Have you ever felt like there should be an easier way to find documents that are relevant to your job? You perform a search, peruse the local file share or maybe even pick up the phone to ask a colleague where to find it. Chances are you end up finding what you’re looking for, but it takes more effort than you would have liked to waste finding it. If you’ve ever wanted a better, more relevant search experience, then Microsoft Office Delve is for you!
What is Microsoft Office Delve?
Delve is a powerful search engine that gives you what you need even before you ask. It looks across all of the content in your organization, checks to make sure you have access to it, and then presents it to you in a smart and intuitive interface. It’s powered by the Office Graph, which uses machine learning techniques to map all of the activities taking place across email, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Yammer.
How do I start using Delve?
Let’s start with the technical steps first. You must have a license for Office 365 that includes Office Delve. As of today, Delve is only available for the Office 365 Enterprise plans (E1 – E4, and the corresponding A2 – A4 and G1 – G4 plans). Sometime, in the very near future, it will be rolled out to the Office 365 Business Essentials and Business Premium plans, Office 365 Small Business, Small Business Premium and Midsize Business plans.
Next, you’ll need to get on the First Release program. Enabling this option will give you access to new features within the Office 365 Suite as soon as one week after they are officially announced. Just understand that once you flip this switch, you will start to see frequent changes rolled out without as much notice as the Standard Release. One more tip – it takes a couple days for Delve to build the customized views for each employee. Users will have the best experience if you enable the First Release options before the weekend so that by Monday their Delve feeds will be full of great content.
If you aren’t using SharePoint Online yet, you will need to activate the service and assign licenses to your employees for Delve to being working its magic. The final technical step required to begin using Delve is to allow Office Graph to run in the background of your Office 365 tenant. By default this option will be set to “allow”, but you can always check it in the SharePoint Admin Center:
Where are all of my documents?
To start seeing items in your Delve feed, you need to store documents in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. If you’re not seeing a lot of content in Delve, chances are it’s because you haven’t started storing all of your personal files in OneDrive for Business, and your shared files in SharePoint Online Team Sites.
Since Delve is built upon the relationships and connections made between people and files, it’s critical that your teams are making documents available to their peers by sharing the content. An employee will only see another employee’s document in Delve if they have access to it in either Team Sites or OneDrive for Business. Here’s a few quick tips for sharing files if you’re new to Office 365.
Delve has the power to change the way you find information. Instead of having to find a document based on its filename and sorting through pages of search results, it presents you with documents that are important to you and your team. Delve is an exciting new addition to the Office 365 family, and I’m excited to see how it and Office Graph transform the way we work.