Engineering and professional services firm, Aurecon, simplifies document tagging and discovery with Microsoft Syntex

Published on October 10, 2022


Aurecon is an engineering, design, and advisory firm headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. With collaboration at the core of its business, it emphasizes bringing ideas to life that create a better future for people and the planet. Ranked as a top professional services firm in Australia in 2021, Aurecon has an award-winning, innovative approach to business.

Aurecon places high value on information—so much so that it implemented the Aurecon Project Information Management Standard (APIMS), which provides the framework for establishing a consistent information base across its organization. The intent of the standard is to provide greater accessibility and reliability around information. To ensure that information is accurate, properly applied metadata is key and at the core of how the organization operates.


In transitioning to this metadata-rich approach, various challenges arose around applying metadata to native file renditions, such as PDFs, and to information that was being shared from non-Microsoft document management systems. The process for applying metadata to these types of information was very manual and often resulted in team members duplicating effort and losing valuable time. This was especially prevalent in large-scale engineering projects where the mass production of highly complex design drawings are required to be uniquely coded.

“Running things out of your own head isn’t a great way to do business,” says James Black, Principal, Digital Risk and Information Management at Aurecon. “If you have all the drawings uploaded, you should be able to pull them up with keywords.” Tagging information to make it more easily discoverable also goes beyond internal benefits for Aurecon. The firm’s clients have begun putting more emphasis on ensuring that visual content such as drawings are managed using their organizations’ information standards. Aurecon consultants need to meet those standards to ensure a quality outcome.


To maximize the efficiencies in APIMS, the Aurecon team sought an automated solution for assigning metadata, leading team members at the firm to Microsoft Syntex. Building on its information management frameworks, Aurecon began rolling out Microsoft Syntex to enhance the quality of the metadata capture while simplifying the user experience. With scale as a key driver, the team identified an opportunity to use models in Microsoft Syntex to intelligently read and automate the extraction of metadata tags from large drawing sets as they’re added to SharePoint project sites.

Microsoft Syntex brings to life Aurecon’s standards-led approach—the foundational step to ensuring its people have access to trusted information that can be shared and used across projects. It also frees up project team members’ time spent manually classifying and tagging information.

“Microsoft Syntex helps us amplify our human expertise by enabling our people to apply their skills and knowledge to meaningful work that delivers value to our clients.”

Kimberley Morrison (Automation and Integrated Platforms Leader, Aurecon)


The ease of building and retraining models for Aurecon’s implementation of ISO 19650 through a standardized information delivery framework has unlocked future opportunities to use intelligent models that meet Aurecon’s client information needs in a consistent and structured way and deliver value to the firm’s clients.

With Microsoft Syntex, Aurecon is now able to more easily meet governance and compliance requirements. Instead of being a daunting, time-consuming task, it’s as straightforward as uploading a file to the firm’s SharePoint library and having the system add the relevant tags. This process allows project teams to use the information in the future, and the time savings from using Microsoft Syntex each day helps employees focus on delivering value to clients.

When asked about what else the firm would like from future use of Microsoft Syntex, Aurecon sees captured data as the foundation for innovative new tools that can deliver business-wide insights and are essential for developing and maintaining digital twins. To begin using digital twins, an organization needs a sound structure for obtaining intelligent information. Helping it build the foundation, Microsoft Syntex allows Aurecon to use these tools and continue creating a stronger and more efficient business.

Read full case study