Exploring SharePoint Premium: 3 use cases

Whether you’re looking to streamline document management, enhance compliance protocols, or leverage the power of AI within your content management processes, SharePoint Premium stands ready to transform the way you work.

Microsoft’s latest advanced content management and experiences platform, SharePoint Premium brings together AI, automation, and enhanced security within Microsoft 365.

Formerly known as Microsoft Syntex, through June 2024 you can experiment with using it at no extra charge. This limited-time offer presents a unique opportunity for organizations to test drive the most advanced features of SharePoint Premium without any additional financial commitment.

Here at Cloudwell we’ve been taking advantage of the Microsoft promotional offer and wanted to share three ways you can use the newly rolled out functionality.

Let’s take a look…

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) automatically extracts printed or handwritten text from images, making the content discoverable, searchable, and indexable. It’s a particularly useful for Microsoft 365 administrators and compliance specialists.

Microsoft 365 administrators can, for example, using OCR capabilities search for scanned documents, such as contracts or RFP documents, then turn them into text so that they can be tagged, stored, and indexed.

Once the scanned documents have been OCR’d, end users can then search and find the previously hidden materials relevant to their roles. Such as, the legal team members can search for contracts that have their signature on it etc.

For compliance specialists, they can use OCR capabilities to look for scanned-in content, such as images, to check the user permissions and introduce governance and guardrails where there are gaps.

So, someone in compliance can pick a folder from a file share, pull it into SharePoint, and let the OCR capability run against it. OCR will then notify them if any file doesn’t meet compliance requirements and they can then rectify the issue immediately.

Getting a Microsoft 365 tenant ready for Copilot

Compliance is a really key piece of SharePoint Premium. So, say an organization adopts Copilot and rolls it out.

In the case where there’s documents with people’s personally identifiable information in, such as SSNs, with no permissions or guardrails around, anyone with a Copilot license can accidentally happen upon this information, that they shouldn’t have access to, by asking Copilot simple questions.

So, what SharePoint Premium does is give organizations more confidence in rolling out Copilot in a safe and secure way, by identifying ungoverned content. M365 admins can then create the necessary permissions and governance around that content before issuing users with a Copilot license.

Copilot is an incredibly powerful tool for discovering information. Once the large language model can see the contents of a document, for example after you’ve OCR’d a scanned file or contract, then end users can ask Copilot questions about that file. This means that it’s much more likely to uncover information, like SSNs mentioned before, that should be better secured, if there’s no governance in place.

Document understanding

SharePoint Premium has two kinds of document processing models, pre-built and custom models.

Pre-built models

Pre-built models are designed for and trained to extract common information from specific types of documents, such as contracts, receipts, and invoices. For example, they can extract the names of the parties, the contract amount, the effective date, and other relevant details.

There are loads of companies that have huge volumes of these types of documents coming in every day. And for companies like that, they can match the pre-built model to their scenario really quickly.

There’s very little they need to do they set it up. They can simply choose which information they want to be pulled out of those documents and then immediately be able to find details about those contracts, receipts, and invoices, which they can then sort and group them.

Then, working with a Microsoft Partner like Cloudwell, they can use Power Automate to route the documents to the right people, maybe archiving them, based on dates in the contracts or removing them based on legal compliance, records, retention those kinds of things.

Custom models

As for custom models, users can create and train them to extract information from any type of document, such as proposals, reports, forms, etc. For example, a custom model for proposals can extract the project name, the scope of work, the deliverables, and other relevant details.  Custom models require more setup and training by the user, but they are more flexible and powerful than pre-built models.

London Stock Exchange is currently using custom models for automating the analysis of prospectus documents. These are documents that provide information about the stocks and funds listed on the Exchange. The custom models can extract metadata such as company name, fund type, risk level, fees, etc. from these documents, saving analysts hours of manual reviews, freeing them up for more interesting and valuable work.


Specific features and offerings of SharePoint Premium may vary based on the licensing model and subscription level chosen. If you’re considering introducing SharePoint Premium into your Microsoft 365 tenant, get in touch with Cloudwell to find out which is the best fit for your needs.