What is Project Cortex?

project cortex

For more on Project Cortex, look out for our upcoming webinar “Next Level Knowledge Management in Office 365: Cortex, Yammer Communities, and Records.” Register here!


Have more questions? Check out our recent Project Cortex Q&A!

The further technology advances, the more vital it becomes for organizations to efficiently access information. Be it for onboarding new employees or catching existing employees up to speed, giving people the power to excel in their roles is the ultimate competitive advantage. That’s where Project Cortex comes in.

The Basics

Of all the innovations Microsoft has implemented to make Microsoft 365 the way to collaborate, Search was always one of the most impressive. Being able to search throughout the entire Office 365 suite and have the relevant information immediately at my fingertips made working that much more efficient.

Project Cortex is the natural evolution of that. It’s an innovative step in knowledge management that similarly relies on Microsoft’s powerful AI technology to pull data. First announced at Microsoft Ignite in November 2019, Project Cortex creates a Wikipedia-esque knowledge network for your organization’s data that can be easily accessed by employees.

Aside from serving as an organizational knowledge database, Cortex can also intelligently pull up relevant information when using Office 365 apps. Just like Search, it’s all about increasing workplace efficiency. It even incorporates machine teaching so subject matter experts (SMEs) can teach Cortex how best to process the content it handles.

project cortex

What About Existing Apps?

Project Cortex connects information across your Microsoft 365 tenant. This makes it so users can access data in apps like Microsoft Teams and Outlook and then intuitively organize it in SharePoint libraries.

Additionally, Project Cortex will be integrated with several Office 365 apps so relevant data can be presented in the form of in-app topic cards. These cards will pop up “just in time” and display info, resources, experts, and other information relating to topics you’re writing about.

project cortex

Is It Secure?

Yep. Project Cortex only pulls knowledge from your organization and stays in-line with the typical security and compliance controls present in Microsoft 365. This means that it’ll follow the same restrictions you have set in your apps

For instance, users who aren’t part of Team in your organization won’t suddenly be able to pull data from that Team. Your company’s information barriers and retention labels will all continue to be maintained when Cortex is accessed.

Looking for a quick rundown of Project Cortex? Check this out: Click To Tweet

What’s Next?

The software is currently in private preview and being tested by a number of organizations (you can apply here). It’s scheduled to be released for general use in the first half of 2020. Pricing details are still up in the air, but we should learn more as we get closer to the summer months.

And there you have it! If you want a more in-depth look at what Project Cortex has to offer, check out Microsoft’s official introduction post.


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