Viva

I want holographic screens and meetings. Heck, I’d like Teams/Slack/Zoom/etc. to recognize multiple screens and let me separate out different cameras to different screens. I’d like to be able to see more than a tiny thumbnail of a presenter, or of other people that are in a meeting. That might be one of the things I miss most when I’m in these virtual meetings. I can often barely see others.

Microsoft Viva is a new platform for remote work and collaboration. I’m not completely sure what it is, though there is a video with the cool, enticing holographic screens. It’s not an app, but appears to be some way to connect various information in an organization into Teams. It’s like an intranet from the 90s, but designed to help someone navigate their organization and work environment.

I’m all for bringing together more data, and especially making it easier for people to do so. I love all the single-sign on we have at Redgate, but everyone produces so much data through tickets, feedback from customers, notes in chat apps, emails, announcements made everywhere, internally and externally, video updates, and more. I find it extremely hard to keep up, or to even know if I’m keeping up enough, too little, or too much.

What I really need is some prioritization and triage for me. For me personally my role. That sounds like I want a personal digital assistant, which I don’t know I’d have confidence in. I suppose I wouldn’t have confidence in a human assistant until I’d trained them, so maybe this is a similar task I’d need to complete, whether it’s a computer or human. I’d have to build trust, and expectations about how to deal with different situations.

With software, however, I’d worry about data privacy. I know this is still an issue with humans, but there is less scale for humans. They can’t learn and remember as much, and there is less secret access to about what my human assistant might know. After all, they know, or should know, if they tell someone something. However, what a digital system stores can be accessed by, well, who knows.

At least I feel there is a potential problem here. Maybe I’m just worried, but many of the problems I see with computers have to do with the scale of data access. Both in the volumes of data someone can see, but also the variety of people that can see the data. Microsoft has already had some issues with trying to boost productivity for individuals. They’ve gotten complaints over what they store and report on, and more data might make that worse. Perhaps they are going to find a balance with insights and privacy, but I don’t want to be a test subject for this.

Changing the way we work, helping individuals be more productive and accountable, while protecting their rights privacy is hard. I applaud Microsoft for trying something, mostly because I think remote work will continue to be a part of our lives and it’s not great. I suspect that this is like many of their new ideas, half-baked and incomplete. They want to release something, and it might not be much more than minimally viable. Whether they continue to invest and grow this into a useful tool remains to be seen, but I hope they do. I’d certainly like to have more useful ways to learn, collaborate, and communicate.

Especially if they build holographic screens.

Steve Jones

Listen to the podcast at Libsyn, Stitcher, Spotify, or iTunes.

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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