Intelligent Content Enrichment with SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics

From Content to Knowledge using the Microsoft SharePoint Syntex and Microsoft Viva Topics

>> Register for the upcoming webinar.

Every company struggles with how to move from what many call the “Wild West” of content services. How can content and files be tamed? You’ll need to build an approach for how to Tame this content, but even better would be to unlock the organizational knowledge… classify it, label it, automate and and integrate approvals, and highlight topics with definitions creating organizational knowledge. Microsoft’s latest advancements and release of SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics both provide key features in helping you go from content to knowledge.

For any customer that’s starting from scratch, you’ll notice most content is NOT ready to be analyzed by SharePoint Syntex. I recommend a how a systematic approach to help you get your arms around your data first before moving it into content libraries in SharePoint or into a Content Center. For example discovery can help you first get a handle on repositories size and scale, but some rigorous “File Analysis” to remove Redundant, Obsolete, and Trivial (Referred to as ROT) information in conjunction with a solid information architecture practice ensures a consistent and reliable content services program. Studies show that 30-40% of all content stored by businesses is considered ROT – understanding and managing this content before it moves to the Cloud is critical to an organization’s search and content services strategies.


Where does your content live? Most likely it is spread out in Box, Dropbox, Google Drives, FileNet, File Shares, Blob storage, SharePoint and Teams. Many of us would like to skip this step, but the liability of what is being hoarded for years and years simply continues to grow. What is it? How much of it is ROT? What kind of richness or liability does it carry with it?

Information Architecture

Before we get to far, there’s the question of where data should be stored. As you find what I like to call the organizational knowledge aka crown jewels there will be the question beyond the storage mechanism which is the structure. The information architecture to describe and house the knowledge so it can be more easily retrieved. Some companies may design knowledge bases, others content centers, and yet still repositories structured by Team, organization, or simply described by taxonomies and tagging. The task here is to ensure you have a good structure that is often based on the technology it is built on. For Teams they are Teams and channels, for SharePoint they are sites, libraries and lists.

File Analysis

You’ll find the further you dig into the new technology from Microsoft not all files are created equally. Microsoft Office content has many attributes and is structured in a way that’s easy for search to pull content out of it, but what do you do with images, tiff, faxes, and scanned content. There’s also PDFs and bulk and dumps. Any file share migration should involve some level of effort involved in understanding what is stored. Hence the “File Analysis” to remove Redundant, Obsolete, and Trivial (Referred to as ROT) information. In my experience with file share migrations… it’s not uncommon to find that 70-80% or more can be archived allowing you to focus on the key parts of the content.

Content Enrichment

The newest products from Microsoft really give us a lot to work with here with SharePoint Syntex with document understanding and electronic forms processing both providing classification extraction and AI models that can be used to apply to libraries enhancing our content with intelligent file storage capabilities. SharePoint Syntex provides enriched content types and columns populated by content from within the documents themselves. This allows a much improved user experience of grouping, filtering, sorting and loads of automation capabilities that come along with enriched content. Not only content extraction, but also information governance enhancements such as protecting, labeling, and applying content and applying policies for enforcement or disposition.

Intelligent Migration

Once you’ve classified your content you can move it to be better utilized in knowledge bases, content centers, or other departmental repositories based on content type. One quick example of migrating content is to gather letters, SOWs, Resumes, Invoices, and other contracts in their respective enhanced repositories which provide improved search and discovery. Some may find they have a lot of content that as well meets the criteria of archival or disposition to expire the content.

Automatically identify and Highlight topics

The newest product Viva Topics can be used to have AI to reason over your organization’s data and automatically identify, process, and organize content. It can recognize common topics across content and conversations, organize information, and generate topic pages. Discover and display complementary topics and expertise from across sources across the tools they use every day. Those topic pages can be the start to organizational like wikipedia of knowledge to help both new employees ramp up, but really connect the experts with the knowledge they are producing and provide centers of knowledge for all employees.

I’ve put together this illustration to help one understand the process and methodology for going from content to knowledge.

This infographic: intelligent content enrichment using Microsoft SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics is provided as creative commons share alike. Special thanks to Helux who contributed a lot to the process work on the graphic. You can see more about their intelligent content enrichment process and tools on their site at

Chaos to Knowledge with SharePoint Syntex and Microsoft Viva on March 10th from 2-3PM EST

Every company struggles with how to move from what many call the “Wild West” of content services. How can content and files be tamed? Join us as we show you how a systematic approach to discovery with File Analysis to remove redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT) information in conjunction with a solid information architecture practice ensures a consistent and reliable content services program. Studies show that 30-40% of all content stored by businesses is considered ROT – understanding and managing this content before it moves to the Cloud is critical to an organization’s search and content services strategies.

