SharePoint Syntex – features and elements explained
SharePoint has been around for many years. Since 2001! It is still a fan-favourite content management platform, first on-premises then in the cloud. According to Microsoft, as of July 2017 SharePoint had 190 million users across 200,000 customer organizations. Just as the rest of the Microsoft app family gets smarter and more enhanced every year, SharePoint is not being left out. SharePoint Syntex is a service offered by Microsoft specifically designed to understand, organize, and classify content by using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).
What is SharePoint Syntex
Managing digital assets is a big challenge for many organizations who need to effectively use the information locked in their documents. For example, a mortgage finance company can deal with thousands of different documents monthly, such as contracts, forms, billing statements, and inquiries.
Organizations usually don’t have a lot of time to assign for document architecture and management and in turn, shared document libraries often get messy. They need a solution that quickly and automatically classifies the document types they deal with, and pulls out important information from those documents to make it visible to their users.
They need a solution that aids in file retrieval integrates with business processes, and ensures proper governance of their digital assets. Microsoft SharePoint Syntex does this by turning your information into knowledge. In Syntex, your users create content understanding models that automatically classify documents that are hosted in your SharePoint libraries. By training your model through example files, you can also extract data from your documents and display this information in columns in your document libraries. As an example of its value, your model can identify and classify all contract renewal documents that are uploaded to your library and then display the customer’s name, phone number, and total dollars for each document as a column in a library view.
Using other applications such as Power Automate, you can then customize your solution to do things such as notify your legal department for all contract renewal documents that exceed a certain dollar amount.
Licensing and pricing
To add SharePoint Syntex to your organization, you must be currently licensed for Microsoft 365 F1, F3, E3, A3, E5, A5, Office 365 F3, E1, A1, E3, A3, E5, A5, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Business Standard, Business Premium, or SharePoint Online K, Plan 1, or Plan 2.
In terms of pricing, SharePoint Syntex is currently $6.40 CAD/user/month. Please note that this is the price currently stated, however it is subject to change.
SharePoint Syntex Models
SharePoint Syntex classifies documents from your SharePoint libraries. It does so by allowing you to use two different types of models. The form processing model is better suited for structured documents, such as forms, where the data is typically in the same location in the document, whereas the document understanding model is better suited for unstructured documents, where the information is contained in blocks of text. For example, a statement of work.
Form processing model
Form processing models use AI Builder, a Power Platform capability designed to similarly automate metadata extraction. With AI Builder, you create and train a model to extract information. Syntex then allows you to reference that model with a Power Automate flow and run it on files loaded to a specific library whenever files are uploaded. Based on an example document, this model is trained to understand the layout so that it can learn to look for the data you need to extract to similar locations.
Check out this article for information on how to create a form processing model.
Document understanding model
Document understanding models use innovative machine learning techniques to help you train your model to classify and extract your documents by using a small unlabeled teaching set of files. In addition to training your model, the model interface helps you test its effectiveness and makes changes for improvements on the fly. These models are used to identify files and extract data from documents where the entities you want to extract are scattered in the documents, in an inconsistent manner across many documents, such as letters or contracts.
For more information on creating a document understanding model, check out this article.
Check out this article from Microsoft to help understand the difference between these two models.
SharePoint Syntex includes a variety of features for users who purchase the service.
Create AI models that capture expertise to classify and extract information and automatically apply metadata.
Enriched content and metadata
Find key facts in your content to improve search and teamwork.
Automatic content classification
Use advanced AI to capture and tag structured and unstructured content.
Manage content inside and outside of Microsoft 365 to improve security and compliance with integrated MIP sensitivity and retention labels.
AI-powered machine testing
Build no-code AI models that teach the cloud to read content the way you do.
Automate the capture, ingestion, and categorization of content and streamline content-centric processes using Power Automate.
Streamlined content processes
Integrate with Power Automate to build workflows that leverage extracted metadata.
Content protection and management
Enforce your security and compliance policies with automatically applied sensitivity and retention labels.
Set up and adoption
To set up SharePoint Syntex administrators can use the Microsoft 365 admin center. While setting up SharePoint Syntex you can decide which SharePoint sites you want to enable form processing for, name your content center and set admins for it. Admins can make adjustments to your settings after setup if desired. To use SharePoint Syntex, your organization must have a subscription to SharePoint Syntex, and each user must have the following licenses assigned: SharePoint Syntex, SharePoint Syntex – SPO type, and Common Data Service for SharePoint Syntex. To use form processing, you also need AI Builder credits. If you have 300 or more licensed users, an allocation of AI Builder credits is provided each month. Review this article here for more information on setting up SharePoint Syntex.
To assist in the adoption process, it is helpful to consider and understand the scenarios in which SharePoint Syntex will be used before installing it. This will help in determining what type of model is needed and how to structure your organization as a result of that. It is also important to assign roles to employees to clarify who in the organization will build and manage the models. Some of the roles available are knowledge admin, Power Platform admin, knowledge manager, and model owner. In preparation for implementing SharePoint Syntex Microsoft suggests the following checklist:
- Plan for harnessing the value of extracted metadata with search, compliance, and automation
- Identify existing content types to model and processes to improve
- Design your approach and process
Classifying and organizing documents automatically can save you both time and money. SharePoint Syntex’s advanced AI and machine learning present in its models is the perfect addition to your organization if you want to enhance your processes and intranets. Not sure where to start your adoption process or start your SharePoint Syntex on the right foot? Our empathetic team members are artists when it comes to taking a client’s vision and transforming your organization to let you work how you want to. Book us soon to kick off your project:
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