Microsoft Takes Social-Enabled Business Productivity - Launches Delve

Heights-Launches Delve

Redmond-based Microsoft announced today that their Office services machine learning project, formerly known as “Oslo” will now be called “Delve” when released and roll out as a new capability to new and existing Office 365 customers. The new tool will roll out to new and existing customers of Microsoft Office 365 Business Essentials and Business Premium plans, as well as the Office 365 Small Business, Small Business Premium, and Midsize Business plans. Microsoft is betting that its new tool will take social-enabled business productivity to new heights.

Six months after previewing its personalized, collaboration-enhancing Office Delve app, formerly known as "Oslo," Redmond-based Microsoft will start integrating its “Oslo” content tool into its Office 365 subscription plan by next year. In May the company filed to register Delve as a trademark name for a software as a service product.

Office Graph

Microsoft initially showed off “Oslo” at the company's SharePoint Conference back in March in Las Vegas, the app is basically a front end for Office Graph built to display — or presents in Microsoft parlance — an information it believes relevant to you. Its a new way to discover relevant information and connections from across your workplace, display information that is most relevant for each person and that based on the work they're doing, and the people to whom they're engaging.

Delve is powered by Office Graph, an underlying intelligence layer that leverages machine learning to presents information and content that is more relevant to a user's work, role and responsibilities within an organization or company, content appears through a card-based interface that provides links to a given Office document. Office Graph create some sort of a personalized search engine - something that doesn't search based solely on keywords, it goes much deeper, it learns more about users so that it can search more intelligently to find the information that is most likely matter to them.

Office Graph helps map the relationships between users, contents and activities that occur across Office 365 environment, currently its tuned only for content and signals generated by email, SharePoint, OneDrive and social media tool Yammer. But Microsoft has promised to bring more apps on the table, and to extend Office Graph much deeper into enterprise world, integrating more features and tools such as Lync and OneNote.

Technically, Microsoft's Delve reminds us of something new and smart - a Google Now - like technology or a Siri-like technology. The trend is towards technology that don't just focus on keywords search and archive data, but on intelligence-driven and social focus information. One major advantage of Delve is that it's a personal tool and quite smarter, it going to change the way users interact with and use information. Its probably work best across distributed teams and work groups and also with other workers that are using Microsoft SharePoint or social media tool Yammer.

While delve can cast a wide net and reach across an organization's Office environment, it respects boundaries and doesn't change permissions. Users won't be able to see and access private documents or information that haven't been shared with them, or information that are stored in a certain location that users don't have access to.

Image credit: Microsoft Office

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