The Exonar solution is built on search technology (the appliance version might be described as “Google in a box”), supported by NoSQL, and is able to handle billions of documents. The solution makes use of machine learning (ML) for context identification; it is delivered to clients pre-trained, but it is further trainable; and it takes into account the document metadata, as well as the content.
Exonar’s solution uses natural language processing for contextual awareness; in other words, it not only looks for specific terms but also the language and structure around them. The language and structure tend to be fairly consistent in many document types (NDAs, CVs, purchase orders, etc.). The solution then creates rules around the location of the file and can make files available only to specific groups, such as HR and finance. It may be described as working on a principle of master data aggregation rather than management.
When it comes to deployment, Exonar’s solution is available on premises as an appliance and hosted in the cloud; it can even be consumed as a managed service. A portable version is also available, although, to date, the on-premises version and the MSP offering provide the most robust functionality. And, as the vendor looks to broaden its reach, it is now opening up its APIs to allow other systems to communicate with it. One of the API integrations that may bring significant benefit is the integration of Exonar with existing document management and email solutions, which could help remediate some of the traditional data protection risks.
Who Needs It?
Exonar reports that its customers come from across the market spectrum — finance, local government, travel and transport, law, and telecommunications. Although the largest portion of Exonar’s customer base is in the U.K., the vendor is fielding more and more inbound enquiries from abroad and is in negotiations with partners in the U.S. and in the Nordics to help manage its expansion. Regarding the drivers of adoption, becoming GDPR compliant is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the number-one reason (by a considerable margin) that organizations are seeking out Exonar. However, as important as cybersecurity is, it comes a distant second to making sure companies do not fall foul of privacy regulators. Exonar has published a white paper on data management and getting to grips with GDPR, which is available here.
Exonar’s solution addresses many of the challenges around data management — such as discovering hidden data and dealing with data at the speed it is created — and has emerged at a time when the need has never been greater, with GDPR coming into force in less than a year. The volume of inbound enquiries Exonar is receiving from beyond its core market is testament to the current market need for such a solution and points to rapid expansion over the coming months. Beyond compliance, the solution clearly has tremendous potential from a business enablement and efficiency perspective — drivers that should fuel even further expansion.