SharePoint Syntex is the first Project Cortex Product, Arrives October 1st

One of the biggest announcements last year at Ignite was Project Cortex. The tool enables AI to automatically catalog your content and make connections between various Microsoft 365 services to tie all of the information together in a functional way to streamline your workflow.

But, any service from the project has yet to released and many are waiting to see if Microsoft’s AI, the technology behind Cortex, can live up to the hype that Microsoft has created. At Ignite 2020, we are getting our first look at SharePoint Syntex which is the first product derived from Cortex.

SharePoint Syntex will automate the capture, ingestion, and categorization of content that the company says will streamline the compliance, discovery, and reuse of assets inside of your organization. In short, SharePoint Sytex aims to intelligently analyze documents to make sure that they are discoverable when the timing is right.

This is accomplished by AI being able to read a document and extract the relevant information and define it as prescribed by the AI models. The key, Microsoft claims, is that you can train the AI models with no-code solutions so that Syntex is adapted explicitly for your operations.

By training your own models, Syntex can automatically process content, extract information, and apply metadata. For organizations who ingest a significant amount of data, Syntex could be a way to easily sort and filter content on the inbound stream rather than manually using folders and download targets; think of it as an inflight tool that applies metadata in real-time.

Once properly tagged, the metadata that Syntex applies allows you to find assets more easily and can also properly isolate sensitive material too with retention labels for compliance automagically. But like all things AI and ML related, you will need to have processes in place for outliers as we have all seen over the years that even the best AI can incorrectly identify content.

That being said, Syntex does look promising as long as it lives up to the functionality that Microsoft is promising to its corporate customers. And unlike previous new tools, Microsoft is making SharePoint Syntex available starting on October 1st, there will not be a public preview as the company has been testing the service in a private trial. Because of this move, it would appear that the company is confident in SharePoint Syntex’s abilities which is why it is going right to the commercial release stage.

Microsoft is promising additional Cortex-derived services later this year that will organize data into topics and surface content across its entire ecosystem. While we are only starting to see what Project Cortex can offer and the marketing material looks good, we will need to see how it stacks up in the real world before recommending everyone deploy the tool.