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Niche Office 365 Tools You Should Know: Delve, Stream, Planner

Libby Fisette Libby Fisette  |  
Oct 01, 2019
 
In this blog series, Libby Fisette, Director of Skyline Technologies’ Modern Workplace team, explores the current state of the digital workplace and some best practices for leveraging the Office 365 toolset. For a full overview on this topic, check out the original O365/Modern Workplace webinar. 
 
I’ve talked about communication and content tools like Outlook and SharePoint, but the Office 365 toolset has many underused apps that can solve a multitude of business needs.
 

Find Content and Connect – Delve

One of those interesting apps in the content category is Delve. If you haven't gone to Delve already, it's in your waffle-shaped app launcher. The nice thing about Delve is that it will tell you everything you've been working on. If you are not sure where you saved a file, this is a great way to look for it. I use Delve when someone sends me a file and I don't remember where it came from. Was it a link? Was it an attachment in my email? No matter what it was, I can go to Delve and quickly find it.
 
Delve will also show you what people around you are working on, but only if you have permissions to see the files. It’s great for letting you see what's happening around you in your team.
 
Since Delve uses the Microsoft Graph and connects to your Active Directory (AD) profile, it acts as an employee address book and an org chart. Its pulling in everything attached to you including your contact information, schedule, your direct reports, your manager, documents you created (or were created by someone on your team), messages and files you’ve received, etc.
 
Underutilized but really powerful is the ability to add personal profile information in the About Me section. This is a great place to tell those within the organization what you’re working on, what skills you have, and how you could help others looking for those skillsets. This is a great place to feature those Champions who are helping with your Office 365 rollout, or those employees who have an often sought-after skillset and are willing to share their expertise.
 
office 365 content delve
 

How to Navigate Permissions in Delve

We often find that businesses struggle to get Delve adoption because users don’t know or believe that those results are security-trimmed. People are very concerned about permissions, and it’s the biggest question we get with this app.
 
There are two ways to think about permissions (Cubicle Wall or Concrete Wall):
 
  1. If there’s a cubicle wall around your information, that means I'm generally not actively looking at my coworkers’ documents, but I could get to them if I needed to.
  2. In a concrete wall model, I should not have access to certain information and therefore do not have permissions to that data. In that case, I am not going to be able to see it in Delve.
 
Where clients have the most angst is in knowing their permissions are a mess. If that's the case, then they don't know whether they should be seeing some of those documents or not, and they’re going to have issues with Delve.
 
If you want to roll out something like Delve, which I think is a powerful tool, you're going to have to feel comfortable about your permissions in SharePoint. Once people have access to the right information, and only the right information, then it's just a matter of user adoption. You can walk people through that concept. You could give out assignments like, "Try to find our executive summary that you shouldn't have access to." They won't be able to find it if they don't have permissions, and that may help users get more comfortable with this tool.
 

Video Content – Microsoft Stream

Stream, which has recently replaced Microsoft Video, is a great place to store your videos. You can categorize and organize your videos for ease of use. You can embed videos into Modern SharePoint pages to link users directly to a video, a channel, or even a specific spot in a video.
 
Stream also does a good job of transcribing your videos and offering navigation options. When you upload a video, Stream will automatically scan it and create a transcription so you can quickly search your videos for keywords. In the image below you can see that someone has searched for “3D printer” and found that phrase in two spots within that video. You can jump right into videos and find the things that are most impactful to you.
 
office 365 video stream

 
When recording meetings in Microsoft Teams, the video is automatically saved to Stream, and a link to the video shows up in the meeting chat or channel. Another powerful feature is using Microsoft Stream for live events across the organization. Whether you have a company townhall or just want to publish leadership updates, Stream has the functionality to broadcast live, send calendar invites, and publish your event.
 

Task Management - Microsoft Planner

I’ll finish this blog with Planner before moving on to business apps in the next installment. Planner is basically Microsoft's version of a work board where you can plan out tasks. Planner is part of the Office 365 Groups experience, which means it's included with your team site and accessible from Teams, SharePoint, or the app launcher.  
 
Planner offers flexibility in viewing and sorting your tasks. Buckets and Labels allow you to quickly categorize your tasks, and setting due dates and assigning resources helps with accountability and visibility. Planner also allows you to see your progress on tasks and change the views to see tasks by person, due date, progress and more. You can also roll up all the things that are assigned to you from multiple projects and create visibility across your teams, planners, projects, etc.
 
This app also integrates well with features like Microsoft Teams. From Teams, you can add a tab to show your current planner. Teams allows you to create a new plan for each channel within your Teams. Simply add Planner to a tab and choose to create a new plan. Keep in mind, if you create a New Plan from within Planner, it will create a new Office 365 Group behind the scenes.
 
office 365 teamwork planner
 

Conclusion

We’ve seen each of these apps used successfully to meet a business need. For example, we have had clients who wanted to prominently display a video of their quarterly CEO chat. Stream allows them to secure the video and easily embed it front and center on their intranet. Another client connected Delve to an employee spotlight display so their employees could learn more about their coworkers with the click of a button. Each of these can offer value when applied to specific needs. They may not be at the front of people’s minds, but they still serve a great purpose.
 
Office 365

 

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