Intelligent content migration with AI

How can companies simplify the migration of intranet content to the Microsoft Cloud using Azure text analyses and at the same time reduce the workload for authors, increase quality and save time?

Many companies are currently moving their historically grown intranets to the Microsoft Cloud in order to realise a modern employee portal that utilises the potential of the new services.

The content migration challenge

But how do you as Internal Communications (IC) support your authors with content migration?

Due to new, mostly topic-oriented navigation and filing structures and the “flat world” principle specified by Microsoft instead of hierarchical “structure monsters” with many sub-websites, authors have to analyse their existing content. This is usually followed by lengthy considerations as to where this content should be moved to in the new content and indexing structure. For this purpose, the editorial team creates mapping lists to transfer the old structure to the new structure and the old keywords to the new keywords.

Content migration is usually carried out manually due to the extensive re-structuring. All authors must be trained to understand and use the new structures and keywords (“taxonomies”). The manual effort involved in the relocation and re-categorisation is very high. Authors are also under time pressure in addition to their day-to-day work.

An intelligently supported content migration offers relief through the use of cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) services from Microsoft, such as Azure text analyses.

  • The AI service analyses the original page text and briefly summarises its essence. It evaluates and identifies the main statements in unstructured text.
  • The AI service finds important terms in texts from the company, for example key terms and named entities such as people, products, services, locations and organisations – based on the specially defined keywords (taxonomies) and key terms, such as product names, location details or processes.

Migration support

How can you specifically support your authors in content migration with Azure as Internal Communications (IC)?

An intelligent migration assistant presents authors with its suggestions for new storage in the structure and a suitable keywording directly on a page in the intranet, and allows manual adjustment of the target and keywords for the content if required.

  • On the pages – based on the stored mapping lists for structure and keywords – it is suggested a) where the content should go in the target and b) how it should be re-categorised.
  • Authors approve or manually adapt the proposal.
  • The content of the pages, documents and integrated images are then automatically migrated, re-categorised and linked.
  • Finally, the content can be quality assured and optimised.

Advantages of AI support

To summarise, what are the benefits of intelligently supported content migration using cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) services from Microsoft?

Take the pressure off authors, increase the quality of content and save a significant amount of time when preparing and carrying out the migration.

  • The need for training and explanation of the mapping logic for authors is significantly reduced, as is the daily time required by everyone to view the old content and carry out the actual migration.
  • Content can be moved and restructured step by step.
  • Your defined mapping logic is automatically adhered to and requires less verification. Less content needs to be changed afterwards.

Costs and requirements

What are the costs and requirements for using Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) services?

At Microsoft, billing for the basic cloud service is based on usage. A start is possible free of charge in order to be able to carry out the first meaningful tests to convince the management of this content migration method.

As a basic condition, it must be permitted to temporarily send the content to be analysed to Microsoft’s cloud service in the EU cloud.

The easiest way is to interact with the basic services SharePoint Online and Power Automate Flow, as well as in your own EU Cloud Azure environment, where an application provided by Alight for the migration assistant with the mapping tables and the synchronisation of the keyword lists (taxonomies/ termstore) is temporarily hosted.

But internal, older SharePoint intranets, as well as other platforms, can also use the services if the interface to the cloud is activated.