Microsoft is leading the market in using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enrich content with SharePoint Syntex and surface topics in the newly released Microsoft Viva. These new products provide a game-changing way for organizations to classify, extract and build document understanding into their content. For instance, SharePoint Syntex integration with AI Builder and Power Automate allows you to create and use AI Builder form processing models directly from your SharePoint document library, and to automate the processing of forms. The new Microsoft Viva product builds on the power of Teams and Microsoft 365 to unify the employee experience across four key areas — Engagement, Wellbeing, Learning, and Knowledge — in an integrated experience that empowers people to be their best. What you can expect to learn:

• Best practices to achieve the Content Services goal of chaos to knowledge

How to build Knowledge bases known as Content Centers with SharePoint Syntex

How to empower knowledge workers with Microsoft Viva

Understand the latest in Microsoft’s Knowledge Roadmap

Register below for the upcoming webinar where we will walk through these steps and help you understand how SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics fit in a comprehensive process methodology helping you formalize a more cohesive Enterprise Content Services Knowledge Strategy.

Join me in a this free 1 hour webinar on “Intelligent Content Enrichment Using Microsoft SharePoint Syntex and Viva Topics: Chaos to Knowledge with SharePoint Syntex and Microsoft Viva” on March 10th from 2-3PM EST sponsored by Helux.

Live Webinar with Q&A:

March 10 at 11:00AM Pacific & 2PM Eastern

>> Register Now

Read more about SharePoint Syntex at

Read more about Viva Topics at

Microsoft 365 Tenant Administration and Delegation for Complex Environments

Microsoft recently shipped a new way to slice up your Microsoft tenant in Azure AD. These new Microsoft 365 Administrative Units may help support teams and IT teams including Business Unit IT administration the world over. It’s a start. There are limits.

Do you struggle with how to slice up administration of your Microsoft 365 tenant? I know there are many who wish they could segment their services, and that is not this feature. Licensing administration and user support and even MFA support may find a huge boost with this new feature set. Have you ever wished there was an easy way to segment your tenant so you could delegate permissions more granularly to group of operators or admins?  Now there is… Administrative Units also known as AUs are now in Preview.

Download this infographic above “Slice up your Microsoft 365 Tenant Administration with Administrative Units” as an image or as a PDF

*Now in Preview* Microsoft has introduced Administrative Units in Azure AD for creating delegated boundaries within a single tenant for user and group administration. It’s also accessible via PowerShell and Microsoft Graph.

Administrative Units

Download the “Understanding Microsoft 365 Administrative Units” infographic as jpg, png, or pdf. This image sponsored by CoreView is shared in creative commons share alike. Feel free to use it in your company, share it in your slides, or use it as a reference.


Administrative Units Roles and Rights

  • Authentication Administrator – Has access to view, set, and reset authentication method information for any non-admin user for the assigned Administrative Unit.
  • Groups Administrator – Can manage all aspects of groups and groups settings like naming and expiration policies in the assigned Administrative Unit.
  • Helpdesk Administrator – Can reset passwords for non-administrators and Helpdesk administrators in the Administrative Unit.
  • License Administrator – Can assign, remove, and update license assignments within the Administrative Unit only.
  • Password Administrator – Can reset passwords for non-administrators and Password Administrators within the Administrative Unit.
  • User Administrator – Can manage all aspects of users and groups, including resetting passwords for limited admins within the assigned Administrative Unit.

Microsoft 365 Admin Units Challenges

Administrative Units (AUs) require an Azure Active Directory Premium license for each AU admin not required for AU members
Requires Global Administrators rights or Privileged role administrators to create and manage in Azure AD portal or with Graph/PowerShell
AU delegated admins must use M365 Admin Center for managing Users
Currently No management of AUs in Admin Center
No Dynamic Administrative Units… (Yet!)
Odd Elevation of Privileged Path Scenarios AU-scoped administrator can’t reset the password of a user who’s assigned to a role with an organization-wide scope
Devices cannot be made members of AUs. Scoping management of devices in Azure AD

Register now to learn:

  • Techniques to slice up a Microsoft 365 Tenant
  • How best to manage blocks of licensing for departments
  • Various ways to segment your Microsoft 365 tenant to support a delegated admin model
  • Techniques for SharePoint, Teams and Exchange regional or departmental delegation
  • Strategies for Automation for Administrators

Live Webinar with Q&A:

February 3 at 11:00AM Eastern & 8:00AM Pacific

>> Register Now


February 3 at 2:00 PM Eastern & 11:00AM Pacific

>> Register Now

7 Keys to Securely hardening Microsoft 365

When it comes to cloud, Microsoft is super focused on Security. I would venture to say they have likely invested more in security than all their SAAS platform competitors combined. At the same time, it’s been a struggle to understand what tool to use when, and how to get licensed for it. In this illustrated infographic I’ve attempted to help you get your arms around the platform and the various security investments from privacy and tools to platform investments.

