Monday 20 February 2023

My talks on Viva Topics at the European Collaboration Summit 2023, Düsseldorf and Modern Workplace Conference 2023, Paris

Along with Microsoft Syntex, Viva Topics is a technology close to my heart these days. I championed it's deployment at my employer (Content+Cloud) because, like every organisation, we're generating a huge volume of new documents and content each month and without new approaches and AI, it's becoming more difficult to find things and get questions answered, not easier. Microsoft's statistic that 1.6 billion documents per day are added to Microsoft 365 is eye-opening, and without some investment in content governance and tools that help you move beyond navigation and search, it's hard to ensure employees can continually find what they need and get their work done efficiently. 

I'm happy to say that I'm sharing our experience of Viva Topics, along with learnings and recommendations in a couple of talks at upcoming conferences. The larger event is the European Collaboration Summit in held in Germany in May (easily one of Europe's best Microsoft conferences), and I'm also honoured to be speaking at the Modern Workplace Conference in Paris in March which looks great too. If you're looking for learning and personal development events in Europe this spring and/or are interested in Viva Topics, some details of the conferences and my talks below. 

European Collaboration Summit 2023

When: 22-24 May 2023

Where: Düsseldorf, Germany

What: A top-tier Microsoft conference covering everything Microsoft 365, including the Power Platform, Teams, SharePoint, Viva, security, development and more. Speakers include 30+ Microsoft folks like Dan Holme, Vesa Juvonen, Stephen Sciliano and Laurie Pottmeyer along with a stellar line up of MVPs and community contributors. The event is held over 3 days with full day tutorials on day 1, over 120 sessions overall and lots of networking.      


NOTE: For a limited time you can also get a 15% discount using the code "COLLABSPEAKER2023"

My talk: Real world Viva Topics - benefits, mistakes and learnings

Abstract: If your Microsoft 365 tenant could understand the most valuable topics in your organisation and safely use the combination of AI and humans to signpost to the golden information, would you use it? Viva Topics has been available for some time and organisations are waking up to what AI can bring - particularly in helping side-step challenges of a complex tenant landscape, thousands of Teams and sites, and imperfect search and navigation. This session will include demos of Viva Topics in our production environment so you can see the experience in action. With the benefit of two years of experience and membership in Microsoft's Content AI partner program, this session will unpack Viva Topics value - sharing details of our journey and lessons learnt from implementing the technology for clients. How does the AI establish what's valuable? What happens about our sensitive content? Who will curate topics? What happens in a multi-lingual environment? This session will answer these questions and more, providing you with best practice guidance to move forward with confidence.

Modern Workplace Conference 2023

When: 27-28 March 2023

Where: Paris, France

What: A great 2-day community event with lots of MVPs and community speakers focused on everything Modern Work related. Over 60 sessions with 1000+ participants expected. Sessions are held in English.


My talk: Viva Topics 18 months later - what did we get?

Finding information and expertise is far too time-consuming in the vast majority of organisations. Poorly configured search, the sprawl of repositories and sites, unceasing content growth and difficulties recognising authoritative content all conspire against the information worker. No wonder McKinsey and IDC report that the average knowledge worker spends 20-30% of their time just looking for things. Viva Topics is Microsoft's answer to this challenge. After being part of the Project Cortex private preview, we've had 18 months of Viva Topics being live in our business and have implemented the technology for several clients. This session covers the benefits we've seen (both the expected and unexpected), and shares best practice guidance on how to plan, implement, and build on Viva Topics. We'll demo the technology in our production environment so you can see the experience in action. Implementing Viva Topics at scale can be a big investment and it's important to know what's coming in the future. We'll end with a discussion on Microsoft's future roadmap and capabilities, so you can plan ahead with confidence.


We're coming into conference season and there are some great events happening around Europe. I hope to be speaking at a couple of other events in addition to those listed here and it would be great to see you somewhere - now is the time to start planning your learning and pitching to your boss!

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