Microsoft has launched Microsoft Syntex, a rebranding of the app as the company transforms it into a set of low-code content apps, tools and services that use AI to streamline the way organizations work with content.
Part of a new class of technology that Microsoft calls “content AI,” Microsoft Syntex – announced Wednesday at the company’s Ignite conference and formerly called SharePoint Syntex – uses AI to read, tag and index automatically large volumes of content, connecting it where it is. necessary in the context and integrating offers from Microsoft Cloud, Microsoft 365 (the new name Office 365) and Azure to power platform and Microsoft domain.
As processes have become increasingly digitized over the past 10 or so years, an increasing number of companies have moved all of their documents to the cloud. Jeff Teper, president of collaborative applications and platforms at Microsoft, says that for Microsoft 365, this rate has increased tenfold in the past five years alone, with an average of 1.6 billion documents added to Microsoft 365 every day.
While the move towards a paperless society brought with it the promise of efficiency, the number of documents currently stored digitally has reached a critical point, meaning people are wasting vital time searching and browsing digital files to find the necessary information. Additionally, organizations are estimated to spend $46 billion a year storing and managing content from which they derive little value.
“That’s not to say you shouldn’t have lawyers review contracts, but if you can have the AI scan a 200-page contract and say, ‘It’s the three clauses that have changed compared to boilerplate, it can significantly save businesses time and money,” Tepper said.
Syntex offers 11 core capabilities
Microsoft Syntex supports over 300 different content types and includes 11 features. These are:
- To improve: no codes AI that enhances your content to help you understand and structure information, simplifying your business workflows.
- Document Processing: Helps you understand, tag, and secure information, integrating AI from Microsoft Azure, AI Builder, and other Microsoft sources.
- Summary: Uses AI to generate content summaries to distill key points, on demand.
- Content assembly: Helps users to automatically generate this document with templates and metadata using content assembly.
- Image, Audio, and Video Processing: Allows users to process and label images with nearly 10,000 automatically recognized “out-of-the-box” objects and extract text from images in SharePoint and Exchange using Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
- Connect: Helps users connect, discover and reuse content with AI-powered search
- Electronic signature: One of the fastest growing content transaction types is the electronic signature. You can submit e-signature requests using Syntex, Adobe Acrobat Sign, DocuSign, or any other Microsoft e-signature partner solution.
- Search: Leverages Microsoft Search to provide powerful ways to query, shape, and discover the content and data embedded in your files.
- Annotation: Use annotations, such as ink, notes, redactions, stamps, and comments, on any content without modifying the original files.
- Content Rules Processor: The Syntex Content Processor lets you create simple rules to trigger the next action in a task sequence, such as a transaction, alert, or workflow.
- Accelerators and patterns: Microsoft provides a range of application accelerators for common patterns and scenarios encountered by organizations.
Larry Cannell, principal analyst at Gartner, said the renaming of SharePoint Syntex to Microsoft Syntex indicates the new features will play a broader role in Microsoft’s AI portfolio.
Cannell added that he was skeptical of Microsoft’s use of “content AI” to describe Syntex because its description of that market sounds a lot like what the industry has called content management for years.
“Still, if the value is there, Syntex will give Microsoft customers more choices to meet their content processing needs,” he said.
Use low code and no code usage
Tepper explained that the technology Microsoft uses for its so-called prebuilt AI models, which include optical character recognition or language translation, has become increasingly refined as part of Azure Cognitive Services. This allowed Microsoft to take platform capabilities elsewhere in its technology stack and integrate them into Syntex.
However, even though Microsoft still offers Apis for professional developers, the company has tried to identify patterns that allow customers to solve their unique needs without writing custom code.
As a result, many of the features that make up Microsoft Syntex utilize the use of low code and no code, allowing users with little or no coding experience to get the most out of Microsoft Syntex.
Based on Microsoft’s Power Platform, a set of low-code tools for building apps, workflows, AI bots and data analysis, Tepper says the coding capabilities will allow users easily create workflows and automate business processes in a way that allows them to be tailored to their exact needs.
“The success of this integration will depend more on the resiliency of Power Automate than Syntex’s ability to invoke a flow,” said Cannell of Gartner, adding that while he is intrigued by Syntex’s integration with Power Automate, it’s still unclear if customers will adopt the use of a no-code solution integrated into their consumer content processes.
Microsoft Syntex is available now, including document processing, annotation, content assembly, content query, accelerators and more. More services will be previewed to the public later this year, with the others to follow in 2023.
Microsoft will also introduce a consumer business model for Syntex, allowing customers to expand the family of services to better suit their needs.