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Delve, Office Graph must transcend Office 365 to be revolutionary

Juan Carlos Perez | Sept. 23, 2014
Microsoft faces a long, bumpy road to extend the info discovery app and machine learning engine.

While that may not be the software itself, it will heighten the problem of improperly locked down information. "Delve will make information less shielded," Gotta said. "It's taking information previously disconnected and fragmented, and arranging it and surfacing it and making it more broadly and easily available and discoverable."

Early adopters like Delve but recognize its current limitations
Delve has proven already useful in certain scenarios and contexts, and its potential to become much more powerful is clear. Right now, however, it's far from being a "must have" essential tool. That's the consensus from a handful of early adopters interviewed via email for this article.

"This will become my homepage on Office 365 very soon, but for now it is a 'nice to have'," said Benjamin Niaulin, SharePoint Geek at Sharegate, an ISV in Montreal.

"Finding my content is suddenly much easier with Delve," said Martin Kleynhans, owner of

Media Surge, which develops, integrates and hosts various types of sites and applications and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Like Niaulin, Kleynhans is optimistic about its future. "As it grows and we share content, this will grow and people will start to leverage the functionality," he said.

Elio Struyf, senior SharePoint consultant at

Ventigrate in Belgium, recently switched jobs and Delve has helped him with the "onboarding" process.

"Delve really helps me to find relevant and important information, as well as connecting with my colleagues and providing insights of the work they are doing, focus areas and which projects [they are] currently involved in," he said. "Another plus about Delve is that it proposes this kind of information: I do not have to search for it. That means that I can instantly discover the most popular information inside my organization. This makes it easier to learn the environment and navigating through it."

He's looking forward to the availability of the Office Graph APIs. "It will have a lot more potential once we start to look on how we can link other applications to it," Struyf said.

He would like to have more control over Delve and more visibility into its inner workings. For example, he would like to be able to tell Delve it's off base with certain information it displays, so that it's not making the decisions purely on its algorithms. "It would also be nice to know why certain documents are appearing on the page. This could give you insights in why other documents are not being shown," Struyf said.

Joel Oleson, director of search strategy at Boston-based BA Insight, which develops search applications and technologies for SharePoint, said that with Delve he's more aware of activity in his company's SharePoint environment.


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