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SharePoint Premium explained: All you need to know about this content intelligence service

15 November 2023

The transformation of Microsoft Syntex into SharePoint Premium represents an enhancement in Microsoft's content services platform. SharePoint Premium is positioned as an AI-powered content management and experiences platform designed to boost productivity and optimize content value.

Syntex will sunset as a brand and become part of SharePoint Premium, encapsulating its AI-powered content processing capabilities within the new premium offering. This rebranding was officially announced at Ignite on November 15, 2023.

In this blog:

What is SharePoint Premium?

SharePoint Premium, formerly known as Microsoft Syntex, is a content understanding, processing and compliance service that uses AI and machine training to automatically organize and classify documents in your SharePoint library. This is also sometimes referred to as a content intelligence service or Intelligent Document Processing (IDP) and the effect is to transform your data into knowledge.

Simply put, SharePoint Premium is a Microsoft 365 content service that helps organizations by:

  • Using advanced AI and machine teaching to “amplify human experiences.”
  • Automating content processing
  • Transforming information into knowledge


How has SharePoint Premium evolved from Microsoft Syntex

The original product came out of Microsoft's Project Cortex, which delivered us SharePoint Syntex (Oct 1, 2020) and Topics (in 2021 as part of the Viva launch). At that stage SharePoint Syntex was solely focused on the Intelligent Document Processing (or Document Understanding) capability. SharePoint Syntex was  since relaunched as Microsoft Syntex, and expanded to encapsulate a much wider set of capabilities.

Here are the key elements - focused on content services and intelligence - of SharePoint Premium that have evolved from Microsoft Syntex:

1. Content Experiences: SharePoint Premium aims to enhance productivity by keeping content fresh and discoverable, and by driving file collaboration. The integration of Microsoft Copilot is expected to elevate these experiences further.

2. Content Processing: Leveraging AI, SharePoint Premium is set to classify, tag, and secure documents, streamline workflows, and introduce new AI experiences. It includes document processing and content assembly services, as well as eSignature capabilities. Additionally, it offers pay-as-you-go services for translation and sensitive information handling.

3. Content Governance: The platform offers tools for content owners and creators to manage content at scale, with features that prevent oversharing and manage access. Data Access Governance (DAG) insights, site access reviews, and sensitivity labelling are included to enhance security and compliance.

Why use SharePoint Premium?

Organizations store and handle high volumes of documents and forms; everything from contracts and billing statements to inquiries, applications and more.

Most companies struggle to make sense of these vast troves of information effectively; it is a major challenge to efficiently extract key knowledge and put that knowledge to good use. And while they are figuring that out, thousands of new documents are being added to the stack.

Many organizations already use SharePoint to store large collections of documents, housing them in hundreds or even thousands of document libraries within SharePoint sites and Microsoft Teams. Each of these documents has potentially valuable information hidden inside them – and SharePoint Premium is the service that allows them to mine that gold.


How does SharePoint Premium enhance SharePoint?

SharePoint Premium enhances SharePoint’s capabilities by automating the process of extracting key information from documents. This is done by using pre-defined SharePoint Premium models which are effectively AI Machine Teaching models.

Once a model is created, it can be published to one or more document libraries, automating the process of extracting document metadata. This not only saves time and money, but also increases the findability of each document, which is how SharePoint Premium enhances corporate memory (the available knowledge) and turns an otherwise hidden document into a valuable corporate asset.

Is SharePoint Premium part of the Microsoft Viva Suite?

SharePoint Premium is not part of the Microsoft Viva Suite license. Learn more about Microsoft Viva.


Key SharePoint Premium Features

Key features of SharePoint Premium are:

    • Premium content center
    • Object recognition
    • Document understanding
    • Form processing
    • Advanced taxonomy services


More about these features:

Premium content center
When enabling and setting up Premium, the starting point is to create a content center. A content center is a special type of site for managing the Premium models (previously known as the Syntex Document Understanding Models), while also providing the ability to integrate metadata and workflows, and to configure compliant automation.

