putilov_denis - stock.adobe.com


Compare SharePoint Syntex disadvantages and benefits

Microsoft promotes its SharePoint content AI services -- Syntex -- as a way to streamline content management in a cost-effective way. Yet, the service is new and has challenges.

As the demand for AI capabilities continues to increase, employees want tools they are familiar with to use AI in their day-to-day work.

Microsoft offers several AI services in its cloud hosting platform, Azure, but the use of AI in SharePoint Syntex has the attention of many who already use SharePoint regularly. Syntex is an AI service that offers content analysis, extraction and advanced search capabilities in SharePoint. These features can benefit organizations that store digital assets in SharePoint, need AI to eliminate manual content classifications and extract data from documents such as invoices, receipts and legal documents.

Yet, while many SharePoint users may want AI access within the platform, they should consider both the benefits and disadvantages to implementing SharePoint Syntex.

Benefits of SharePoint Syntex

Syntex can streamline certain content management tasks, like classification and search. Below, explore the various other benefits of Syntex.

Ease of use and low implementation costs

For new AI-based technology initiatives, organizations can generally anticipate a long implementation process, with a need for data scientists and a complex infrastructure to support the applications and enable general functionality. With SharePoint Syntex, organizations can eliminate that process.

SharePoint administrators can simply turn on Syntex functionality in their tenants to get the service up and running. The configuration stage is minimal, as Microsoft offers a wizard that can guide the administrators through the overall process.

Process automation

SharePoint Syntex can automate several manual processes for organizations and can save employees time on tasks like content extraction and document classification.

One example is automated invoice classification, where Syntex can analyze incoming invoices and extract relevant invoice data, such as dollar amount, due dates, terms and other details. Then, it uses that data to update metadata. This automation can improve employee efficiency, which, in turn, saves organizations money.

Content classification

For organizations that process large sets of structured or unstructured documents, document classification and compliance can be time-consuming. Syntex can process and automatically classify SharePoint content based on prior training, which involves uploading sample documents.

With Syntex, organizations would no longer need one person to open each incoming file and determine its classification based on the content. This eliminates the employee's need to perform time-consuming and repetitive tasks and further highlights the benefit of Syntex's support system automation.

Disadvantages of SharePoint Syntex

While Syntex can streamline repetitive tasks and save money, organizations should still consider the following disadvantages of the service.

A paid subscription but not unlimited use

At $5 per user monthly, Syntex is affordable for most organizations, considering its functionality and ability to automate several different document processes in SharePoint. However, users receive a limited number of operations at that base price, which means the actual costs may rise if they need more capabilities to support larger data sets.

For each Syntex license, the user allocation is 3,500 AI Builder credits, which are pooled at the tenant level. Syntex also requires other licenses, such as Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Small businesses, in particular, must consider this requirement if they want to use this platform, as the costs would increase after they add the Microsoft 365 licenses.

Lack of customization

Unlike traditional AI-based models, SharePoint Syntex offers a predefined set of capabilities that users can't customize beyond what the platform offers, despite its support for customer data uploads to train its models. This can limit the use cases for organizations, as they can't customize the platform through custom code.

Occasional accuracy issues

While Syntex has a few predefined models training on invoices and receipts, the service still has some potential accuracy issues as it detects and extracts information. This can concern some organizations that plan to rely heavily on the platform to process incoming data.

Syntex can serve as an entry point for organizations that want to add machine learning features to SharePoint, extract information and automate some content processing capabilities. However, the service is still in its infancy, so organizations must consider its potential disadvantages before adoption.

Dig Deeper on Content collaboration

Business Analytics
Data Management