Re: The New Yammer and the best ever KM service being developed: Project Cortex. #CoP #Yammer #state-of-KM #AI

Robert L. Bogue

James –


I’ve got more than a few hairs, whether it’s the children or Microsoft can’t be determined 😉


Let me hit a few of your points.  First, I agree that Microsoft doesn’t have one architecture for Office 365.  It’s an internal battle.  However, Microsoft has settled on Microsoft Search as a single platform.  Fluent framework means everyone will be using the same display framework.  More than ever Microsoft is standardizing in key places.  They’re still doing bonehead things but they’re getting less scattered.


More than anything, I can tell you that Project Cortex has the right architecture (internal to itself.)  It’s Naomi Moneypenny’s team and she’s without a doubt the smartest person I’ve met.  She understands this space better than anyone at Microsoft ever has.


In terms of mining interactions – that’s easy.  Microsoft Graph already does it – and it does work.  The signals are light weight – and the users do them.  It gives Microsoft visibility about relationships.  The only challenge I have with it is that it’s currently implemented on a 60 day window (or it was) so people that you don’t talk to in a while don’t count.  However, there was some discussion about augmenting it with your LinkedIn network – basically you could pin people into your graph.  I’ve not checked on that progress lately – but you can see the UI goodness showing up in places.


As for not being the universe… I totally agree.  If you think about the platform as being powered by search… then search connectors expand this world appropriately.  Also, for those of us who have built solutions to intentionally surface information for search engines (think reverse connector, the app makes itself easier to crawl) this opens an opportunity to expand the access even further.


For us, we see people living in Office 365.  I’ve got a handful of customers who’ve not made the leap – but most have.  I’ve got some customers with Hybrid deployments – which is fine when you’re looking at a search powered platform.


I’m actually really excited because I know how much friction matters when you’re talking about end users.  I still don’t think it’s the same as KM – but I think the reduction of friction is a critical component that this gives us a way to address.





Robert L. Bogue

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From: <> On Behalf Of James Robertson via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, December 2, 2019 4:16 PM
Subject: Re: [SIKM] The New Yammer and the best ever KM service being developed: Project Cortex.



From: SIKM <> on behalf of "Robert L. Bogue" <rbogue@...>
Reply-To: SIKM <>
Date: Monday, December 2, 2019 at 6:38 AM
To: SIKM <>
Subject: Re: [SIKM] The New Yammer and the best ever KM service being developed: Project Cortex.


Cristina –


I’ve got a post that explains my perspective on Project Cortex that will post tomorrow.    Everyone here is welcome to look at it before it posts.  The Word version is available at


My short version is that it’s not really KM.  It does, however, reduce the friction that is felt in many ways and is therefore a useful tool

Hi Rob,

Thanks for the early view of the article, looks great.

For those of us that have been around for a while (no grey hairs yet for me thankfully!), we've seen a number of solutions be released to the market that "mine interactions" to infer expertise and knowledge. All have ultimately foundered.

There are a few ways that this could be different:

  • Scale: Microsoft is the single most dominant player in this market, so a *lot* of organisations will end up with this capability without having to consider a standalone purchase.
  • Reach: these tools are limited by the interactions and resources they can see. If Microsoft is successful, then people will be working *in* O365 more than in previous environments, which gives Cortex greater visibility.
  • Smarts: there's no doubting that Microsoft is investing heavily, and in AI in particular.


Talking with a number of MVPs about different aspects of O365, it's clear that Microsoft doesn't always have a clear strategic vision that joins up the various products, and they can be very weak on the underlying architectural thinking.

O365 is also *not* the entire universe for staff, and to the point that Rob made, integration with other information sources will be key (although likely not a priority for Microsoft).

Lastly: this will only succeed if O365 gains deep and wide adoption. This is far from certain. Despite the investment in Teams for example, we're seeing most of our clients still dabbling in shallow waters, not ready to dive in deep...

Fun times, that's for sure!




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James Robertson
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