(Last Updated On: November 5, 2019)

In Orlando, Florida at a Microsoft Ignite conference yesterday, six key areas of investment were announced in Microsoft 365 innovations, which are: productivity, knowledge, workflow, security, compliance, and management. These new leading features will be how AI is used to produce a better experience and to push the limits of productivity. 

Knowledge is Microsoft 365’s brand new investment where it shows that productivity does not just mean efficiency but also collecting and applying the knowledge you have to bring out the best possible outcome, together. The new project announced is called Project Cortex.

The basic idea of Project Cortex is to help employees to locate information a lot more easily and quickly among any of Microsoft’s services either through searching or appropriate algorithms, through hover-links on Microsoft’s apps.

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Microsoft 365 business, Jared Spataro had said in a press conference, “As we have thought about people getting work done together, as we have thought about productivity — really broadly defined — for more than 10 years we have had this vision of being able to not only help people transactionally get things done but also allowing them to take a step back and capture what the organization knows and put that to use, put that to work,” 

For Project Cortex, a system has been built which includes Office documents, emails, chat logs and transcripts from recorded company meetings and all of this is collected and used to and made into topics that form this network.

“The whole idea here is that it’s kind of a spelunker that’s going down into all your content repositories, whether they’re in Microsoft 365, on-prem and file shares and other systems, and it’s searching these things out and putting them together and saying, ” Hey, you have a project here,’ for instance a project or something you’re working on. I can put documents and videos and meetings together, calendar appointments. I can pull people and I can tell you what the organization knows in a 360-degree view about this topic.” Spataro had added.

All this data is gathered and shows up in Microsoft products. For example, if you were to write an email relating to information that is available on the Knowledge Network (as Microsoft refers to Project Cortex as), then the term will be linked and you can hover over it to find out the additional information it provides. The information it will provide will include, who is working on this when it was started and any other project information tha relates to it. This will help the user identify who knows more about this topic and lets you connect with them.

 Even though all these ideas are very helpful, they have also previously arisen from Microsoft and they have not followed through. Ex. Microsoft Graph, which might be slightly different that Project Cortex but also had the intention of putting together the organisations’ data for easier access. 

Although Project Cortex is currently in private preview, it will soon be avaialble in the begining on 2020. 

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