Arguably one of the most exciting developments to come out of Redmond within the last decade has been the Office Graph. Announced back in 2014 and included within Office 365, the Office Graph is Microsoft’s method for identifying relationships or connections between individuals and the people, content, and conversations across your network, and providing a powerful, intelligent, and personalized search result based on those connections. In a press release today, we are officially announcing several Beezy integrations with the Office Graph, continuing our effort of combining market-leading features and the award-winning Beezy user experience with the latest Microsoft innovations. You can find the press release here.
We are thrilled to announce the release of these new Beezy capabilities, and are already working with a few of our existing customers to implement the features within their production systems.
Why is this important?
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review described something that workers from around the world have been feeling over the course of the past few years: “collaborative overload.” The amount of working time that we spend doing work-related social activities (meetings, peer reviews, etc) has ballooned over the last decade, and people are beginning to feel that all of this “collaboration” is impacting their ability to stay productive.
“Collaboration is indeed the answer to many of today’s most pressing business challenges. But more isn’t always better.”
At Beezy, we have been thinking about this topic for quite some time, and much of our product innovation is focused on streamlining collaboration and reducing this overload. Back in 2013, we started addressing a problem we saw with customer deployments that we then referred to as “social fatigue”. It led us through a design process that generated some interesting lab outputs and feature ideas to help our customers cope with this fatigue, and remain productive.
The immediate question is: how can we translate collaboration into efficiency? At Beezy, we believe that a large part of the answer resides in the intelligence of the collaboration tools. They need to be capable of extracting real business value out of day-to-day collaboration (meetings, messages, documents, discussions), and they should surface the right information, at the right time, to the right user.
That’s why we are very excited about using the Office Graph (and soon also Azure Machine Learning) to seamlessly inject “network intelligence” into the Beezy functionality.
Some of our most innovative clients are already testing these new features and observing amazing improvements in efficiency.
What’s coming in this new release?
As part of the next Beezy release, customers will benefit from the following integrations:
- Ultra-fast mentions: Every time a user add an @ mention, the system will suggest the names of the co-workers you interact with the most.
- Discovery cards: Within the stream of your activity feed, you will see recommendations for Communities to join based on your profile and activities, or People that you may be interested in following. Both recommendations are leveraging the “Working with…” API method of the Office Graph mixed with some business logic coming from Beezy.
- Questions routing: Users will see when a close colleague answers a question, and will then have the ability to post an answer. By routing this Q&A to other people with similar skills and network proximity to the first respondent, Beezy dramatically increases the quality of the overall answers.
- Recommended skills & expertise: When Beezy detects that one of your closest co-workers has updated their profile skills, it sends a suggestion to your feed and asks whether you would like to add this skill, as well. All of this is done in a visually compelling and non-intrusive UI.
You can see how these new features work in our latest product video:
We will continue to bring intelligence and innovation to Beezy, leveraging both the Office Graph and Azure Machine Learning. We are running some very interesting experiments right now that will take the network intelligence to the next level. Stay tuned for more updates, and be sure to register to receive our twice-monthly newsletter to stay on top of everything happening with Beezy.
If you are a Beezy customer and want to be part of the Innovation program to test these kinds of features, please contact us at email@example.com and let us know.