Is Microsoft Delve a flop or set to become a killer app?

Delve can make Office 365 collaboration more intuitive, with enterprise social features and machine learning that serves up relevant content. But it hasn't been an overnight hit.

Microsoft Delve could still be a success. The core functionality is exactly what we want it to be. I think we'll reach a point where it's routine for business tools to anticipate what we need next and make suggestions, probably in the next five years.

Delve hasn't really caught on the way it should, and part of that is because Microsoft needs to stretch its functionality to cover the depth and breadth of a person's day-to-day tasks. It has to understand the front-to-back processes that people do within the enterprise, and Microsoft released Delve before it had that capability, even for Office 365. That was a huge tactical error. Delve needs to talk to Exchange, attachments in Exchange and everything in SharePoint -- both in the cloud and on premises for hybrid deployments. It needs to see everything to be an effective virtual assistant. Microsoft is saying that's on the way and that Delve will have full integration with Office 365, Exchange and SharePoint 2016 -- both cloud and on premises.

From a privacy standpoint, people do have concerns about Delve and the Office Graph tracking their activity and looking over their shoulder.  That has put a dark cloud over the product that didn't need to be there. Delve contains everything necessary to lock down information and ensure privacy as needed, but that message hasn't been well communicated by Microsoft, and that has been a big black mark on the product.

Earlier this year, Microsoft tried to reposition Delve as something different; they tried to say that Delve is essentially Facebook, plus LinkedIn. That's pretty smart, because we all like Facebook and LinkedIn, and they said Delve can help users communicate more efficiently and intuitively with colleagues and customers. That is true -- Microsoft Delve takes enterprise profiles to a whole new level, and they're trying to make that a main selling point.  They're hoping that users will start using Delve to look at each other's profiles and then discover all of its other great functionalities.

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