A walkthrough of setting up Viva Topics

Once you have purchases one or more Viva Topics licenses, you need to complete a number of steps to have it analyze your content and suggest topics. While the setup process is relatively quick, it may take up to two weeks before you start seeing suggested topics. You heard that right, two weeks. That means if you have purchases this and are eager to get started, you should complete setup right away.

You start in your tenant admin center. Go to Settings -> Org Settings and look for Topic Experiences. You’ll see a screen that prompts you to get started. This is where you will come back later to administer Viva Topics if necessary.

Topic Experience in Admin Center

Now, you will see a screen explaining how Viva Topics works. Click Get started to begin configuration.

First you configure the Topic discovery step. You’ll need to configure your topic sources as well as any topics you want to exclude. For the best results, Microsoft recommends using all sites. However, for some organizations, you may want to exclude certain sensitive sites such as those related to executive leadership or mergers & acquisitions. You can also exclude topics in this manner as well, if you have certain topics that you don’t want to expose to everyone.

Topic discovery.

Next, you’ll configure Topic visibility. This controls who can see topics in topic pages, news articles, or search. If you need to include only certain users, you can do that here.

Topic visibility.

Next, you can define who can create / edit topics as well as manage them. In general, Viva goes with an open permission model to help foster knowledge sharing in an organization. That means anyone can create, modify, and curate topics. If you need to lock this down, this is the place to start. I will say though that the topic pages provide great visibility on who has curated content for topics pages.

Topic permissions.

Finally, you need to configure a name and URL for your topic center site. The topic center site hosts all of the Viva topic pages. You’ll use this site to manage your topics and curate them.

Create a Topic center site.

On the last step, you’ll get a summary page with all of your settings. Click the Activate button to begin.

Click Activate to begin.

When you click Activate, you’ll see this notification. Notice, it says, “please do not close the window”. That’s surprising to me, but I would probably do as it says.

Do not close the window.

It will take a few minutes and then you’ll finally see the activation screen. Here’s where it says you’ll need to wait up to two weeks.

Viva Topics activated.

Now if you are ambitious, you might think about clicking on that link to the Topic center site. You can do that, but you won’t see much. In my experience, you’ll see nothing more than a blank screen.

Newly provisioned Topic Center site.

We started this instance on a Friday. Checking on it on the following Monday, the Manage Topics link has appeared. This is where you curate and publish topics. It even says it has discovered 90 potential topics in my organization. However, it doesn’t show me anything yet. That means you need to keep waiting.

Topics discovered but not ready yet.

You’re about to embark on an exciting experience with Viva Topics, but you need to be patient. Soon you will have suggested topics and maybe even learn a few new things about your organization.

Published by coreyroth

Corey Roth is the Vice President of Engineering at UnlimitedViz where he helps build the tyGraph product line for data analytics in Microsoft 365. Corey is an eleven-time recipient of the Microsoft MVP award in Office Apps and Services. Corey helps ISVs develop mobile-first applications for Office 365 using technologies such as Ionic Framework and Azure. Corey has always focused on rapid adoption of new Microsoft technologies including Office 365 and Azure. In his spare time, Corey works with his wife, Jennifer, on their product BrewZap, a mobile app platform for breweries.

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