Everything you need to know about the Microsoft Syntex announcement and more.
(This blog will be updated as official announcements are released by Microsoft during Ignite 2022.)
There have been some remarkable Syntex updates shared at the 2022 Microsoft Ignite Conference. One of the key announcements is the slight rename of SharePoint Syntex to Microsoft Syntex. This reflects that Syntex can now be used across the whole of Microsoft 365 and not just SharePoint. Microsoft Syntex is now part of a whole new category in Microsoft called Content AI.
Before we dive into the announcement, if you are interested in a Microsoft Syntex demo, make sure to fill out the form below as we are looking to host a live session in the near future. We will be demonstrating the new features and give you the opportunity to ask our Syntex experts related questions.
Microsoft Syntex demo session + Q&A
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What is Content AI?
Businesses run on content and by 2025, there will be 130 billion terabytes of it – such as proposals, contracts, presentations, invoices, designs, plans, legal documents, and training videos. This content is often unstructured, and locked up in siloed repositories, or worse, sitting as paper in a warehouse. Today, organisations spend $46 billion a year storing and managing content, and countless hours of lost productivity in manual processing. Storage alone is not the answer. What’s needed is a new category of technology solutions called Content AI.
Content AI utilises advancements in Cloud and AI to transform how content is created, processed, and discovered, empowering people and automating workflows at scale.
What is Microsoft Syntex?
Microsoft Syntex is a Content AI solution that helps you understand, assemble, discover and reuse content with AI-powered capabilities and M365 applications to drive collaboration and automation at scale.
Microsoft Syntex will help you manage incoming content such as images and documents when they are uploaded into a library. With no-code AI models, Syntex will understand key information, extract metadata, apply retention and secure the content, so no manual data entries or data tagging is required.
Microsoft Syntex is Content AI integrated into the flow of work. Syntex automatically reads, tags and indexes high volumes of content and connects it where it’s needed – in search, in applications and as reusable knowledge. It manages your content throughout its lifecycle, with robust analytics, security, and automated retention. It puts people at the centre, with content seamlessly integrated into collaboration and workflows, turning content from a cost into an advantage.
Microsoft Syntex capabilities include:
Enhance – Understand and assemble content with AI-powered summarisation, translation, auto-assembly, and annotations integrated into Microsoft 365 and Teams
Connect – Discover and reuse content with AI-powered search, eSignature and integration into business workflows like contracts and invoice management
Manage – Analyze and protect content through its lifecycle with AI-powered security and compliance, backup and restore and advanced content management
New Microsoft Syntex features announced at Ignite 2022
Syntex will have an integrated eSignature approval feature for content within the SharePoint interface. Alternatively, third-party providers such as Adobe Acrobat Sign or DocuSign can also be integrated in the same place. When using the eSignature feature for your document approval process, there is no longer a requirement for any complex workflow solutions or any compliance risks with the file having to be sent outside your M365 tenant to a third-party provider. We’re very excited about this feature and have been wanting a simple eSignature tool within the SharePoint interface for years.
Document Summarisation with Microsoft Syntex
Another key update that is landing next year that we are looking forward to is Document Summarisation. Imagine having the ability to use Syntex to read content and then generate summaries of that content to extract key points e.g. pricing, company information, key contact information, etc. Syntex can extract what text it believes to be important through AI or alternatively rules can be configured to teach Syntex AI to pick out key information from a particular type of document. People will then be able to scan through just the key points of content rather than having to read the whole document, freeing them up to focus on what’s important and needs action.
Image tagging – When images are added to a library, Syntex will be able to automatically recognise the content of the images and then tag the file with recognised items. We love this update as this will feed in very well with search and allow users to search for the content within images without having to locate/open the images.
Document Translation – Using Microsoft Syntex from a SharePoint document library there will be an option to request automatic document translations into dozens of languages. This will save staff from having to send documents to a translator to translate the document manually or rely on another third-party translation service.
Document annotation – this allows users to annotate documents to perhaps highlight in colour different keywords or to draw a circle around key sections. I love this feature as this should speed up collaboration. Often it is quicker to highlight key points on a document than describe the section in text on an email. We also see big wins in filling paper-based forms by mobile workers e.g., engineers on a touch screen tablet making notes whilst performing maintenance.
Microsoft Syntex Search (coming in 2023)
There have also been several exciting additions to search using Syntex, Microsoft Search and AI. With Syntex, there is already an advanced search experience available for Syntex users in document libraries from the top bar. This helps users to create powerful queries, beyond basic filtering, using the extracted metadata to filter and find information more quickly in large repositories.
Additionally, there have been some big improvements to Syntex using Microsoft Search to add semantic understanding and natural language search. AI-powered Microsoft Search in M365 enables people to search by concepts, for example, “how many solar panels to charge a home” rather than exact text. Syntex answers your questions and related concepts with pre-built answers. These pre-built answers are built automatically by Microsoft Search scanning your content and then predicting the answers that it believes users will need to know. The other pre-built answers will be available for users to access on the search page.
Syntex builds on the great work already done with Syntex Content Assembly to allow new documents to be generated using templates and metadata which has been previously extracted, entered or pulled from other sources. There are some great additions to Content Assembly to allow PDFs to be merged and edited. Imagine creating a contract document using Content Assembly and then merging it with some standard terms and conditions contained in another PDF document. We’re excited about this update as it is all done through the SharePoint interface and can be performed by standard users – typically users would need third-party apps to edit PDFs.
