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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.

"I'm now following more of what the company is doing across departments, not just in my area of focus," he said. "I really find the discovery useful. It's a great way to start my day when I'm trying to understand what's happened since I last started using SharePoint."

Oleson thinks Delve would benefit from more pre-defined search filters and faceted navigation. "I often get disappointed when the scroll stops. I think it would be great to have infinite scroll when I'm really doing research and want to see things from a time perspective.  If I've been away for a week I'd like to filter on the last week for example," he said.

Like Struyf, Oleson would like the ability to manually fine tune Delve by telling it "to ignore certain areas" and he shares Gotta's concern about the inadvertent exposure of information to people who shouldn't be able to view it.

"I get worried about seeing invoicing documents in finance that I probably shouldn't be seeing. I think there are some tweaks to security that will need to be made shortly. The better that search gets, the more it exposes gaps in permissions and security," Oleson said.

Meanwhile, Laco Vosika ,director at Becloudsmart, a reseller and implementer of Office 365 and other cloud software in Perth, Australia, is already eager to tap Delve via mobile devices, whether via native apps or via a mobile browser version.

Microsoft has big, long-term plans for the Office Graph technology
When asked how Microsoft envisions Delve and the Office Graph working when they're fully developed, say a year or two from now, Cem Aykan, product manager for Delve at Microsoft, indicates that the temporal outlook of the question may be too limited. "It's an ongoing journey," he said.

Because Delve and the underlying Office Graph are cloud services, they will be continually tweaked and extended in an organic way, and decisions on what features to add or change will be based largely on user experiences and feedback. The plan for the Office Graph is long term, Aykan added, so Microsoft will continue improving it five years from now and beyond.

"It's hard to say exactly what will happen a year or two years from now," he said.

What's clear is that Microsoft plans to deepen the Office Graph's access to additional content and user behavior signals from Office 365 and other on premises and cloud software from Microsoft. In addition, Microsoft plans to roll out APIs so that the Office Graph can interact with on premises and cloud applications from third party vendors and developers.

"We'll have a very strong extensibility scenario," Aykan said.


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