Here we are in the third decade of the 21st century, and artificial intelligence is really kicking into gear. AI is already helping us to better understand — and serve — clients as well as improve the way in which we run our business operations. With these advances, it makes sense that AI is going to play a big role in the ongoing development of the SharePoint landscape.

SharePoint has been helping businesses share content and collaborate for over a decade now. However, Microsoft’s recent Project Cortex initiative is seeking to build on this, integrating powerful AI into the functionality of SharePoint with the new SharePoint Syntex product.

Understanding Project Cortex

The Project Cortex initiative was developed by Microsoft to add advanced artificial intelligence functionality to Microsoft 365 products. The initiative is still in development and is designed to support additional knowledge, understanding, insight and expertise when customers use 365 apps.

With this additional data and capability, users will find it much easier to get the very best from Microsoft 365’s offerings — including SharePoint — enhancing the experience for employees and customers alike.

Introducing SharePoint Syntex

So far, SharePoint Syntex is the only product to be made available as a direct result of Project Cortex, although this is expected to change in the coming months. With Syntex, users will find that AI is becoming an increasingly important fixture in the SharePoint landscape.

SharePoint users will now be able to automate the processing and development of content and make it easier for personnel to access the content they need. The AI will develop semantic understanding of content information and extract key details for us in a variety of applications. Over time, user search queries will help to “teach” the system, making machine learning an ongoing process and achieving ever-improving results for your business.

Exploring the Capabilities of SharePoint Syntex in More Detail

If we only skim the surface of SharePoint Syntex, the advantages it offers are perhaps a little confusing. However, it is when we delve into its capabilities that the true benefits become clear.

The key capabilities of Syntex include:

  • Content understanding
  • Content processing
  • Content compliance

Content Processing with SharePoint Syntex

Built into SharePoint Syntex is a form processing engine. This engine is based on AI Builder, which has already been in use inside the Power Platform for over a year now and works to recognize common values and content elements within documents. By feeding structured and semi-structured documents into the system, the AI learns to spot these elements — including names, addresses, dates, numerical values, etc. — and can extract these where necessary.

After using a few documents to teach the system, Syntex will begin providing highly reliable results.

Syntex’s AI also works on image processing and draws upon a growing visual dictionary of objects that it can recognize and process. Automatic tagging options and recognition and interpretation of handwriting removes the labour and cost associated with processing content.

Preparing Ahead of Launch

Collect documents and content elements that represent some of the most common operations of your business. You can use these documents to teach the Syntex AI what to look for.

Content Understanding with SharePoint Syntex

Of course, it’s relatively easy for an automated system to recognize data within structured forms and documents. SharePoint Syntex can go beyond this, working with data within unstructured documents and understanding and interpreting this data.

The system can learn to understand a wide range of different content elements, from manuals and contracts through to resumes, applying the necessary processing functions to these elements. Suggesting and crafting metadata and building content workflows are just a few of the processing tasks that SharePoint Syntex can complete, with only minimal human input required.

Preparing Ahead of Launch

Research common metadata tags and categories as well as the processing tasks that are typically applied to different types of content. Use this to give Syntex a grounding in what it needs to recognize and interpret.

Content Compliance with SharePoint Syntex

Businesses need to be able to rely on their compliance procedures. Syntex makes this easier thanks to its content processing and understanding capabilities. The artificial intelligence can be instructed to add compliance labels to certain content elements and documents when conditions are met, ensuring that sensitive documents are stored appropriately, and the correct actions are taken when handling regulated pieces of content.

This applies to both regulatory compliance and internal compliance, making it easy for companies to adhere to legal requirements and guidelines during their operations, as well as uphold their own native-developed standards.

Preparing Ahead of Launch

Start compiling the compliance requirements that apply to your business’ content so that the Syntex AI has foundation-level data to draw on during its initial implementation.

Reach Out to Softlanding Today

SharePoint Syntex is now available to purchase for all Microsoft 365 commercial customers. To find out more about SharePoint Syntex and to discover how Softlanding can help you with Microsoft 365, contact us now.

Written By:

Caroline Blivet

As Softlanding's Marketing Lead, Caroline and is responsible for driving lead generation, developing a go-to-market strategy and, delivering marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Caroline enjoys hiking the beautiful trails of British Columbia.

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