Editor’s note 5/16/2017:
This post has been updated to reflect additional updates made to the Office 365 Groups card.
In the modern workplace, an organization’s most important assets are its people. The knowledge, skills and expertise found throughout your carefully recruited teams are tantamount to individual and collective success.
All too often, however, this specialized knowledge is obfuscated by physical and organizational barriers. People know what information they need, but are unable to track down the answers they’re looking for. The popular adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” reminds us that the best-connected employees get the most done.
That’s where Office 365 can help. As Microsoft works to reinvent productivity for the modern workplace, our goal is to put people at the center of the connected suite experience. When you’re able to tap into the hidden knowledge throughout your organization and leverage your talent pool, you’re able to achieve more.
Starting today, we’re rolling out an extended profile card experience across Office 365 to enhance the way you collaborate with colleagues and external contacts. We’ve made several big improvements that improve on the existing experience across three pillars to create an intelligent, holistic and integrated profile experience.
Traditionally, employees looking for specific information had to manually connect the dots between people and units of knowledge. By tapping into the Office 365 graph and machine learning, the new Office 365 profile card can identify information relevant to you based on the person you’re looking up. This can help you quickly look up documents that have been shared with you, independent of how they were sent.
We’re also working to help employees connect with people across the organization that they don’t traditionally interact with. The new Organization view shows a complete picture of the highlighted user’s position in the company, including their direct reports and co-workers. Office 365 will also surface other people relevant to the person you are looking up based on their working habits and communication.
We’re integrating the new profile card everywhere you see a person’s name—but it’s important that the experience doesn’t interrupt your productivity. We’ve made it easy for users to achieve these tasks with as little interruption to their workflow as possible. Hovering over a name provides a quick look at their most important attributes, such as contact details, recent documents and manager. More details are only a click away with the extended flex pane that displays additional information without navigating from the page.
Over the next few weeks, the new profile card experience will begin rolling out in OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online for Office 365 customers enrolled in first release. We’ll continue to roll out this service for all Office 365 users over the next few months. As always, we’d love to hear what you think, so please let us know in the comments below.
We’re also improving the way Outlook on the web users interact with Office 365 Groups, through a newly refreshed Groups card. This card continues to deliver on the direction set by our new profile experience and gives you easy access to all the components of a group, such as conversations, calendar, notebook, files, planner and more. You’ll be able to easily join, leave, follow and unfollow groups at your convenience. The new Groups card will roll out to Outlook on the web users first, followed by other applications throughout the Office 365 suite.
—Tom Batcheler, @TomBatcheler, senior product marketing manager for the Office 365 team