Microsoft has recently begun previewing some smart new updates to SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, and announced user feedback-driven changes to the SharePoint mobile app. The enhancements are aimed at automating several tasks and making it easier to find information on the go.
Microsoft partner director of program management for OneDrive and SharePoint, Omar Shahine, blogged in late August that the company’s recent investments in artificial intelligence (AI) would be put to use in streamlining the process for sifting through large amounts of cloud-stored data to find key information.
Shahine noted the increasingly complex task of trying to locate and reuse existing content due to the ever growing amount of digital information, with a lot of it now in the form of video, image and audio files which are not easily indexed. To alleviate this, audio and video files in over 320 formats stored in OneDrive and SharePoint will soon be able to be automatically transcribed. Transcriptions of video conferences will include AI-powered face detection as well as closed captions.
Photographic images are also to benefit from Microsoft’s visual recognition algorithms, which can recognise objects, extract text and figure out where a shot was taken. The company points to the example of scanned receipts becoming searchable for particular words in order to help financial accounting. This automated transcription and image recognition should help streamline business compliance needs to ensure data is in line with an organisation’s legal policies and obligations.
OneDrive and Office.com users should soon start to see the home pages of these services intelligently listing files based on what the AI has gathered about when, how, and who they work with. The algorithm can also make recommendations to reuse existing content when working on new documents, as by automatically working out the context of a project, it can suggest a particular paragraph of text, table or chart should be leveraged and repurposed.
A few other changes will make it simpler to share information and keep it secure. The OneDrive app can check a user’s Outlook calendar and offer to share relevant files to people they have just been in a meeting with, for example. Microsoft also made mention of its cloud storage’s ability to automatically detect data breaches and guide users on how to resolve them, while protecting their file history for 30 days.
In addition, mobile SharePoint users should soon find an app update becomes available which has a couple of smart new search features. By popular demand, a Find tab is to be added, which will display intelligently selected contacts, content and other data with a single tap. Currently these details have been spread over three different screens, meaning users had to be in the right tab before beginning a search.
Microsoft says it will offer more detail about changes to SharePoint and the rest of its popular productivity software at its Ignite event in late September.
For more information about how Microsoft SharePoint can enhance the performance of your business, contact us at WM Reply.