to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs
in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of
rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them,
disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is
ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And
while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people
who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
It should. In 1997 when Apple wrote it, they were the
underdog, the company that was appealing to the edge, to the people who were
prepared to shake things up.; the ‘wild ducks’.
To those who weren't prepared to accept the status quo because “things
have always been done that way”.
Now some 17 years later everyone is striving to be the
next Apple and digital disruptor - the next ‘wild duck’ that actually changes the market
the way Apple did, rather than provide what everyone else does.
Microsoft are trying to reposition themselves as today’s
major disruptor to the way things are done, and their latest launch
of Office Graph and Delve with Office 365 are their key drivers. To me it is clearly Microsoft’s latest attempt to win
back clients from Google search’ through providing ‘cloud’ search based on
artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Office Graph and Delve
Microsoft Delve is the ‘sexy’ front end to the Office
Graph search engine that they promoting as their Office 365 Cloud tool, working
in real time for every employee in prioritising their tasks and of finding the
information - files, colleagues, documents, and data. The information returned via
the Delve ‘dashboard’ consists of Public data stored on Office 365 elements, a
user’s own private data, and information shared with them through the Office
365 product set. The output provided via
the underlying Office Graph analysis, is mapped to user behaviours from
Exchange Online, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Yammer. Microsoft
has also announced their future plans for integration into email attachments,
OneNote and Lync Online.
first thing you notice is the interface and layout as being very
similar to the “Flip Board” concept with notifications laid out
supporting ‘swipe’ and ‘tap’ actions familiar to tablet users.
You got to give Microsoft credit. They certainly make very attractive
‘sexy’ user interfaces these days, and Microsoft Delve epitomises the end
result of their consist hard work.
How Microsoft missed the mark
believe that Microsoft missed yet another opportunity to reset the
market's expectations of them as an innovator and major digital
Microsoft Office Graph and Delve are
based upon Proprietary Technologies - to intelligently automate the of prioritizing of
tasks and then present the required information to individual employees via
Delve, Microsoft needs to go far beyond their Office 365 product set and extend
the API’s into the non-Microsoft Cloud world as well. This will require an enormous amount of
investment in resources and time to extend the API beyond Microsoft, and willingness
from other vendors to cooperate with the effort. The world does not revolve around Microsoft
and to date, no other vendors have committed to investing with MSFT in the
proprietary API’s needed.
Microsoft is only backing Microsoft Cloud
Understandably the Redmond’s monoliths greatest threat has been Google,
drawing first blood in eroding Microsoft’s traditional On-Premises
business. But Microsoft’s continuing
focus upon Cloud-ONLY has seen a serious level of doubt being raised about
directions taken and the investments made, by many in their On-Premises
products. Whether Cloud or On-Premise is
the right direction is irrelevant in this discussion. The fact is Office Graph
and Delve DO NOT support On-Premises products.
Without this, Microsoft’s ability to deliver an all encompassing,
intelligent platform for knowledge workers is but a pipedream. Instead, Office
Graph and Delve will likely be relegated to being a nice dashboard for your
Office 365 elements and not much else.
Without strong permission based file
security, sensitive information will be displayed publicly –
A current limitation with Microsoft
One Drive for example is that everything stored there is publically
default, so unintended exposure via Office Graph and Delve of sensitive
currently a very real probability. This only needs to happen once in an
enterprise for all faith to fall away in using these tools.
Microsoft have completely ignored the
fact that email today is massively unproductive , has a massive impact on
everyone in business and the way it is used today MUST change – Here’s a few facts as to how Microsoft has completely missed the boat while ignoring the need to ‘go beyond
email’ and towards more productive manners of working with their new tool set.
Microsoft has done nothing to try and
reduce the overload of emails. Fact: In the corporate world, we will continue to email more, not less; Microsoft seems to have ignored this fact.
Microsoft has done nothing towards
providing a evolutionary path to using more productive social practices. Fact: Mail dwarfs social and mobile
messaging today by over 10 to 1 in volume and will not change unless an
evolutionary path is provided from using email for collaboration. Microsoft Office Graph and Delve totally ignore this.
Microsoft Office Graph and Delve are separate
tools to Microsoft Outlook yet 40% of mail requires an action to be taken. People will continue to use the inbox as
it has been used for decades. If you get
100 emails a day, that is 40 actions to take, to track, to follow up on, to see
to conclusion. I can see Office Graph
and Delve being a separate Search Engine tool that does nothing to enhance the
way mail is used.
Wrapping it all up
Whilst Microsoft Office Graph and Delve are both very appealing and
dare I use the term again, ‘sexy’ looking interfaces, all they do is add an
additional layer of complexity to an already complex environment. To me, Delve
is first and foremost a great front end to a Search Engine, that at this stage,
is very incomplete as it cannot search across all Enterprise sources for
It seems that Microsoft has provided yet another tool, and instead of looking at merging
this technology into an existing user interface, like the email client, they've
added to the already growing number of tools that a Knowledge worker would use.
the business world needs now is simplicity and a convergence of technologies;
not another separate tool.
we need are Search Engine tools that are based upon Open Standards, not in house
developed proprietary protocols, so that interoperability is assured.
- As knowledge workers we also want a
clear sense of where to focus the time we have.
- We also want an easy way to
collaborate with the people that matter to us most.
- Most importantly we want a way to
take back control of our day, and ignoring the existing productivity
issues brought through email is not going to make those issues go away.
Giving credit where credit is due;
Office Graph and Delve will provide a very attractive front end search
for the contents of Microsoft Office 365 elements, but;
As a Knowledge worker productivity tool that provides all the enterprise information required to drive productivity, capture organisational knowledge
and evolve people beyond the unproductive use of email for
collaboration, towards more productive, social work practices, it misses