Microsoft Brings Delve Analytics to Office 365, Updates Outlook

Microsoft this week announced enhancements to its Office suite that leverage some recently acquired technologies aimed at improving users' personal time management.

On Wednesday, the company announced the availability of its Delve Analytics Office 365 solution. It's an option for Office 365 E5 subscription plans or an add-on to Office 365 Enterprise plans. IT pros have to enable Delve Analytics by configuring it for end users via the Office 365 Admin Center, according to Microsoft's support document for IT pros.

Delve Analytics is a personal time management solution that tracks how much time workers in an organization spend on activities, such as reading e-mails or attending meetings. It gives each user a personal dashboard showing their activities, comparing them with anonymized group data from across the organization. Users can set personal time goals, if wanted, using the application.

Microsoft built its Delve Analytics solution after buying VoloMetrix in September. The solution is said by Microsoft to not "expose any private, personally identifiable information to others."

Outlook Calendar Apps
Microsoft also announced new "Calendar Apps" for Outlook this week. The capability permits other applications to see "all your tasks, events and notes" in Outlook. This capability is "introduced" this week for Outlook running on Android and iOS devices, Microsoft's announcement indicated, although specific availability wasn't exactly clear. The announcement hinted that Microsoft used technology it acquired from Sunrise Atelier last year to link up the information in Outlook.

Wunderlist's latest Calendar App for Outlook is one such example. Users "connect their Wunderlist account with Outlook" and those lists created with the Wunderlist app will start to appear in Outlook's calendar in the "All Day section," Microsoft's announcement explained. Microsoft actually owns both apps. It announced the acquisition of 6Wunderkinder, the maker of the Wunderlist list-making application, back in June 2015.

It's also possible to connect a Facebook social media account to Outlook. When that's done, Outlook's calendar will show things like Facebook meeting invitations and the birthdays of people, for instance.

The Evernote note-taking application also can be connected with Outlook. If a reminder is set on a note, it'll appear in the Outlook calendar, according to Microsoft's announcement.

Microsoft also is planning Calendar Apps integrations with Outlook for its own OneNote note-taking application. In addition, Skype for Business solutions will have future Calendar Apps integration with Outlook, Microsoft promised.

On top of that news, Microsoft also announced improvements to Windows 10 Mail and Calendar apps for consumers this week. For instance, it's now possible to connect multiple e-mail accounts using the Mail app. Also, Cortana can now set reminders in the Calendar via voice commands.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.