Microsoft announces Syntex, a set of automated document and data processing services • TechCrunch

Two years ago, Microsoft launched SharePoint Syntex, which leverages AI to automate the capture and classification of data from documents, building on existing SharePoint services. Today marks platform expansion in Microsoft Syntex, a set of new products and features, including file annotation and data extraction. Syntex reads, marks and indexes document content, whether digital or physical, making it searchable and available in Microsoft 365 apps and helping manage the content lifecycle with security and retention settings.

According to Chris McNulty, director of Microsoft Syntex, the driving force behind the launch was the growing desire of customers to “do more with less”, especially in the face of a recession. A 2021 investigation from Dimensional Research found that more than two-thirds of companies leave valuable data untapped, primarily due to issues building pipelines to access that data.

“Just as business intelligence has transformed the way companies use data to make business decisions, Microsoft Syntex unlocks the value of the massive amount of content that resides within an organization,” McNulty said. to TechCrunch in an email interview. “Virtually any industry with large-scale content and processes will benefit from adopting Microsoft Syntex. In particular, we see the greatest alignment with industries that work with a higher volume of technically dense and regulated content – ​​financial services, manufacturing, healthcare, life sciences and retail among them.

Syntex offers tools for backup, archiving, analysis and document management as well as a viewer to add annotations and deletions to files. Containers allow developers to store content in a managed sandbox, while “scenario accelerators” provide workflows for use cases such as contract management, accounts payable, and more.

“The Syntex content processor allows you to create simple rules to trigger the next action, whether it’s a deal, an alert, a workflow, or just ranking your content in the right libraries and folders,” McNulty explained. “[Meanwhile,] the advanced viewer adds an annotation and inking layer on top of any visible content in Microsoft 365. Annotations can be done securely, with different permissions than the underlying content, and also without modifying the content underlying.

McNulty says clients like TaylorMade are exploring ways to use Syntex for contract management and assembly, standardizing contracts with common clauses around financial terms. The company also runs the service for processing orders, receipts and other transactional documents for accounts payable and finance teams, in addition to organize and secure emails, attachments and other documents for intellectual property and patent filings.

“One of the fastest growing content transactions is e-signature,” McNulty said. “[With Syntex, you] can submit e-signature requests using Syntex, Adobe Acrobat Sign, DocuSign, or one of our other partner e-signature solutions and your content remains in Microsoft 365 while it is reviewed and signed.

Syntex-like intelligent document processing is often touted as a solution to the problem of large-scale file management and orchestration. According from a single source, 15% of a company’s revenue is spent on creating, managing and distributing documents. Documents are not only expensive, they are time-consuming and error-prone. More than nine in 10 employees responding to an ABBY 2021 investigation said they were wasting up to eight hours a week sifting through documents to find data and using traditional methods creating a new document takes an average of three hours and results in six punctuation, spelling, omission or printing errors.

A number of startups are offering products to address this problem, including Hypatos, which applies deep learning to power a wide range of back-office automation with a focus on industries with heavy data processing needs. financial documents. Flatfile automatically learns how data imported from files should be structured and cleaned, while another vendor, Klarity, aims to replace humans for tasks that require large-scale document review, including purchase orders accounts, purchase orders and agreements.

As with many of its services announced today, Microsoft is obviously betting that scale will work in its favor.

“Syntex uses artificial intelligence and automation technologies from Microsoft, including synthesis, translation and optical character recognition,” McNulty said. “Many of these services are being made available to Microsoft 365 commercial accounts without an additional initial license under a new pay-as-you-go business model.”

Syntex begins rolling out today and will continue into early 2023. Microsoft says it will post additional details about service pricing and packaging on the Microsoft 365 message center and via licensing disclosure documentation in the coming months.

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