This infogrphic is shared with creative commons community share alike rights. Feel free to use it in your conversations in part or in whole in or presentations. You can download the 7 Keys to Harden Microsoft 365 infographic in PDF or JPG

I’m delivering a 1 hour webinar where we will look at the 7 Keys to Hardening Microsoft 365 for Teams, SharePoint, Exchange and More. You’ve invested in these platforms, but you’ll quickly find out that simply moving your data does not light up the security and compliance features and many of the lower level packages don’t come with the tools you need.

In this webinar sponsored by Coreview, we’ll dive into the various layers of security both in and on top of the platform as well as identify the space where partners are increasing the barriers and providing additional solutions on top of the Defender toolsets formerly known as Advanced Threat Protection.

Register for the webinar happening on Nov 17.

7 Ways to Harden and Secure Microsoft 365

  1. Enable Secure Access for Users with Azure Active Directory MFA
  2. Identify compromised identities or malicious insiders with Microsoft Defender for Identity
  3. Protect and Encrypt Sensitive Data with Microsoft Information Protection
  4. Manage and Protect Devices and with Secure Score for Devices
  5. Prevent Unauthorized Access and Sharing with Cloud App security
  6. Secure your Email and Files with Microsoft 365 Rights Management Policies and Defender for Microsoft 365
  7. Use Intelligent Insights and Guidance to Strengthen Your Organizational security posture with Microsoft Secure Score

In this session we’ll dive into the various layers of Microsoft 365 from identity, apps, services, and data to understand the best ways to prevent cyber attacks. We’ll look at 7 Key Ways to Harden Microsoft 365 including Microsoft Defender formerly known as Advanced Threat Protection. We’ll also dive into service configuration of Microsoft 365 to ensure identity, services and accounts are secured against common exploits and attacks. 

It’s been difficult in today’s modern work environment and it is getting more difficult to keep up with the technology. Learn to use Microsoft 365 effectively for active data governance, application security, and Shadow IT oversight. Coupled with disparate Admin Centers, and global admins having access to everything in your tenant, your organization is likely less secure than you think!

Register now to learn:

  • How to harden your admin accounts
  • Better understand licensing around security features of Microsoft 365 and what is required
  • How to segment your Microsoft 365 tenant to support a delegated admin model
  • How to focus on the various layers of service, data and information security for administrators
  • How to get a better handle on shadow IT and external sharing

Live Webinar with Q&A:

November 17th at 11:00AM Eastern & 8:00AM Pacific

>> Register Now


November 17th at 2:00 PM Eastern & 11:00AM Pacific

>> Register Now

m365 Virtual Community Launch parties

M365 Virtual Launch Party

We are Better in Together Mode

I recently asked the community, “What is most important in a Technology User Group?”

(Responses from adhoc poll on Linkedin and Twitter: 76 votes)

Absolutely… it’s about the networking and friendships you create.

I had so much fun with everyone putting on these recent virtual events, and I appreciate the spirit of the community to accomplish great things.  I have a heard a few comments recently that had me thinking what should I do… what could we do to bring the community together?

Jamaican Microsoft Community

“There isn’t a community in my area, these recent virtual events have been so needed.”

“I don’t get an opportunity to speak at events in my country, I really appreciate being able to have an opportunity to have a voice.”

“So many community events have been cancelled because of COVID.”

overheard at M365VM

It was during the M365 Virtual Marathon event I was able to rekindle so many friendships from communities I had visited all over the world and create new connections and friendships that will last a lifetime.  The outpouring of energy and excitement was palpable.  What next? I was anxious to do something that takes it to the next level. Let me share it was with the M365VM committee that I first shared my intentions to build a M365 global virtual user group. 

As a result, imagine what we could do with a platform where we could connect as a technology community.  Not just one or two annual events, but a truly global user group. With the newly announced 7×7 and the Microsoft Teams Together Mode and a community focused platform announced I couldn’t wait to help launch a truly global community on M365 with Microsoft technology at it’s core using the latest and greatest from Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, Power Platform and beyond.

The kick off party is August 27 at 12pm Pacific, 7pm UTC…

August 27, 12PM PACIFIC Kick Off Launch Party!

Party with the Microsoft 365 Global Virtual Community!

M365 Global Virtual Community – Party Planning Committee Meeting

What is it? This will be a global user group focused on Microsoft Technologies. We want to support experts from around the world presenting to our global community. The opportunity will be for both experts and people interested to learn, but just as above the most important part of the community is the networking and friendships.