As part of the ‘Manage’ category of Content AI Microsoft Syntex is also covering Lifecycle Management. This allows reporting of sites e.g., inactivity. Simple rules can be established to move less critical content to lower-cost storage tiers – freeing space and saving money. This is a very exciting update – we deal with many clients who have been using M365 for a number of years and have “collected” lots of content and are close to exceeding their storage quota in M365. Now any inactive sites that are not frequently accessed can be moved to a lower-cost storage tier, freeing up storage space on their M365 tenant.
Coming in 2023 – Syntex enhanced backup and restore.
This will allow content across Outlook, OneDrive and SharePoint to be backed up for future point in time recovery. This will be very useful for example if there is a case of ransomware and an employee’s OneDrive needs to be restored, or if any employee deletes thousands of files by accident. This a very important update for maintaining business continuity!
Microsoft Syntex licensing update
Another significant change for Microsoft Syntex is the new Pay As You Go licensing model, alongside the existing Per User Syntex model. Getting started with Syntex will be much easier as many Syntex services can be activated for a user with no additional licensing through the new model. The Pay As You Go Syntex model is achieved by attaching an Azure subscription to your M365 tenant to enable many of the Microsoft Syntex services discussed above. Once the subscription is attached you can use the Azure Costs Management app in the Azure portal to view and manage costs. Here you will be able to see reports of Syntex usage so you can predict trends and with granular reporting even report on departmental use for example.
We await further details on this, but we see this as a positive step forward for Syntex adoption, enabling all users to benefit from Syntex and not just licensed users.
Use cases for Microsoft Syntex
Syntex is all about driving efficiency, rather than having staff spend time acquiring, classifying, or sorting information. Instead they can find the knowledge and insights it contains much more quickly. This technology can speed up processes, support compliance and help to keep your data secure. Below you can find a variety of specific Microsoft Syntex use cases.
If you would like to know how Syntex can help your specific organisation, don’t hesitate to sign up for our next demo session above or schedule a call with our expert Syntex Consultants.
Statements of work/Proposals
Images of technical specifications
Tagging objects in images
Approval for payment of received contract
Approval for generation of contract
Automatic payment of invoices using Banking API
Email notifications when a Syntex model has been processed on a file
Various integrated solutions processing files with Syntex models and then doing something with the metadata extracted i.e. contract generation
(Syntex & PnP Modern Search)
Various advanced search solutions using metadata of documents processed by Syntex models
Linking Power BI to a SharePoint document library and providing reports using metadata of files i.e. sales figures
Create Viva Topics from Syntex extracted values
Using Syntex to assist when migrating data into M365 from other systems outside of M365 to identify types of content, enrich files with metadata then route to specific libraries
Auto applied Sensitivity/Retention labels on Syntex models
Client Success Story
SharePoint Syntex drives knowledge creation for NWG
By leveraging the power of Syntex, NWG has unlocked the latent potential of their content, allowing for unprecedented capabilities in locating and utilising key organisational knowledge. The organisation can save time and money by automatically extracting data from the documents instead of doing it manually and ensure better compliance.
Leon Armston, Intelogy’s M365 Consultant and Microsoft MVP is very excited about the potential for Syntex:
“The announcement of Microsoft Syntex (formerly known as SharePoint Syntex) and all these big announcements of new features is a very exciting time in the Content AI space. I find it incredible that over 1.6 billion documents are added to M365 on a daily basis and by 2025 there will be an estimated 130 billion terabytes of unstructured content in M365. This will often be files literally “dumped” in sites, file shares, apps or even in paper format in a dusty archive room. I’m excited to help companies manage their content using Microsoft Syntex and its advances in AI to transform how content is created, processed, and discovered; helping employees to find the information they need for the task they are working on and saving them time.
Syntex is now not just about content within SharePoint, hence the rename to Microsoft Syntex. It has also expanded into lifecycle management, which I’m excited about. This allows reporting of activity in sites and then the ability to archive inactive sites to a lower-cost storage tier. There is also backup and restore functionality within Syntex covering a wide range of M365 workloads i.e. SharePoint, Outlook and OneDrive.
I’m most excited about some of the great features coming to SharePoint document libraries such as document translation, document summarisation and a great feature that my customers will love for document approval – Syntex eSignature!
Most companies are not realising the true value of using AI with their content to turn it from a cost into an advantage. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the new updates, talking about them and then using them with our customers to gain value from their content.”
You can read the official Microsoft announcement here and if you want to find out what Syntex can mean for your organisation, why not get in touch with us?
Our Microsoft Syntex consultants will work with you to gather data about the content in your organisation and make recommendations of where Syntex might bring value. As a Charter Member of the Content Services Partner Program, Intelogy has been recognised by Microsoft for providing industry-leading services in Microsoft Syntex.
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Leon is an experienced Microsoft 365 Consultant with excellent knowledge and expertise. Always willing to share this to help others. A technology enthusiast who enjoys seeing in the workplace how technology can drive improvement and efficiency.
Published On: October 12th, 2022 Categories: Syntex