When we look at the venerable office suite, ubiquitous on nearly every desktop in the world, there is a certain sense of familiarity with the product. We know what Word does, and Powerpoint has become so well known that it has become a verb.
Within the last couple of years, Microsoft has taken a keen interest in promoting cloud computing and cooperative document development. The culmination of these efforts is most keenly felt in two arenas. OneDrive and Change Tracking. Between the two, it is now possible to seamlessly share and collaborate on extensive projects at a fraction of the time it used to take.
Microsoft has not sat on its laurels, however. At the beginning of March, 2014, the company announced three new technologies that will be incorporated into Office over the next couple of quarters. This technology is designed for the work place, and is an excellent way for the career minded employee to stand out.
This is designed to help discover material that will be helpful in your job. For instance, if you are working on a contract for someone you do not remember, and then Graph will be able to pull up the information needed to jog your memory.
Beyond that, it is commonly understood that a fast and intelligent employee is more valuable than one who goes about doing everything the hard way. Graph enables you to see all previous work done by your organization. Going back to the contract example, it is now possible to find a contract that the client has accepted in the past and alter it to match the new agreement. This can potentially save you hours, and create something the client is more apt to accept.
A limited version of this had already existed within SharePoint, the upgrade extends this functionality throughout Office.
Imagine this as an in-house version of Facebook, with document collaboration features built in.
The age of machine aided production has arrived in the office. Oslo is a rudimentary artificial intelligence, programmed to learn from your actions and present data that you seek out often without any fuss.
An example of this: let us say that every Monday you are responsible for going over the expenses of the previous week. Oslo will learn this, and have the appropriate files already at the front of your To Do list. Beyond that, an email draft to those you share the completed work with will be waiting.
By eliminating the time you spend looking for the files, and getting the final work sent out, you are better able to concentrate on the bigger picture. This little freedom can serve as a catalyst in your advancement in your company.
This is another aspect of Graphs, though now with the focus on improving the collaboration features built into the suite itself. Every saved document is indexed and made available to members of your team. In addition, instant messaging and email are always a click away, so you can consult a colleague over the finer points of a document without have to switch windows.
A career is based upon work and connections, this enables you to improve both in a manner that will ultimately save you time.
These tools are going to be made available to Office365 customers in the later part of 2014. Since Office365 includes updates and upgrades as part of the contract, these will be free to use.
Material for this article has been obtained from a variety of sources, including:
Image Credit: Flickr user Michael Kappel