Within the content center, a model creation tool provides the capability to teach Premium how to read and process documents in much the same way you would manually.

SharePoint Premium uses the models to automatically recognize content, extract important information, and apply metadata tags. Integrated visual analytics help you track the effectiveness of the models.

Object recognition
SharePoint Premium can automatically tag images by using a visual dictionary with thousands of commonly recognized objects. In addition, SharePoint Premium can recognize and convert handwritten text into tags for use by search and for further processing.

Document understanding
You can teach SharePoint Premium to read your content the way you and build AI models with no code. SharePoint Premium can automatically suggest or create metadata, invoke custom Power Automate workflows, and attach compliance labels to enforce retention or record management policies.

Document understanding models are based on Language Understanding models in Azure Cognitive Services. These models are created and managed in a SharePoint Premium content center, and you can publish and update your models to any library in any content center throughout SharePoint Premium.

Form processing
Separate to the Machine Teaching models, SharePoint Premium also includes a powerful form processing engine, based on AI Builder, which lets you automatically recognize and extract common values such as dates, figures, names, or addresses from semi-structured or structured documents. These models are also built without code and require only a few documents for reliable results.

Advanced taxonomy services
Shared content types can be published to SharePoint and Microsoft Teams through SharePoint hub sites. Publishing content types from the central gallery to hub sites provides a flexible way to ensure that commonly used content types—enhanced with content understanding—can be rapidly deployed and upgraded across broad sections of your architecture as needed. Sites connected to hubs will automatically receive published and updated content types.

What are some scenarios and use cases for SharePoint Premium?

ClearPeople’s client Northumbria Water Group has been using SharePoint Premium (formerly known as SharePoint Syntex) features to save a tremendous amount of time, extracting knowledge from many different types of documents and benefitting 1000s of users. Some of these examples include:

  • Extracting Job Number, Dates and Supplier details from contractors' reports
  • Extracting Location from engineering / maintenance reports
  • Extracting Drawing Type and Location from engineering drawings

In NWG’s case the models run through over 20 million documents and regularly save the utility company weeks’ worth of time previously spent manually processing each type of document. Read this case study of NWG’s use of SharePoint Premium and Viva Topics.

SharePoint Premium Roadmap

Available, Nov 2023

  • SharePoint Premium metered services
  • SharePoint Advanced (SAM) add-on
  • SharePoint eSignature V1 (US Geo)


Available in public preview, Nov 2023

  • Microsoft 365 Archive
  • Microsoft 365 Backup

Available during 2024

  • SharePoint Premium seat value
  • SharePoint eSignature 3P integration
  • Repository services



How do Atlas enhance SharePoint Premium?

Atlas is the platform that provides:

  • the underlying information architecture, taxonomy, and governance for SharePoint Premium to operate within, and
  • the end-user experience that brings together knowledge for employees in the context of their work whether in a Microsoft Team, SharePoint site or in one of the powerful Atlas search experiences.

Webinar: Download this video to see how Northumbria Water Group uses Atlas and SharePoint Premium


SharePoint Premium’s licensing terms

SharePoint Premium is available as a user-based add-on for Microsoft 365 plans. To sign up for a free trial contact us or visit the SharePoint Premium product page.

Microsoft SharePoint Premium pricing

MS SharePoint Premium is available through multiple subscription plans. Users must have a valid Office 365, Microsoft 365, or SharePoint Online license to be eligible to use Premium.


SharePoint Premium Resources



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Author bio

Gabriel Karawani

Gabriel Karawani

Gabriel is Co-Founder of ClearPeople, responsible for the overall technical and Atlas Intelligent Knowledge Platform vision. He works closely with colleagues at Microsoft on roadmap alignment and innovative Content AI Services programs such as Microsoft Viva Topics and SharePoint Premium (previously known as Syntex). Gabriel was part of Microsoft's partner program for Project Cortex.

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