“What is Delve?” “Is that my new My Site?” I get asked these questions fairly regularly. Although Delve was released to the majority of Office 365 customers early this year (and early adopters even before that), most of my customers don’t know much about it.
In answer to the second question above, no, Delve is not your new My Site. So, what is Delve then?
What is Delve?
From Microsoft, “Delve is a cloud-based service offered through the Office 365 suite. Its primary purpose is to help users find and discover pertinent information across Microsoft products that are integrated with Delve through Office 365.”
Super useful, just like so many error messages…
Basically, Delve provides a personalized dashboard of all people, documents, sites and content that you interact with in Office 365. It searches through applications like SharePoint, Yammer, Exchange, and OneDrive for items you’ve recently created, shared, or discussed and then displays that content for you as “cards” on your dashboard.
With everything you’re using in one place, there’s no longer any need to bounce back and forth across applications. Click on a document, for instance, and the document will open in the correct application, whether it’s OneDrive or SharePoint. Click on a video, and it will open in the corresponding blog post. Click on a post, and you’ll see the thread in Yammer.
But Delve also presents people you interact with through collaboration, following, or organizational hierarchy. In fact, you can even share your aggregated content with people as well.
How does it do all that?
The Delve service is essentially the front end of the Office Graph service. Office Graph uses machine learning to map relationships between people and content you work on and activities you engage in. This includes emails you send, files you save and where, who you share those files with and who shares with you, and even search terms you use.
Office Graph then feeds all that “learned” behavior to Delve, which compiles it all into a neat dashboard filled with content and people that are pertinent to you right now.
If you’re like me, right now you might find yourself saying, “That’s a lot of information…about me.”
You’re right, but not just because you agree with me. Office Graph does indeed keep a lot of tabs on a lot of things. However, Delve is a completely personalized experience. What you see in Delve is not what other people will see. Your private information cannot be seen by other people. Nothing you do will be displayed on Delve. Ever. In fact, Delve doesn’t even have its own security. It relies totally on the security of the applications it’s aggregating content from.
But wait, there’s more…
All that information does indeed boost productivity though...and it doesn’t stop there.
Delve allows you to group all of your custom-delivered content through boards. A given card can belong to multiple boards too. Say you’re working on Project X. You have documents and discussions spread across multiple applications. All of this content is conveniently added to your dashboard, but it’s mixed with content from projects Y and Z. Through the use of boards, you can filter out the content you don’t want to see. And for those files that pertain to both project X and Y, you can add them to each of those boards. You can make as many boards as you’d like too.
Another addition to Delve is a revamped take on blogging, which Microsoft now refers to as “stories.” Delve’s new blogging platform is really very slick. It allows you to easily add images, files or video from OneDrive or your device. Just click in an area and start typing to add content. Highlighting the content brings up a toolbar for text formatting. Publish the blog post when you’re finished, and it’s immediately added to your post feed.
That’s not so bad
Nope. It’s pretty neat, actually. It’s not your My Site, but I think the change is for the better. Microsoft is planning further expansion of the Delve and Office Graph services to include social media and eventually an API that will allow third party vendors to add their own features.
Oh, I should mention the interface is really intuitive as well. Hop in and give it a spin. I’m sure you’ll like it. Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding Microsoft Office 365 Delve.