With Delve updates, Microsoft offers an internal LinkedIn for the enterprise

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By Michelle Goodman

Microsoft plans to roll out updates to user profile pages in Delve, its Office 365 enterprise social networking app. The updates include a number of features that sound like some offered by LinkedIn, but in this case restricted to co-workers.


Source: Microsoft

With the update, users will be able to view profile pages for colleagues that show documents the colleagues have shared and connections they have with other people at the company, including information about how they know those people. 

The pages will include a photo and information about an individual's experience and offer ways to connect directly with colleagues via Skype, phone call or e-mail. Further, the Delve facelift lets you see projects a particular contact is working on and mark files as favorites to review later.

Whether these changes boost Delve's profile among Office 365 customers remains to be seen. Some other enterprise social networking vendors in the market, like Jive and Salesforce, have similarly offered profile pages aimed at letting workers find colleagues and it's not clear that the features have had a dramatic impact on uptake of their products. Jive added its similar Social Directory as far back as 2013. 

The enterprise social networking market has become a crowded place in recent years. Microsoft is joined by heavy-hitters such as Cisco, Google, IBM, Oracle, and more. Even Microsoft's Yammer is a competitor of sorts.

That said, the market is vast. Last August, market research group Global Industry Analysts predicted that the market for enterprise social networking apps would reach $4.8 billion worldwide by 2020

Delve, which launched in September 2014, is currently included in a number of enterprise and business customer Office 365 subscription plans. 

The Delve updates will become available to First Release users in the next few weeks, with all eligible Office 365 customers expected to gain access by the second quarter of this year, according to the Office 365 Blog.

For more:
- check out the Office Blog announcement
- see the Global Industry Analysts press release on the enterprise social networking market
- see PCWorld story on Salesforce's Community Cloud

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