Working
Microsoft's add-on to Office 365 is designed to allow organizations analyze how workers collaborate. PHOTO: Brian

Microsoft released a tool this week designed to provide insights on how employees spend their time — all with an eye to increase workplace productivity. 

The solution — Microsoft Workplace Analytics — is an add-on for Office 365 enterprise edition.

Workplace Analytics provides insights on Office 365 email and calendar metadata, including to/from data, subject lines and timestamps.

Ryan Fuller, general manager of Workplace Analytics for Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, wrote this will help, "shine a light on how the organization collaborates and spends time." 

"It turns," he added, "this digital exhaust — the data that comes naturally from our everyday work — into a set of behavioral metrics that can be used to understand what’s going on in an organization."

Fuller promised customers, in other words the license owners, retain possession of their Office 365 data and can decide how to apply insights generated by Workplace Analytics. It has built-in privacy and security capabilities. 

“We believe building a true digital, data-driven enterprise requires organizations to empower and connect their people across everything — people, processes, data and systems,” Kathleen Hogan, chief people officer at Microsoft, said. “Our HR Business Insights group is using Workplace Analytics across a variety of initiatives — from understanding the behaviors driving increased employee engagement, to identifying the qualities of top-performing managers who are leading Microsoft’s cultural transformation from within. We believe people analytics is a competitive necessity for any HR team.” 

Microsoft Workplace Analytics

In other technology news ...

DBmaestro Raises $4.5 Million  

Boston-based DBmaestro, a provider of DevSecOps solutions for database technology, announced a $4.5 million financing round led by Vertex Ventures. Existing investors Stage 1, Lool Ventures and iAngels also participated. 

Officials said the company will use the investment to help launch its next-generation database automation solutions and extend its global sales and marketing reach.

DBmaestro technology focuses on release automation, versioning and policy control. 

Company officials backed the need for DevOps by citing a 2016 Gartner report — DevSecOps: How to Seamlessly Integrate Security Into DevOps. The report found that by 2019, more than 60 percent of DevOps initiatives will have adopted version control and tight management of infrastructure automation tools, up from less than 5 percent in 2016.

TIBCO Updates Jaspersoft 

TIBCO has released the latest version of its business intelligence tool Jaspersoft. Version 6.4 includes more than 100 quality, feature and performance improvements.

New features include more web-based reporting, multi-level hyperlink actions through dashboards and import-export features that streamline the management content on the JasperReports Server.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company also added features to its Visualize.js application developer community. It added input control components and the ability to inherit CSS for styling web page content. 

The new release has re-worked UIs for defining HTML5 charts, with hundreds of properties available for customizable report content.                    

Mediagrif Acquires Orckestra                    

Longueuil, Quebec-based ecommerce provider Mediagrif Interactive Technologies has entered into an agreement to acquire Montreal-based Orckestra, which provides commerce solutions for the retail and manufacturing industry. 

“We are happy to welcome and unite the Orckestra team within Mediagrif," Claude Roy, president and CEO of Mediagrif, said in a statement. "This acquisition represents a unique opportunity for Mediagrif to gain footprint in the rapidly growing digital retail sector."

Louis Fournier, president of Orckestra, said his company's solutions have served some of the largest and most innovative retailers. The acquisition, he said, "will allow us to expand our footprint and pave the road for the years ahead for our customers and partners. This deal will also keep jobs and management here in Quebec, which is a testimonial to the vibrant technology ecosystem we are evolving in."