Delve: Now You DO Know What You Don't Know

Delve: Now You DO Know What You Don't Know

There’s an old saying: You don’t know what you don’t know. This may be especially true in business. Information abounds, but it’s stored in so many different places, by so many different users and in so many different forms that it can be easy to miss information that’s figuratively right in front of your nose. Microsoft’s Delve is designed to “unlock” users’ knowledge and make it easily discoverable.

There’s an old saying: You don’t know what you don’t know. This may be especially true in business. Information abounds, but it’s stored in so many different places, by so many different users and in so many different forms that it can be easy to miss information that’s figuratively right in front of your nose. Microsoft’s Delve is designed to “unlock” users’ knowledge and make it easily discoverable.

At Convergence, Microsoft announced the rollout of Delve to all eligible Office 365 business customers worldwide.

According to a blog posted by Julia White, general manager for the Office 365 team, Delve helps users discover content from wherever it lives within various Office 365 apps and experiences, including:

·         SharePoint and OneDrive for Business

·         Office 365 Video content

·         Yammer

Delve is powered by Office Graph, “an intelligent fabric that applies machine learning to map the connections between people, content and interactions that occur across Office 365,” wrote White.

Applied in the real world, she added, Delve will let you “learn about a coworker before a meeting, hit the ground running on your new assignment, and stay in the loop on the latest updates from your team. 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.”

With all that automatic surfacing of content comes, not surprisingly, concerns about privacy and security.

Microsoft has said in the past that content is captured with permissions attached.

"Every single bit of content captured in the Office Graph is captured with a permission attached," said Cem Aykan, senior product manager for Office Graph and Delve at Microsoft during a Yammer discussion late last year about Delve. "For instance, documents stored in OneDrive or SharePoint have permissions allowing them to be shared with certain people."

In thinking about Delve, I my mind goes back to "knowledge management" systems. One of the issues with those platforms was some employees' reluctance to share what they knew, lest they lose their personal competitive edge.

In this age of social everything that may not be such an issue, but it will be interesting to see the dynamics around the ways that your surfaced content is used by others.

Do you think Delve will be a productivity boon or permissions boondoggle? Let us know by taking part in our poll.

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