Microsoft’s bet on Delve is starting to pay off for customers by bringing a unique approach to social connections and collaboration.
Imagine you are the new guy in the office. You don’t know anyone or what the team is working on and you need to get up to speed for the next team meeting in two days. What do you do? It’s simple: go onto Delve in Office 365, go to your profile and look at the org chart that you belong to. Here you will see all your teammates, your manager, what they look like and what skills they have. Then what? Would you like to see what they are working on? Click on any person in the org chart and instantly you will see what they’re working on. Join the same groups that they have joined. Follow the same Boards that they follow. Within a few clicks in Delve you went from the newbie to the smart guy who can ask intelligent questions at the water cooler, because you have the inside details to your team’s activities. Talk about launching off the on boarding ramp up process! What is Delve? Office Delve surfaces personalized content to you from across Office 365. Powered by the Office Graph, Delve shows you information based on what you’re working on and what’s trending around you. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to reveal documents and messages from people within your network. With this tool every user has a personalized view into the content within Office 365. Delve allows for the discovery of information closely related to their activities and people. I started using Delve a few months ago and was initially amazed to discover documents that some of my teammates worked on. We use Office 365, but and there was an occasion where I could not remember if I had uploaded a document to SharePoint or put it somewhere on a local drive. A quick search in Delve revealed that it was an attachment in Outlook sent by one of my clients. I didn’t even think of checking in Outlook, yet was still able to quickly locate the document. What’s new in Delve? Microsoft has and will continue to deliver on this unique experience of discovering insights about content, people, groups and your organization. The Office Graph, which is the foundational technology behind Delve, is about analytics, social, content and search. It can be extended, via the newly released API, to incorporate content from additional sources. During the Microsoft Ignite Conference we were given a preview of a few apps in Delve which expanded the coverage of content that will be discovered by Delve. A few external examples included Salesforce and Dynamics AX. There are even new API’s that will allow you to connect to “On Premise” SharePoint 2016 (read Morio’s Ignite blog for more). Here are the key features we will go into:
- Profile Pages and People
- Follow and Praise
- Mobile Access
- Yammer Integration
- Delve Dashboard
- Office 365 Groups
Profile Pages and People
- The User Profile reveals a number of interesting facts. No need to have meetings in order to review your colleagues’ documents. You can easily call, message, email or schedule a Skype meeting with your colleagues directly from within Delve.
- The Follow capability allows users to follow each other. In one quick view you can see analytics around their content, including how many people have viewed it, how recently it has been updated and what Yammer conversations have occurred around these documents.
- Under the Profile tab, you will soon be able to see what the person is currently working on. This is a truly rich and fulfilling insight for team collaboration and productivity.
- The Communication tab, provides a private view into all communications between you and your colleague, including emails, documents and Yammer posts.
Follow and Praise Expanded Follow capabilities include:
- Allowing users to follow boards and people
- The ability to influence how Delve delivers content in a more natural way that better suits the user’s interests and social network
- Following Boards and people, allows for a consistent feed of specific content within Delve and Office 365
- The ability to praise people directly on their profile page is being planned
Mobile Access Office Delve was just launched on mobile in April 2015 bringing the ability to discover, share and connect with people to iOS and Android users.
- The mobile app adds notifications about updates to files and Boards you are engaged with. With a quick swipe you will be able to see what your colleagues are working on and when you click on a colleague you can see who they work with.
- Each colleague’s title changes to display the title of the item that they are working on. So while typing up a Word document, Delve mobile displays “What’s new in Delve” under my picture.
Boards Boards have been around for a while on Delve:
- Add content to Boards to organize content that you feel is related and that you would like to see together. For example, project related email attachments plus SharePoint documents and Yammer posts can all be added to a Board and viewed in isolation apart from other Delve content.
- Other users will have the ability to follow, unfollow or add to the Board, making it a collaborative tool for teams and co-workers.
- The ability to view Yammer Posts in Delve which have documents or web links.
- Delve road map will introduce Yammer trending. Let’s say for example, perhaps you missed the CEO post’s in Yammer because you were busy being productive. If you use Delve you will no longer miss his posts as it will be trending in Delve as well as beside-by-side with your other work streams, like email and documents.
- Provides future plans for an organizational view of the insights in Delve that create analytics such as Work Life Balance – how often do I send emails after hours, or My Team’s Work Map – insights into how my team is connected to other teams and or external customers and partners.
Office 365 Groups These are actually Office 365 Groups that are now visible from within Delve (read more in Steve’s Ignite post about Groups):
- The ability to add people to Office 365 Groups from within Delve. Browsing a Group from within Delve is a soon-to-be feature.
- The Delve Group view looks very similar to the User Profile view, with the same 3 tabs -> Activity, Communication and Profile. You can see upcoming events for the group, notes, documents, and Yammer posts.
What this all means for your business With Delve:
- Learn more about the people you work with on a regular basis in a fairly short period of time.
- Connect with people within your organization through your social network connections, and get key insights into their areas of expertise.
- Discover content that you never knew existed, including surfacing content from other systems via the new Office Graph API.
- Institutional Knowledge can now be located across the enterprise with Delve leading to increased productivity, better retention and more relevant social collaboration.
Does that sound a lot like what your intranet is for? Yes – keep a close eye on Delve. If you enjoyed this, you might also enjoy these other Microsoft Ignite posts: