Among one of the world’s leading technology companies, Dell Technologies is committed to transforming business, shaping the future of innovation, and driving human progress. With more than 158,000 employees, the organization has a vast amount of organizational knowledge and content that its tens of thousands of salespeople around the world consider vital. Dell Technologies turned to Microsoft Viva Topics, a knowledge platform that uses AI to bring knowledge and content directly to employees in the Microsoft 365 apps where they already work.
When Sandra Murtagh, Vice President of Global Sales Learning and Development at Dell Technologies, and Karen Butcher, Head of the Global Sales Learning and Development Transformation Office at Dell Technologies, launched a transformation office within the Dell learning and development organization, the goal was to orient the sales function toward the future. “We’re always thinking about what’s next,” says Butcher. “How can we make the learning experience better? How can we make life easier for our sellers?”
They focused on delivering great experiences and integrating their learning platform with Microsoft Teams, where sellers will be able to access training content at the moment of need. Viva Topics emerged as the next logical step. “Moving forward, we want to integrate more and more information in convenient places for sellers,” says Butcher. “That’s exactly what we’ve started to do with Viva Topics.”
The sales learning and development organization at Dell recognized AI as the most effective way to gather and present large amounts of information. “We’re using Viva Topics because it’s an AI-driven curation engine that pulls together both content and people associated with topics,” says Bruce Sánchez, Global Lead for Sales Learning and Development Technology at Dell Technologies. And because Viva Topics will extend to partner apps, employees will gain a full picture of information gathered from Microsoft sources and beyond. “We’re always on the lookout for partner integrations,” adds Srikanth Ramaswamy, Global Lead for Modern Content and Collaboration Services, Dell Digital Team Member Experience at Dell Technologies. After the success of the pilot testing phase, Dell has recently expanded the use of Viva Topics and embraced a full-scale rollout across its global sales force.
Turning to Viva Topics to uncover knowledge from within the apps they use every day leads Dell sales employees to forge new connections with colleagues. “That’s probably one of the biggest benefits we’re experiencing,” says Murtagh. “Historically, we relied on legacy relationships, but with the combination of Microsoft Teams and Viva Topics, we’re opening up collaboration and relationships across all our functions.”
The ability to effortlessly create connections is a boon for a global, highly dispersed sales force. “Dell has championed working from home for many years,” says Butcher. “And today, a hybrid approach is at the forefront of our organization.” Creating a flexible, highly mobile experience for sellers is one way the sales learning and development organization supports the hybrid approach for Dell’s sales team. “The ability to easily search for and uncover content natively in Teams and other applications was a big hit,” Butcher continues. “Especially because people have the same experience on mobile devices and desktops, no matter where they work from.”
“We’ve made Viva Topics a big part of our reimagination of what work looks like for our sellers.”
Sandra Murtagh (Vice President of Global Sales Learning and Development, Dell Technologies)
As the sales learning and development organization expands its use of Viva Topics, it’s also exploring other Microsoft Viva modules, including Microsoft Viva Connections, Microsoft Viva Sales, and Microsoft Viva Insights. It’s an exciting moment. “I’ve been with Dell for 26 years,” says Murtagh. “Where we are now in terms of knowledge management and learning is a massive flip from where we were in the past. We’ve made Viva Topics a big part of our reimagination of what work looks like for our sellers.”Read full case study