NextGen Portals with Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is expanding on its successful Portals portfolio to deliver new and enriched experiences to user. According to Mark Kashman (senior product manager in Office 365 group) “Going forward, Office 365 will serve as a platform for us to deliver new destinations-NextGen Protals-which by design will be:

  • Intelligent, leveraging the Office Graph to deliver personalized, relevant information to users.
  • Social, integrating social interactions from Yammer to fuel participation.
  • Mobile, easy to access and consume content from any device, and anywhere.
  • Ready to go, getting you up and running quickly with highly functional, beautiful intranet portals. Use more, build less.”


Some of these changes are already visible for different plan users. Let us examine those which immediately catch your attention

UI Changes:

Top Bar has changed. A new Office 365 portal home link is visible which takes users to

This page shows a tiled view of all the available Office 365 apps.


The new Apps icon on top left gives you a shortcut to access all the Apps from one click.


App tiles allow you to pin the most relevant tiles to the menu bar. You can also remove the tiles from the apps list.


Other than some very obvious UI changes, two new notable inclusions in the Apps section need some mention. Office 365 Video and Office Delve.

Office 365 Video:

The new Office 365 Video is your own secure corporate version of You tube. I have seen a lot of our company content being posted on Youtube for sharing with employees. Well, all of this is expected to change with the official launch of Office 365 Video portal in February 2015. The new Video portal is powered by Azure Media Services. These videos are shared via the portal; discoverable through Office 365 Graph API and Delve; can be made part of Yammer conversations and are optimized for Mobile experience.


For a detailed overview of this exciting new offering, check out ref:

Office Delve:

According to Office Delve is a new way to discover relevant information and connections from across your work life. Delve displays information that is most relevant for each person based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they are engaging.  With Delve, information finds you versus you having to find information. At the heart of Delve is the Office Graph. (I am personally very excited about the potential this API offers and will soon follow up with a blog post on this topic). Delve is like your personal assistant, a tool which automatically analyzes content, user interactions and activity streams. It then presents the most relevant content for each user within their My Site portal.


Office Graph currently has the ability to sniff inside all your Office 365 content including Exchange 365 emails, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and Yammer. Ability to sniff Email attachments, Lync and OneNote content is expected to be included fairly soon in Office Graph extending the diversity of Delve.

As promised, I will follow-up with a detailed post on Office Graph. Till then, stay put…


Hassan Askari