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Understanding the Office 365 roadmap: Office Delve

This is our second blog post in a series to better understand the Office 365 roadmap. Our latest blog post was about the Office Graph and today it’s time to take a look at Office Delve.

What is Office Delve?

Office Delve is essentially a first attempt to put the Office Graph at work. Delve is a presentation layer that surfaces the underlying intelligent fabric of the Office Graph.

Delve’s user interface is basically built on the concepts of boards and cards. Boards act as containers and cards show specific pieces of content relevant to that board.

The default container (Delve home view) is showing cards about your own graph. For example, you will be able to easily scan across the latest documents you have been working on with your colleagues across multiple tools. This view is one of the biggest objectives of Delve: serve as an engaging viewer of the wide variety of content that co-exists today in any Office 365 instance.

OfficeDelve

Boards can also be created by users and in this case they serve as a way to manually curate content. For example, some users can keep a board about a specific topic to surface a limited amount of content and show it in a visually compelling way. These boards are a bit like Pinterest style curation.

Delve is a presentation layer that surfaces the underlying intelligent fabric of the Office Graph.

It is important to note that Delve inherits the security trimming from the tool where the content lives in. In other words, if somebody adds a SharePoint document to a board that you are following, you will only see this file if you have granted permissions over that document in SharePoint.

Some concerns….

Although it looks like a very visual way to consume content we have some concerns about how Delve really looks like today in a non-visually oriented organisation. In every presentation of Delve you can see nice pictures appearing even in the most mundane document card. But unless your company is in graphic design or fashion business, Delve will surely look way less engaging than in those product demos.

Another concern about Delve is how it handles opt-in/opt-out both at a corporate level and also at a personal level. We know both actions are possible but the way it works seems a bit clunky for such an important matter. This is especially important for large organizations with complex security policies already in place. A company with real concerns about compliance with Workers Councils today will most likely have to switch off Office Delve completely as there is no ability to operate at more granular signal level.

How does Beezy leverage Delve?

We are really excited about any effort that improves the User Experience of the complex Microsoft product suite. We really like how Delve approaches design with a clean and minimalist style. This is the result of having a really talented team mostly based in Norway working for Delve. Nordic design: You know…

As we explained in our previous post, Beezy will be sending signals of any new content and people connections to Delve through the Office Graph. Therefore if you are using Delve in Office 365 you will immediately benefit from Beezy’s integration.

Additionally, we are also looking for ways to surface Delve content into Beezy communities. For example, when a user shares a link to a Delve board, this will be shown in the newsfeed with a visually compelling snippet and a link to follow it.

As we said previously, Delve is a first attempt to put a UI on top of Office Graph. It may happen that over time Delve mutates into something different or gets fragmented into a variety of tools (discovery, analytics, profiles, etc.). We will stay tuned to always offer the best possible integration.

Do you want to know more?

We are building new and exciting features to connect and leverage the Office Graph and Delve in our Office 365 and Hybrid solutions. If you want to know more about it get in touch with us using the form below.

 

Maximo Castagno

Maximo Castagno

Chief Product Officer. I’m a sociologist designing for humans since 1998.