In the last five years, the world of records management has rapidly shifted. Data protection laws have gotten tighter around the world – and the penalties for poor retention and deletion practices are only growing.
In Europe and the UK, the passage of the GDPR in 2018 began a sea change in the way companies manage sensitive information. The spirit of the law was clear: The days of getting away with sloppy data protection are over. This is particularly the case for public sector organisations, many of whom already had to grapple with stringent compliance standards from regulations like the Public Records Act.
Today, many organisations are looking for a tool that can solve their retention and records management woes once and for all. For that, you need a modern, cloud-based electronic document and records management system (EDRMS).
And you may be surprised to find that solution already waiting at your fingertips…
As organisations become increasingly reliant on cloud technology to carry out key day-to-day business, the amount and complexity of data is naturally growing in tandem. Fortunately, Microsoft 365 is now fully-equipped with the tools to ensure your organistaion’s critical data can be kept secure and compliant.
Effectively managing data
There is so much critical information that businesses now need to stay on top of – no longer just good old-fashioned email and documents, but also a multitude of Teams chats, files shared in SharePoint sites and more. This growth in shared information is critical to collaboration, and is paying off with increased operational efficiency.
But it creates a new level of risk for organisations that need to keep up-to-date with ever-evolving industry regulations and internal policies that require content to be preserved for a certain amount of time.
Records management solutions – such as Objective and Meridio – have earned their place in IT leaders’ software arsenals, providing valuable functionality to businesses and ensuring compliance to the letter with industry regulations, key standards and legislation.
However, with the volume of compliance requirements increasing, businesses tightening their belts, and traditional records management platforms getting long in the tooth, many organisations are now investigating alternative methods of modernising their records management capability.
The good news is that there is now an alternative to those legacy platforms. The even better news is that, if your organisation uses Microsoft 365 enterprise licences, you’re likely already equipped with the tools you need, ready to be configured.
Microsoft SharePoint Syntex, the first product to come out of Microsoft’s larger Project Cortex, is now available under general release. But what is it, how does it work, and how much does it cost?
Syntex takes advantge of the advanced AI and machine learning coming out of Project Cortex to automatically categorise and classify documents based on models set up by the user. Using these models, Syntex can extract specific data and apply it as metadata to documents, as well as applying Sensitivity and Retention labels for information protection.
SharePoint Syntex lets users create two types of model: Form Processing and Document Understanding. The difference between the two is that Form Processing extracts values from a structured form, while Document Understanding is trained to pick out information from an unstructured document.
Document Understanding with Syntex
To implement a Document Understanding model, a you first need to provision a Content Center. A Content Center is a SharePoint site that’s used to create and store the different document models, as well as to apply those models to your Document Libraries.
When you have identified a document type you wish to model – such as Statements of Work, CVs/resumés or Purchase Orders – you can create the new model in the Content Center. On creation, the default action is to create a new Content Type; however, you can change this to use an existing Content Type if you have one already set up in your Content Type Hub.
Training a Syntex model
After creating the model, you need to train it by adding in some example files. Syntex only requires five positive examples and one negative example, but more is always better if possible. Once the example files have been uploaded, explanations need to be created alongside them to train the model. The model can then be tested within the Content Center.