Microsoft's Office Delve Dives Deeper and Spreads Worldwide

Office Delve, Microsoft's context-aware search and discovery app, is now tuned to more data sources and is available to more Office 365 customers.

Microsoft Office Delve

Office Delve is branching out, digging into more data sources and reaching more territories.

During Microsoft's business-themed Convergence 2015 conference this week in Atlanta, the company announced that more Office 365 customers can take Office Delve for a spin. In a March 16 blog post, Julia White, general manager for Office 365, said, "We are excited to announce the rollout of Delve to all eligible Office 365 business customers worldwide."

Office Delve was first previewed a year under the code name Oslo, a nod to the tech's Norwegian roots. The mobile-enabled app, powered Microsoft's Office Graph machine-learning technology, displays real-time personalized views of Office content and communications on cards, showing updates as they relate to an employee's role, projects and professional relationships.

Office Graph has been busy in the short time it has been operational. The technology "has mapped over 6 billion actions and interactions within Office 365 in just the last six months," disclosed White. And it's growing more capable as it learns. "As it continues to analyze relationships and deliver insights from across the tools people use at work every day, it will enable experiences that go above and beyond search and discovery."

Delve filters out irrelevant information, preventing the information overload that often accompanies overflowing inboxes. Users can then click or tap on a related card to share or collaborate on activities that warrant or can benefit from their input.

Office Delve is Microsoft's crack at helping companies usher in more transparent and proactive business processes.

"Delve plays a pivotal role by unlocking the valuable knowledge held by each individual in an organization, and making it easy for people to discover and build upon the work and expertise of others," said White. Delve's search and discovery features can also help organizations reclaim some of the productivity that is typically lost to getting the lay of the land.

"Delve brings the right information to you proactively, saving you the time you used to spend riffling through email threads, asking around or looking for documents," White said.

Although Delve might seem like a privacy and security nightmare, the app only shares information that it's entitled to under Office 365's permission scheme, White said. "And as always, Delve never changes any permissions, so people can only see the information they already have access to."

Coinciding with Delve's worldwide release, Microsoft announced that Delve can now display information from more sources, including email attachments, SharePoint Online, Office 365 Video and OneDrive for Business, the company's cloud-based file storage, sync and sharing service.

Yammer, the enterprise social networking platform that Microsoft acquired in 2012 for $1.2 billion, is also being pulled into Delve's growing net. "Delve now incorporates links shared in Yammer so you can discover even more from across Office 365," said White. "Soon, Delve will also enable inline conversations so you can share and discuss any content in Yammer directly from within the Delve experience."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...