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5 reasons to love the new Office 365 Delve

As SharePoint Online and Office 365 platforms continue to mature, one area that has recently gotten a major facelift is Office 365 Delve. After making its debut in 2014 as an ambiguous replacement to “My Site” functionality, it has now become an integral hub for team collaboration, content search, and employee directory.

It is quite a challenge to describe what Office 365 Delve is. When I have to explain it to others, I usually call it “Facebook for Office 365 Content”. In fact, Delve, which is based on the Office Graph, does surface up relevant content and documents based on user’s activities. This allows employees within the organization to have another point of contact based on the recent interactions with the document. Since this whole concept of collaboration is rather new, many users appear to be unaware of Delve or make a decision not to use it. However, in just recent several months, Office 365 Delve got a whole set of new features which make the tool “too hard to pass by”. Let me explain.

Office 365 Delve

1. User Profile

User Profile capability was in place in the first release of Delve, but the profile update process was cumbersome and actually brought the users over to a separate profile page to make profile changes. The new experience is more fluid and allows to make on-screen changes in just a few clicks. Moreover, just like on other social media networks, users can easily adjust visibility/privacy of certain profile fields.

2. Content Search

Delve also has a very robust content search capability. The search query, which is based on Office Graph, returns results from both OneDrive and SharePoint (documents, tasks, contacts, events, pages, sites). It also searches for keywords inside of the document and prioritizes and personalizes search results for each user based on user activity in Office 365. It is important to note that Delve honors security trimming, like in SharePoint. That means that the users do not get to see search results of content they do not have access to.

3. Employee Directory

Office 365 Delve also allows users to do a keyword search on other users based on their first and last name. This makes Delve a perfect replacement for any home-grown employee directories. An Org Chart functionality is also part of Delve and allows users to quickly see direct report for any employee.

4. Personalized User Activity Feed

The crux of Delve is the ability to display user activity on the profile page. Office Graph tracks content modifications and presents the feed to other users looking at the profile. Just like with SharePoint, Office 365 Delve respects security trimming, meaning that if the user does not have permissions to see that content, it will not show up in Office 365 Delve feed. In other words – users only get to see activities of the content they have access to.

5. Mobile App

A standalone mobile App (iOS only for now) is available as well. For the most part, it replicates the computer browser experience and surfaces up content (documents only) and people based on search criteria. Also, users can easily tag docs as their favorites and share documents via mobile sharing via Mail or Social Media apps.

Office 365 Delve is still young and very much work in progress. For it to be successful and relevant in the organization, it has to be used by the users. One thing that is for sure – the way we work with content and collaborate will never be the same.

NOTE: This post of mine was originally published in CMS Wire magazine back in December 2016. Click here to access the original post.

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