In a previous post, we discussed how productivity is lost when employees waste time searching for information. Unstructured data in particular is difficult to manage, organize and search. Gartner recently identified a new search product category called “insight engines,” which use multiple artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to handle more complex search queries and deliver structured and unstructured data more effectively.
Microsoft recently introduced new organizational search capabilities that fall into this product category. Microsoft Search uses the same AI technology used by
Bing to provide an intelligent, personalized search experience across the applications you work with every day, using context from your activity and documents to suggest results before you even type a query. Microsoft Search will be rolled out to Windows and all Office apps in 2019.
In addition to using Bing’s AI technology, Microsoft Search is powered by Microsoft Graph. Microsoft Graph is the API for Microsoft 365 that connects developers to Office 365, Windows 10, and other Microsoft products such as Azure Active Directory, Outlook and SharePoint. Developers can integrate their services with these products, build their own productivity applications, and respond to application and user data in real time. A wealth of documentation, samples and open source code is available on GitHub.
Microsoft calls Graph “the fabric of all your data,” where the company encourages developers to integrate data with workflows, business intelligence, AI insights, and outside applications and data sources. Because developer buy-in will be critical to the success of Graph, Microsoft is emphasizing the ability to collaborate with teams, manage data and projects, share insights, and develop innovative applications. In other words, Graph is being positioned as platform that enables you to get work done in Office 365.
Microsoft Graph enables developers to access a number of tools and capabilities through a single platform. A variety of management and administrative tasks can also be automated. You can use Graph to onboard new users, assign managers, add or change user roles, and grant permissions. You can also add devices through Intune, Microsoft’s cloud-based desktop and mobile device management tool.
Microsoft Graph also makes it possible to manage employee profiles and keep company directory data current and accurate. This will allow you to prevent productivity loss and reduce compliance issues caused by bad data. You’ll be able to analyze and query profile data and detect errors or missing information. For example, you can update information in Exchange, Azure Active Directory and SharePoint, all through Graph’s secure APIs.
The Microsoft Graph Security API, which became generally available in September, simplifies alert management, provides rich business and threat context, and automates security operations to improve response times. Calls from all Microsoft security products and partners are federated and aggregated in a common schema so alerts from a wide range of sources can easily be correlated. When investigating threats, you can query alerts based on the user, device, file or even the command line. You can then tag alerts with additional context or intelligence to enhance the response. Webhook subscriptions can be used to receive notifications about alerts that match your search criteria or changes to security assignments.
However, Microsoft Graph isn’t just an administrative tool. In our next post, we’ll discuss how Graph can automate data collection and streamline workflows for your end-users.
Written and composed by Principal, Steve Soper