CollabTalk Recap: The Rise of the Machines

A recap of the January 2016 CollabTalk show here on ITUnity, with MVPs Christian Buckley, Naomi Moneypenny, Benjamin Niaulin, and Marc Anderson.

Christian Buckley

by Christian Buckley on 1/18/2016

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Kicking off the new year with our 13th webisode, the team gathered for our monthly discussion on all-things-SharePoint and Office 365. While there has not been much by way of major news out of Redmond for the past few weeks, as we prepare for the ramp up to the major spring conferences (SPTechCon Austin at the end of February, and SharePointFest Denver a week later -- and a bunch of SharePoint Saturday events) we thought we'd catch up on the progress of a few 2015 favorites.

If you have not yet seen the show, CollabTalk is a monthly show here on IT Unity co-hosted by myself (@buckleyplanet) and three great friends from the MVP community: Naomi Moneypenny (@nmoneypenny), Marc Anderson (@sympmarc), and Benjamin Niaulin (@bniaulin). Each webisode is recorded and can be found on the IT Unity YouTube page here.

Here's what we focused on this webisode:

  • Delve Analytics
  • eDiscovery, Compliance, and the Office 365 Protection Center
  • PowerApps Walkthrough

As always, this recap is a summary in my own words, and does not reflect everything discussed within the show. One of the best parts of hanging out with really smart people who work on different aspects of the techjnology is that we all bring different perspectives to the table. I encourage you to watch the full webisode, and be sure to sign up for email reminders of future shows at

A Maturing Delve Offering

By now, most people have seen or experienced Delve within the Office 365 platform, utilizing machine-learning to interpret patterns and signals across your content and from people within your organization. The idea is that a combination of search results, your community activities, and a Delve experience that interprets all of this across your network will make you, as an end user, the most productive.

But what we really focused on was the fact that Delve Analytics is a bit of a misnomer in that when we think about analytics, we generally think of usage data across our team or website. But Delve Analytics is more focused on the individual, showing you the productivity metrics of your own activities. Marc made a great comment of "These metrics are not going to tell you how productive people are. It's going to give you a handle on how you're using your time." Important data, but I think the panel agreed that we're just scratching the surface of how this data will impact our organizational productivity measurements. It's not "the" answer to measuring productivity, but it's going to help Microsoft (and us, as users) move this topic forward. Time to watch the telemetry and iterate. (for those playing the CollabTalk drinking game, two sips)

O365 Protection Center Evolves

I shared a couple quick views into the newly re-branded Compliance Center, now the Office 365 Protection Center. Not a ton of detail yet, but I talked about Microsoft's goal in streamlining the common management activities and admin "experiences" and have (IMO) created a very slick UI that makes common tasks relatively easy. Most of what is there now consists of reports and actions that are taken cross-workload (for example, across SharePoint and Exchange). You still need to go into the individual workloads to launch most workload-specific tasks, but for compliance and advanced threat analysis and actions, the Protection Center will be your go-to destination.

You'll need to login in with the appropriate permissions through your own Office 365 environment, and I encourage you to take the tour.

PowerApps Sampling

Ben walked us through his preview version of PowerApps, and demonstrated how this new tool will help "citizen developers" (PowerUsers and those more technically inclined) to build simple applications that can connect with a growing number of sources, including online and offline data, and create tremendous value for their organizations. If you have not yet seen PowerApps and want a non-developer view of this new solution, you'll definitely want to watch Ben's demo.

You can find Webisode 13 in its entirety here:

Thanks for watching the show! Hope you are registered, and please continue to share your ideas for future shows, feedback on current shows, and other commentary using the hashtag #CollabTalk on Twitter. See you next month!

Topic: SharePoint and Office 365

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