Salesforce, you’ll be charged for using the tool.

Viva Sales will have a public preview in July and is expected to have GA in the fall. Currently, the only CRM integration available outside of Dynamics 365 will be Salesforce.

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