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Microsoft Convergence 2015 – Microsoft Opens Up Delve, Power BI Business Tools

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Now’s your chance to play with Satya Nadella’s favourite toys

Microsoft has kicked off its Convergence 2015 event with the launch of two new business tools which it says will provide a big leap forward in productivity and organisational development.

Speaking in his opening keynote, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella revealed that the company would be opening up both social collaboration service Delve and dashboard tool Power BI to public users from today.

The two tools come with Nadella’s personal seal of approval, as he revealed to the audience that these were two programs he used every day.

“Every walk of life and every industry is taking advantage of this digitisation of nearly everything,” he revealed, “how I spend my time on a daily basis has changed.”

Microsoft DelveNew faces

Delve (pictured left) is an Office service which allows employees to share and interact with the work created by their colleagues through a single program. Resembling a Facebook News Feed page for your organisation, users are able to quickly view and access work relevant to their personal interests within their company, and even create Pinterest-esque boards to display work relevant to their interests.

There’s also Exchange Online and Yammer content available in the service, which uses machine learning techniques to map the relationships between people, content and activity across Office 365 services including email, OneDrive, SharePoint and Yammer.

“Companies recognize that the open and transparent exchange of information enables quicker decisions and more rapid innovation,” Julia White, general manager for the Office 365 team, wrote in a blog post detailing the release. “Delve plays a pivotal role by unlocking the valuable knowledge held by each individual in an organisation, and making it easy for people to discover and build upon the work and expertise of others.”

PowerBI allows business decision makers to create personalised dashboards allowing them to track statistics and usage of various business processes within their organisation. Using dynamic analytics tracking, Power BI lets users track real-time data on their processes and share this with colleagues and customers.

Nadella hailed the feedback capability of Power BI in Microsoft’s continuing development of Windows 10 before its release next month. Noting that three million people are currently using the Windows 10 insider program, he showed off how Power BI displays real-time feedback on the software, allowing Microsoft to track which areas are working and which aren’t up to scratch.

“This lets us improve our services in real-time,” Nadella noted, “this is a transformative process for Microsoft!”

The news was also welcomed by organisations in the UK, who hailed the need for increased productivity in a competitive business environment.

“There’s a very clear need for tools that enable businesses to become more productive and collaborative as they move ever closer to becoming digital businesses,” said Andy Hutchins, director, collaboration at Avanade UK.”The cloud is a very important conduit to reaching that goal but a lot of it will also come down to the ways we can use our applications, access our documents and work in real time. Services that allow us to do this will give the time and headspace to think and be productive, instead of spending all of our time looking for stuff.”

Both Delve and Power BI are available to download from today.

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