Skip to Main Content
Thursday, February 4, 2021

Perspective on Microsoft Viva – Employee Experience Platform (EXP)

By Jesse Murray — SVP, Employee Experience

Today was a big day with a big announcement. If you weren’t able to listen to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Jared Spataro announce Microsoft Viva - Employee Experience Platform (EXP) it’s very much worth your time. 

Thought: Perspective on Microsoft Viva – Employee Experience Platform (EXP)
Perspective on Microsoft Viva – Employee Experience Platform (EXP)SVP, Employee Experience — Jesse Murray
Thought: Perspective on Microsoft Viva – Employee Experience Platform (EXP)

Admittedly as SVP, Employee Experience at Rightpoint, I should have a natural interest in all things related to EX, but I’d like to share my perspective on what this announcement means now and in the future. Before I share some thoughts on the specifics of Microsoft Viva, let me provide a bit of where my perspective comes from.

“Jesse passionately evangelizes the possibilities afforded by innovative technologies and ways to deliver world class employee experiences. He brings over 20 years of diverse experiences combining business management, public speaking and technical acumen.” 

It feels a bit awkward to pull a quote about myself, but there is a reason. I have invested my entire career in the design, architecture, creation and support of employee experiences, and though I use numerous technologies, it’s fair to say a large majority of that time has been heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. I love technology and moreover the positive impact we can make on employees when it’s properly brought to bear. 

Part of my role at Rightpoint has always been in understanding new technologies and helping translate the technology from a raw opportunity into a solution to business problems. To state that differently, I’ve always had to manage two distinct languages and help translate between technical and business. For example, the business issue was never about SharePoint, it was about employee communications and engagement. 

This is what has me most excited today. When I listened to Satya and Jared speak, I heard the language of business and the problems I hear and help our customers with every day, I heard myself. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect this to make digital transformation any easier (hint, the challenges are almost always oriented around how difficult it can be to change an organization), but the maturation from technology to experience here is indisputable. 


Having long supported the “single pane of glass” or “digital front door” of a modern digital workspace, this is a natural evolution of the Microsoft technologies. What was specifically encouraging is how deep this approach goes truly reaching across the entire ecosystem. Microsoft Teams has matured into the primary digital work tool for many organizations, and we’re excited to help drive culture and communications forward! 


First, the focus on employee well-being and mental wellness is tremendous. Everyone I speak with expressed concerns with burnout, disengagement and isolation, and I’m especially pleased to hear Microsoft taking a leadership role on this important issue.

Truly understanding how an organization works is what we’re talking about here. Through various qualitative approaches, Rightpoint has always tried to understand how groups work with one another, who are the influencers, what are the patterns of behavior and the like. Viva Insights offers a level of quantitative insight that in my opinion has no equal. I want to be certain to call out the need for clear communications, trust and transparency as part of any people insights program.


From the moment I learned of Project Cortex, we have been deeply engaged with the Microsoft content services team and are supporting our mutual customers as a Preferred Partner (sorry for the shameless plug). Knowledge and expertise are key pillars of every digital workspace, and this technology holds the promise of revolutionary efficiency gains for many organizations. As an early adopter of Viva Topics, I can share my real world experience on the importance of AI in the knowledge story and how impactful this solution can be for your organization! 


What are you waiting for, go sign up for the private preview! Admittedly that means this one is earlier in the process, but I am truly excited to see a learning platform capable of integrating across multiple 3rd party systems. I cannot wait to see how this supports skills growth and self-driven learning for employees! 

If you are interested in reading what we’ve been saying about Employee Experience:  

Safe to say I’m going to keep going with this Employee Experience thing, so if you’d like to hear more feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or on our contact form.