Microsoft has announced Office Delve, an extension of its Office 365 suite of software, which looks to aid the navigation of files and documents for business users.
Office Delve uses machine learning to seek and display information and content relevant to individual business users while they work with Office 365 applications.
In practice, this means Office Delve can filter Outlook emails to ensure the most important ones are displayed to the user, along with pulling related information from other Office applications in preparation for meetings.
The video below demonstrates Delve in action.
In a blog post, Julia White, general manager of Office 365, described Office Delve as an intuitive way to view content: "With Delve, information finds you versus you having to find information."
Delve's machine learning is provided by Office Graph, which maps the relationships between people, content and activity across Office 365 applications.
Addressing any concerns business users might have about Delve intruding on their privacy and security, White explained: "Delve only enables you to view content you have access and permission to view – we always respect permissions across all parts of Office 365."
Currently Office Graph pulls information from Office's email, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Yammer. White wrote that Microsoft has plans to integrate Delve with more Office applications over the coming months.
Delve is currently included in enterprise, government and academic Office 365 subscription plans, though the service will be rolled out to other business users in phases starting next January.
Microsoft would appear to be adding more business-orientated features to Office 365, taking it away from being just a collection of productivity-focused applications, and towards more of a suite of integrated enterprise tools.
Back in February, Microsoft entered into a partnership with DocuSign in order to integrate a digital signature service with Office applications, to facilitate a paper-free work environment within businesses.
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