Microsoft 365 Outlook Gains an Organization Explorer

Organization Explorer in Microsoft 365 Outlook will make it easier to find co-workers across a hybrid organization whether they work from home or the office.

Richard Hay, Senior Content Producer

July 1, 2021

2 Min Read
microsoft outlook's organization explorer

One of the challenges of a hybrid workplace: knowing where anyone is and how to reach them. During Microsoft Build 2021 this past May, it was announced that Microsoft 365 Outlook will include what the company is calling an Organization Explorer. This tool, which resembles a small organizational chart, is based on information that is available in the Microsoft Graph and will make colleague connections much easier in this new environment. Once installed and available for end users, the add-in can be accessed through its icon on the Outlook navigation bar.

The Organization Explorer offers two main ways to find out who’s where and how to reach them in Microsoft 365 Outlook.

How To Use the Organization Explorer

Using the View and Explore option, users see a graphic visualization of a company’s internal structure. This allows them to have insight into the connections between various individuals, including their roles and responsibilities.

Selecting individual employee listings provides more information, including: online status; physical location; contact information; skills they are happy to deploy in collaborative projects; their managers and their reports (if they have any); and their history of past organizational collaboration with other colleagues based on public communications, common groups and distribution lists. All this information is meant to facilitate both direct communications and better cross-organization collaborative opportunities.

End users can also find someone by name or alias via the search bar in Organization Explorer for Outlook.

Long gone are the days of submitting a request to the IT department to update an individual entry in the Global Address List for Microsoft Exchange. The data, which appears next to an employee in Organization Explorer, can be manually updated by the user either on an individual’s profile card or in Microsoft Delve.

Currently, the Organization Explorer for Microsoft 365 Outlook is only available for Office Insiders as a preview. Microsoft 365 tenant administrators are required to make this add-in available to their Outlook users in the Microsoft 365 Admin Center.

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About the Author(s)

Richard Hay

Senior Content Producer, IT Pro Today (Informa Tech)

I served for 29 plus years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in November 2011. My work background in the Navy was telecommunications related so my hobby of computers fit well with what I did for the Navy. I consider myself a tech geek and enjoy most things in that arena.

My first website – – came online in 1995. Back then I used GeoCities Web Hosting for it and is the result of the work I have done on that site since 1995.

In January 2010 my community contributions were recognized by Microsoft when I received my first Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for the Windows Operating System. Since then I have been renewed as a Microsoft MVP each subsequent year since that initial award. I am also a member of the inaugural group of Windows Insider MVPs which began in 2016.

I previously hosted the Observed Tech PODCAST for 10 years and 317 episodes and now host a new podcast called Faith, Tech, and Space. 

I began contributing to Penton Technology websites in January 2015 and in April 2017 I was hired as the Senior Content Producer for Penton Technology which is now Informa Tech. In that role, I contribute to ITPro Today and cover operating systems, enterprise technology, and productivity.

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