SharePoint 2010 Launch Party by the Community
(L-R Christian Buckley, Erica Toelle, Joel Oleson)

When I was at Microsoft I LOVED the launch parties.  I still remember the Windows XP launch party, the SharePoint 2001 launch party, Office XP, 2003, 2007 and so many more.  They were epic and so meaningful.  When SharePoint 2010 launched I partnered with Christian and Erica to throw the most amazing party at a club in Seattle.  Erica had some amazing connections for DJs for Music. Christian brings a fantastic energy and excitement and helped me with the marketing.  We had hundreds of people show up to a club in Seattle area, and we coordinated parties all over the world. It was a blast!

So you really should register to join the community. There’s no cost to it. We’ll reveal more about the community at the Launch Party… but think education, training, speakers, but you know we know that friendships and networking are event more important.

Before all that, we’re going to pull ourselves together at this virtual launch party that should rival the best parties. It may take some imagination, but I hope we can connect and have a blast!

>> Register to be a member of the M365 Global Virtual Community


What better for launching a community than a *launch party* for the M365 global Virtual Community.  I want a virtual party that is the biggest virtual tech party. It’s global, so we really need 3 parties. One for each of the 3 eight hour periods. We are naming the parties Rising Sun for APAC (Asia Pacific), Apex for EMEA (Europe Middle East Africa), and

I’ve reached out to some friends and influencers including getting the band back together.  We’ve got Galen Keene, Ryan Schouten as executive producers with Jeff Willinger, Christian Buckley, Maarten Visser, Serge Tremblay, and many more.  We’ve been working on the details for a couple months.


Let’s start with the Music and DJs. The most popular Microsoft DJ is clearly Joey Snow.  Because he’s been DJ at more Microsoft and SharePoint Parties than anyone as long as I’ve been involved.  At this virtual party we have reached out to Joey and he’s on board! We will be featuring mixes from the famous DJ Joey Snow and his high energy summertime mixes perfect for dancing. You can check out some of his mix samples at Spreaker Bash Music where he regularly drops some dope mixes.

Pictured: Joey Snow DJ in a high energy mix of a Red Party

Those who have been in the community a long time know Keith Richie.  He was essential most important plugged in Microsoft PSS/CSS support engineer back in the day.  You couldn’t find a SharePoint Ranger who wasn’t on a first name basis with Keith.

See the source image
The Maestro – Keith Richie

Top Fans have said, “Thematically versatile with a distinctive signature sound, Keith Richie’s music is overall beautifully haunting, deeply emotive and often darkly thematic – yet never ghoulish, alienating or overtly frightening in nature” 

As a result, we’ll feature some songs inspired by the Microsoft Community in his Pillars in Time as well as his latest album of 20 years of music.

Keith Richie’s Latest Album Launched in April 2020.
2049 – An Anthology of 49 songs from 20 years of music.


Are you a Trekkie or Trekker?

Have you ever been to a Comicon or SCI FI convention? Jana Babackova and Joy Apple have planned the most epic Cosplay contest.  So, we are looking for both individuals and teams who are interested in participating in this awesome contest. Don’t be worried if this is your first time. I would expect most will be trying this out for the first time.

>> Register as a Team or Individual


Fastest speed round with 10 minute talks from your favorite speakers in bite sized chunks talking about the future.  As a result, we will have compelling topics such as Future of Microsoft 365, Mars, Quantum computing, Autonomous Enterprise, Future of Mixed Reality, Future of AI. 

<CALL FOR PANELS and Lightning TALKS> Coming soon! Come back!

Best way to keep in touch is to register for the party. We will have about a dozen -v10 minute lightning talks. I’m working with Christian Buckley on Panels and a fantastic line up of quick powerful speakers.


Maarten Visser has put together a Power Apps based trivia game.  We are collecting questions for a fun and action packed amazing trivia game. No need to register for the game specifically, but be sure to join the event early and don’t miss it!

Lots of fun and more to be announced. We’re planning a virtual lobby in SharePoint spaces with parties running together mode and 7×7. Haven’t seen that happen yet? Let’s make it happen!

>>Don’t forget to Register to the Party and be a member of the M365 Global Virtual Community

Register for the 3! AWESOME virtual parties to come. Party has been announced for August 27 at 12PM PDT which is 7pm UTC.

Microsoft SharePoint Workflow End Of Life

Some very important news for SharePoint environments everywhere. Microsoft has clearly identified the end of the legacy SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 workflows with a few different timelines to be aware of. The most surprising is the one month clock to the end of SharePoint 2010 workflow creation with November being the date 2010 end of existing workflow support. SharePoint 2013 workflows remain supported but deprecated. Those on premise will be supported through 2026.

This summary image below was created and provided to save you some time to see if you’re impacted. If you are. I highly recommend you read the full article, tools, and support article. Here are the short links provided by Chris McNulty in his end of life SharePoint workflow announcement to the tech community. Support article on the SharePoint Workflow and SharePoint Designer creation to Power Automate and finally the Migration guidance for getting from SharePoint 2010 Workflow or SharePoint 2013 workflow to Power Automate.

Like the image above? Feel free to use it.