SharePoint Syntex to automate content categorization and create a basis for knowledge retention

Microsoft has announced the general availability of Microsoft SharePoint Syntex from Oc. 1, 2020. This is the first packaged product to emerge from the codenamed Project Cortex initiative first announced in November 2019. Project Cortex reflects Microsoft’s continued investment in intelligent content services and APIs charts to proactively explore and categorize digital assets from Microsoft 365. and other connected sources.

Syntex SharePoint will be available to M365 customers with E3 or E5 licenses for a small increase per user. At the time of this writing, we expect this price to be around $ 5 per user per month, but that may be subject to change. SharePoint Syntex provides some of the fundamental artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) services that will help information managers understand, process, and automatically tag content. The second phase of the Cortex project launch – tools for knowledge conservation and management – is expected by the end of 2020.

Why is this important?

Too many organizations have ignored the importance of a strong information architecture and metadata strategy, whether or not they use SharePoint. Improvements to SharePoint Syntex could help put these strategies back on track. Organizing and tagging documents on a large scale is a daunting task that currently requires a lot of human labor, but it is important work to form a solid foundation on which to build an improved set of discovery, dissemination and discovery capabilities. knowledge retention in the near future. mid-future. Sharepoint Syntex is positioned to automate some of this intensive work and drive key results.

What is it and what does it do?

Microsoft SharePoint Syntex will offer new ways to manage large volumes of documents through a new “content center”, which brings various intelligent content services – AI, ML, OCR, enhanced taxonomy services, and more. – document libraries. Microsoft is taking some of the most relevant Azure cognitive services and infusing them into M365 through this SharePoint Syntex add-on. New templating capabilities will allow subject matter experts and content managers to define and refine how intelligent services analyze, tag, and extract data from documents.

Highlights of SharePoint Syntex available in October include:

  • Processing of images and forms. Images can be automatically tagged by taking advantage of what Microsoft calls a “new visual dictionary” to apply metadata descriptors when common objects are recognized in an image (including JPG, PNG, PDF, etc.). Another service allows non-technical users to create an AI model to automatically extract values ​​of semi-structured documents, such as dates, names, or addresses, from repeatable document types such as receipts or documents. invoices. Microsoft says these forms processing models can be trained with a small set of document samples – perhaps less than 10 – if the right combination of positives and negatives is included.
  • Understanding of documents. Longer documents containing text can have broad or long-term business value and benefit from consistent metadata markup for better search and discovery. SharePoint Syntex can automate the metadata tagging of content-rich documents. Microsoft built this capability using the Language Understanding Intelligent Services for Documents (LUIS-D) model of its Azure Cognitive Services. These models, also integrated into the new Content Center, can be trained by subject matter experts and can be applied to multiple libraries. Formats include Office documents, text formats, PDFs, emails, etc.
  • Automated compliance labels. This automatically extracted metadata not only contributes to better search and retrieval, but it can also be used to initiate a workflow process, apply a retention policy through Microsoft’s new retention label feature, or take advantage of labels. sensitivity to control access and distribution of the document.

What can organizations do with Microsoft SharePoint Syntex?

Microsoft customers can work on automating document organization and markup (at scale) by:

  • Experiment with Syntex with a subset of your user licenses. It’s not a feature to turn on and just run. This will require an investment of time and internal expertise. Organizations that want to pilot SharePoint Syntex can start with a small set of add-on licenses to get started. Choose a set of documents or use cases that cause productivity bottlenecks, are part of integrated processes that can be metadata-driven, or that can improve adoption of data retention or protection policies associated with more consistent markup. The initial version of SharePoint Syntex will support English, with more languages ​​to come in the future.
  • Work with a specially trained partner to get started quickly. To Microsoft’s credit, it doesn’t position these Cortex-inspired products as technological magic bullets. For SharePoint Syntex (and later product versions) to really work, it will take human expertise, knowledge of business processes and information architecture, and skills to launch projects. Microsoft has launched a partner program specifically to train and activate certain systems integrators and independent software vendors, which can then support end-user customers.
  • Gather your information and knowledge management gurus into a dream team. Bring your experts to the (virtual) table and understand where to invest next. In conversations with large companies over the past 18-24 months, it’s clear to me that there is renewed interest in better and smarter management of digital knowledge assets. The need to support virtual and remote workers has raised the stakes for a sound information management strategy. The businesses that will survive – if not thrive – in the uproar of 2020 understand the value of knowledge in serving customers as well as employees.

This article was written by senior analyst Cheryl McKinnon, and it originally appeared here.

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