Satya Nadella can see what every Microsoft employee is working on

Satya Nadella on Microsoft's future
Satya Nadella on Microsoft's future

Whenever he wants to see what his worker bees are up to, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella can just open his laptop and check up on them.

The program he uses isn't some NSA-like top-secret spy software. It's actually a part of Microsoft (MSFT) Office called "Delve." You can use it too -- if your company pays Microsoft for it.

Microsoft Delve is yet another cloud tool that allows team members to share and collaborate on documents with one another (see: Google Docs, SharePoint, Trello, Yammer, Slack, etc.) But the difference is that with Delve, you don't have to bookmark important documents or even search for anything -- Delve surfaces the stuff you're interested in automatically.

"It's kind of like a Facebook (FB) news feed for work," Nadella told CNN's World Business Today. "I can see all the work happening inside Microsoft, and it lights up based on what my topics of interest are. Think about how empowering it is to have that kind of transparency and access."

For example, Delve might see that Nadella has a meeting coming up with a Windows executive. Delve would automatically display content relevant to the meeting the drawn from Nadella's email, from SharePoint or Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage system.

In a series of virtual "cards," Delve would show Nadella an agenda the executive sent in advance of the meeting, a PowerPoint slideshow from a recent review with the Windows team, and some market research that the Windows 10 team posted to a team site.

office delve

The only documents Nadella -- or anyone -- can see are those that are public or shared directly. Nadella can't see private Office documents, such as an employee's resume and cover letter being typed up for Apple (AAPL).

It's kind of like Android's Google (GOOGL) Now tool for your office. It searches stuff for you on its own, without you having to sort through hundreds of emails or aimlessly wander through SharePoint to locate a relevant document.

Microsoft says Delve taps into the "Office Graph," an Office tool that learns how you and your team work with one another. It knows what documents you read and share, who you're meeting with, who you work with and who you follow.

As it learns, Microsoft Delve gets smarter, presenting more relevant cards the more you use it.

Delve was announced last year for Office 365 enterprise customers. Nadella announced at Microsoft's Convergence conference in Atlanta on Monday that Delve will be rolling out to midsize and small business Office 365 customers in the next couple months.

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