During a recent conversation with a colleague, we discussed the activities carried out by Copilot and the potential overshadowing of other Microsoft products, notably Microsoft Syntex. We both share the belief that Copilot has had a transformative impact, akin to an earthquake, by assuming numerous responsibilities within employees' tasks. Consequently, we hold the opinion that Syntex may not have achieved the projected appeal it anticipated upon its introduction in 2022. Furthermore, we are in agreement that Syntex is likely to become obsolete and fade away. However, my colleague informed me that a Microsoft representative with whom he shared this viewpoint strongly contradicted him, asserting that Syntex still holds a place in the industry.
This exchange led me to ponder whether our assessment is accurate or if the Microsoft representative's perspective is more valid. Hence, I have decided to author this article to critically evaluate both arguments and determine which viewpoint holds greater credibility.
Therefore, can we assert that Copilot has rendered Microsoft Syntex obsolete?
And what is this Microsoft Syntex? This service appeared in October 2022 during Microsoft's Ignite event. At the time, it was revolutionary as it promised to be the document management revolution.
Based on something called Content AI it incorporated AI-powered workflows for document processing with the goal of transforming the digital experience of companies' employees.
Some of the functionalities that were available at that time were:
- Enhancements to documentary content include document processing with sensitive labels, retention labels, translation for multilingual corporations, summarization for time-saving, automatic document creation using templates and metadata, and image/audio/video processing with OCR for labeling and transcription.
- Electronic signatures, enhanced search capabilities with natural language queries and semantic search, annotations for adding notes and comments without altering the original document, content rules engine for performing actions based on document properties, pre-built accelerators and templates, and integrations with isolated Microsoft 365 storage spaces for seamless connectivity.
- Backup and Restore functionalities for SharePoint, OneDrive, and Exchange, tiered storing providing cost-effective storage spaces for less frequently accessed documentation, and security and content management ensuring comprehensive information governance, enhancing visibility and control over document usage.
Take a look at this article with all Microsoft Syntex information available in October 2022, Welcome to Microsoft Syntex—Content AI integrated in the flow of work
The most recent updates for Microsoft Syntex were reported on May 23rd, 2023, approximately two months ago. These updates introduce four new features,
- including plugins for Copilot that enhance its capabilities by integrating Microsoft Syntex functionalities.
- Syntex repositories, devoid of a user interface, will be accessible through Graph and designed for application development purposes.
- The announcement of eSignature availability in private preview is reiterated.
- Additionally, Project Archimedes offers content analysis for OneDrive and SharePoint Online, enabling the detection of potential security breaches and reviewing site occupancy.
If you haven't heard of Copilot in the past two months, you may have missed out on a significant development. Described by Microsoft in their article titled "Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot - A whole new way to work":
Copilot combines the power of large language models (LLMs) with your data in the Microsoft Graph—your calendar, emails, chats, documents, meetings, and more—and the Microsoft 365 apps to turn your words into the most powerful productivity tool on the planet**
While this description may not provide a clear understanding, experiencing Copilot firsthand is highly recommended. Microsoft has compiled a YouTube playlist called Microsoft 365 Copilot, containing several videos under two minutes each, which showcase how Copilot can assist you in your daily tasks.
Moreover, users familiar with ChatGPT have likely observed its current capabilities, encompassing text summarization, generation, expansion, reduction, classification, and categorization. Additionally, it possesses the ability to identify and suggest pertinent information, facilitating the comprehension of text.
Having explained both services, I would now like to underscore why I believe Microsoft is lagging behind. You may have noticed certain points from the descriptions of these products, which I will outline here.
For instance, the functionalities offered by Microsoft Syntex to enhance document content are also encompassed by Copilot. Both services provide features like summarization, translation, document generation, tag identification, and extraction of relevant information. However, Copilot surpasses Microsoft Syntex in generating documentation from existing data. Consequently, in terms of document content processing, Copilot excels significantly.
Similarly, when it comes to information retrieval, Copilot proves to be the superior tool. With its natural language capabilities and conversational history, it offers more accurate results compared to Microsoft 365's search engine, even incorporating Microsoft Syntex capabilities.
Thus, in the realm of Artificial Intelligence shared by both services, it becomes evident that Copilot has achieved a much higher level of advancement.
It is evident that Copilot excels in active tasks where employees initiate actions through requests, suggestions, or inquiries. However, when it comes to passive activities involving information treatment and processing, Microsoft Syntex proves to be the optimal tool. Acting as an engine, Syntex executes established rules, enhanced by incorporating artificial intelligence. For instance, when a document is uploaded to a library, Syntex analyzes its content to determine appropriate tags, metadata, and the ideal location.
Furthermore, Syntex offers features that Copilot does not cover, such as electronic signature functionality and crucial data backup and restore capabilities in SharePoint Online and OneDrive.
In these aspects, Microsoft Syntex emerges as the superior tool that organizations can rely on to enhance document management processes.
At the beginning of the article, I shared my initial belief based on a conversation with my colleague, suggesting that Copilot would overshadow Microsoft Syntex. However, having thoroughly explored both services, my perspective has undergone a transformation.
Copilot serves as the primary tool for employees to actively request or seek information. On the other hand, Microsoft Syntex acts as the underlying service responsible for executing passive tasks. This ensures that employees need not remain constantly attentive, as Syntex takes care of executing these tasks efficiently.
- Welcome to Microsoft Syntex—Content AI integrated in the flow of work: https://www.microsoft.com/en/microsoft-365/blog/2022/10/12/welcome-to-microsoft-syntexcontent-ai-integrated-in-the-flow-of-work/
- Announcing new Microsoft Syntex innovations – Plugins for Microsoft 365 Copilot, Repository Services: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-syntex-blog/announcing-new-microsoft-syntex-innovations-plugins-for/ba-p/3827822
- Introducing Syntex repository services: Microsoft 365 superpowers for your app: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/microsoft365dev/introducing-syntex-repository-services-microsoft-365-superpowers-for-your-app/
- Introducing Microsoft 365 Copilot—A whole new way to work: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2023/03/16/introducing-microsoft-365-copilot-a-whole-new-way-to-work/
- ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Developers: https://www.deeplearning.ai/short-courses/chatgpt-prompt-engineering-for-developers/
- Microsoft Syntex: https://www.microsoft.com/es-es/microsoft-syntex