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The power of unearthing connections and relationships in your Office 365 data

I recently came across an interesting situation in a large company that I’m sure plays out in organisations across the globe. A sales rep in this company was complaining about the lack of collaboration and information sharing that led to an embarrassing incident in front of a prospect.

Without going in to too much detail, he’d just started his sales presentation when one of his prospect’s team members said – “We’ve already seen a presentation on this from your company, why are we going over it again, don’t you guys talk to each other?

Needless to say, this sales rep had no idea that another team in his organisation was working on the same prospect. Now, you could blame the sales process, the lack of a CRM, or a number of other variables for this situation – and there are other variations of this theme that occur regularly in any organisation – where essentially the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

Are we really connected?

The irony is that we talk a lot today about how connected our world has become, yet situations like this show how disconnected our organisations can still be. Attempts to break down silos and increase collaboration and information sharing with tools such as Office 365 go a long way. However, they still rely on one party proactively promoting or sharing their work across the organisation so that someone else can recognise an opportunity or a potential clash of interests and take appropriate action.

If you look at the way we work today, there are always documents, presentations, emails, phone calls or instant messages that reference the names of companies, individuals, projects, products or services. They may be saved in network folders or within apps on disparate servers across an organisation or the cloud, but on some level, all these elements have one or more relationships with each other. A series of many to many connections that can get very complex, very quickly, if you tried to map them all out manually.

What if there was a way to unearth those underlying connections and present just the ones that may be relevant to you in an easy to absorb way? That’s the promise of Office Graph and Delve from Microsoft.

The “hidden” information behind Office 365.

A key component of Office 365, Office Graph, is the power behind Delve that analyses all the information and content from documents, calendars, emails, etc. along with user interactions and activity streams to continuously learn and uncover connections that may not have been obvious otherwise.

In the situation I described at the start of this blog, Delve would have been able to “see” the links between the work that each person was doing and present the information as something that may be relevant to both parties, allowing better visibility and collaboration, earlier.

Delve is just one example of an app that uses the power of Office Graph. You can also access the hidden riches of information that lie behind the scenes of Office 365 through Graph APIs so you can embed these capabilities within your own apps, or look to automate manual processes.

It’s another way that Office 365 continues to evolve with a series of capabilities that most organisations don’t know exist, or perhaps aren’t sure how to make use of.

If your organisation is struggling to breakdown internal silos, wanting to increase the levels of connectedness between employees, or simply looking to become more agile and responsive, then perhaps you should be exploring this capability a little more closely, and Data#3 can help.

For more information, contact us today.

Tags: Cloud, Microsoft, Collaboration, Business Productivity, Microsoft Office 365, Training & Adoption, Project Services

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