Microsoft Partners: Office Delve Shows The Yammer Acquisition Was A Shrewd Move

Microsoft started rolling out a key technology from its Yammer acquisition earlier this week, and partners that have tried it out believe it could keep the Office cash cow healthy for years to come.

Office Delve, previously known by its code-name Oslo, keeps track of the connections between people and information in the workplace, and uses this data to push relevant information to users, Julia White, general manager of Office 365 technical product management, said in a blog post Monday.

Just as cloud computing automates complex IT processes, Office Delve does all this processing and analysis without requiring any interaction from users.

"With Delve, information finds you versus you having to find information," White said in the blog post.

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Delve is based on technology Microsoft gained in its $1.2 billion acquisition of social networking startup Yammer in 2012.

[Related: Microsoft Gives Sneak Peek At Its Plans For Yammerizing Office 365 ]

Yammer created the concept of an "enterprise graph," which draws connections between individual users based on their social network likes, posts, replies, shares and uploads. Yammer describes this on its website as "a single mapping of everything employees encounter at work."

Now Microsoft is taking the enterprise graph concept, adding in some of its own engineering, and rolling out Office Graph. Delve is the first of several coming Office 365 features that use Office Graph, White said.

Chris Hertz, CEO of New Signature, a Microsoft partner in Washington, D.C., said Delve is a way to harness data and speed the process of getting work done.

"The goal with Delve, in my mind, is to start to unify all the streams of data that we access daily, and help us make sense of this data in an efficient manner," Hertz told CRN. "Microsoft aims to provide a more intuitive and intelligent way for us to navigate, discover and search information -- and, more importantly, people."

Ric Opal, vice president at Peters & Associates, a Microsoft partner in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., has tested out the Delve preview and come away impressed.

"It completely changes the way you can interact with Office," he said. "It also changes how you think about and discover information, and expands your footprint in relationships."

One of Delve's key strengths, Opal said, is that it connects users with like-minded interests within an organization.

"Delve shows me a graph of who else is interested in using the data I'm using. So if I’m working on something, I can see other people in my organization who are also using that data," Opal said.