Webinar Recap | Microsoft SharePoint Premium in Action | Document Processing Case Study

In our webinar, we explored the evolution and capabilities of SharePoint Premium, diving into its foundational role within Microsoft 365 as the backbone for Teams, OneDrive, and intelligent intranets. We discussed how SharePoint Premium enhances content management through advanced features like AI-driven document processing, customizable metadata automation, and integrated e-signatures, empowering organizations to streamline workflows and enhance data accessibility across diverse document types and business processes.  

SharePoint Overview 

To understand SharePoint Premium, we need to start with SharePoint itself. SharePoint has been a core part of the Microsoft ecosystem for many years and is now central to the Microsoft 365 (M365) world. SharePoint Online is included in your M365 subscription and supports several other services within the M365 suite. For instance, it underpins file storage in Teams and serves as the technology behind OneDrive. SharePoint is also the foundation for Microsoft’s intelligent intranet and employee experience solutions, such as the Viva Suite, which enhances employee experience capabilities. 

SharePoint has evolved significantly since its release in 2001, and this continuous evolution has led to the creation of what we now call SharePoint Premium. 

SharePoint Premium 

SharePoint Premium has evolved from Microsoft’s work on AI and machine learning. Initially launched as Project Cortex, it was later released to the public as Microsoft Syntex, and now its features have been integrated to form SharePoint Premium.  

Think of SharePoint Premium as an overarching brand rather than a single product, encompassing various functionalities categorized into three main areas: content processing, content experiences, and content governance.  

These capabilities bring intelligent content management to SharePoint and include features like SharePoint embedded (backend functionality without a user interface), document versioning, and governance through connections to Microsoft Graph. SharePoint Advanced Management (SAM) delivers enhanced governance capabilities. 

SharePoint Premium includes several features: 

  • Content Assembly: Uses AI to create documents from templates and metadata. 
  • Document Processing: Focuses on today’s topic. 
  • Image Tagging and Taxonomy Tagging: Automates metadata addition to files. 
  • AI-Powered Document Translation: Translates documents using AI. 
  • E-Signatures: Provides Microsoft’s e-signature capabilities integrated with DocuSign and AdobeSign. 
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Converts images of documents into text for metadata extraction. 
  • Microsoft 365 Archive and Backup: Offers tiered storage and backup solutions. 
  • Annotations: Allows users to add notes to documents within SharePoint. 
  • Merge and Extract PDFs: Combines and separates PDF pages. 
  • Content Query: Builds queries based on metadata for business process automation. 
  • Processing Rules: Adds business logic to document creation and processing. 
  • Compliance Features: Delivered through SAM, enhancing regulatory adherence. 

Common Use Cases 

Today’s focus is on the document processing capabilities of SharePoint Premium, also known as intelligent document processing (IDP). IDP includes pre-built machine learning models provided by Microsoft and the ability to create custom models. 

Pre-built models include: 

  • Contract Processing: Extracts key information like client names, addresses, contract duration, and renewal dates. 
  • Invoice Processing: Extracts data such as customer names, billing addresses, due dates, and amounts due. 
  • Receipt Processing: Extracts merchant names, phone numbers, transaction dates, and totals. 

Custom models allow for greater accuracy by training on your specific data. There are three types: 

  • Structured: For standardized documents with consistent formats, like forms. 
  • Freeform: For less structured documents like letters and contracts. 
  • Unstructured: A teaching model for various document types. 

The Challenge 

Our client needed help streamlining the processing of financial statements, both digital and physical, which were being manually organized into folders. This process was time-consuming and error prone. By automating the extraction of crucial information and improving document searchability, we aimed to enhance efficiency and reduce errors. 

The Solution 

The solution involved integrating several technologies within the Microsoft ecosystem. We used machine learning models (formerly Microsoft Syntex, now part of SharePoint Premium) for document processing and Power Platform for automation. Power Automate handled process automation, while a Power App dealt with exceptions. Azure Logic Apps provided additional processing capabilities. 

We created eight machine learning models to extract five essential metadata elements from 40 to 50 different types of financial statements. This automation improved operational efficiency by reducing manual intervention and errors. 

// Download full case study 

SharePoint Premium Content Processing 

The core of this solution is SharePoint Premium’s content processing, which uses custom machine learning models to understand and process documents. The unstructured document processing model (formerly known as the document understanding model) uses AI to classify and extract data from documents based on patterns of text. 

To train these models, you provide a minimum of five good-quality documents and a few bad ones for comparison. Classifiers identify document types, while extractors pull out specific information. This iterative training process ensures high accuracy, enabling effective automation of business processes. 

Once the model is trained and tested, it automates the extraction of metadata from documents, significantly enhancing efficiency and accuracy in document management and processing. 

New Update! 

Microsoft extended the SharePoint Premium trial for another year until the end of June 2025, which was a relief since last month’s webinar left us concerned about its imminent expiration. This trial includes monthly capacity, allowing you to explore its pay-as-you-go model and discover how it can benefit your business by addressing specific challenges.  

Join us for an exclusive webinar focused on Microsoft Copilot’s capabilities within Dynamics 365 and discover how it can transform your workflow and maximize productivity.  Register Now  

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