Haystak is not an eDiscovery search engine. Not yet. Instead, it is a new take on enterprise search and tagging that could address key pain points experienced by remote employees juggling content across local, network and cloud repositories. Just last week my mentor Skip Walter expressed how frustrating it was to have to separately search for documents scattered across email accounts, SharePoint sites, Teams, OneDrive, etc. Classic enterprise search engines like Elasticsearch, Bing, Google Cloud Search and others usually build a massive central index (10-25% of the repository volumes) and come with heavy infrastructure or administration overhead. Desktop search like X1, Coveo and others keeps that index and processing overhead on the local device but are usually limited to raw unstructured data sources. Haystak seems to span structured and unstructured sources to index content and metadata alike to provide a single search interface.

Other search systems have built connectors into many of the primary data sources and either reindex or federate searches to address this. However, Haystak’s indexing approach is worth a second look. Haystak creates a local tokenized copy of extracted text plus file, system and tag metadata. This allows Haystak to track and report on changes. An important point here is that Haystak’s indexing does not require copying the files or changes to the target metadata. Microsoft may have no memory of changes, but Haystak does. For firms and regulated verticals concerned with data security and privacy, Haystak can be run on-premise or in private cloud implementations to keep everything inside of your envelope.

Remember that ‘not yet’? Haystak is new. Functionality is limited to ad hoc/scheduled Boolean searches and classification tagging. No clustering, analytics or actions like mass collections, moves and deletes. The good news is that they have invested in an API that provides an interesting managed service opportunity for the right partners to act on their JSON search results.

My thanks to Shree Sharma for steering the Haystak team to me. It is never fun to have to tell new players that their solution is not ready to jump into the eDiscovery market, but I always enjoy ‘out of the box’ approaches. I now have another tool in my Info Gov toolbox for the next law firm struggling with iManage, Netdocs, M365 and cloud repositories.

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