What Are Core Capabilities of Compliance Archiving?

Compliance Archiving

Compliance archiving serves organizations in industries where employee communications and conduct are strictly regulated. These organizations can include financial services providers, banking and insurance companies, healthcare providers, schools, and government agencies. These organizations need to monitor electronic communications to safeguard against unlawful or inappropriate behavior.

In essence, compliance archiving platforms collect, secure, and protect electronic data from tampering, such that its integrity as evidence for legal purposes is unimpeachable.

Penalties affiliated with non-compliance – stemming from spoliation, loss of data, inconsistent policy management, or unknown “dark data” – can be severe and can include large punitive sanctions. With many archiving tools on the market, it is important to know which capabilities are necessary and which are not.

Although compliance archiving is frequently confused with data backup, the two domains differ markedly. Data backup technologies maintain stores of electronic data to be used in the event of data loss events, such as natural disasters or malicious acts. While long-term storage is key to compliance archiving, effective archiving requires the ability to search and query that data quickly, no matter its age or type. Indeed, the ability to quickly locate data pertinent to a legal or other inquiry can significantly reduce the need to rely on legal services to isolate such data, and thereby save an organization many thousands of dollars in fees.

A compliance-first archiving solution enables highly regulated enterprises to leverage tools to filter, regulate, export, and derive value from business communication in the archived data. As compliance regulations continue to escalate, organizations need a cloud archiving solution capable of automating policy management and bringing intelligence across all information to ensure that regulatory compliance obligations are satisfied.

Compliance archiving enables organizations that are subject to communication oversight requirements to leverage market-leading supervision and data surveillance capabilities. The proper platform helps streamline the review process and handle the messaging volumes of even the largest organizations.

Key Industry Sectors

Some industries that rely on compliance archiving as a mission-critical resource for managing compliance risk include:

  • Banks
  • Financial Services
  • Securities Brokerages and Dealers
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare Providers
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Public and Private School Systems
  • Government Agencies


Supervision is closely related to – and enabled by – compliance archiving. Supervision applies several advanced technologies that allow organizations to extract samples of electronic communications and other data for screening and surveillancev. By applying supervision technologies and practices, organizations can police against specific violations of regulatory or corporate policy, such as insider trading, improper handling of personally identifiable information (PII), fraud, and other practices that can lead to fines, litigation, and severe reputational damage.

Social Collaboration

The robust adoption of social collaboration raises three major challenges for legal and compliance professionals.

Solution Sprawl

This is the situation that arises when organizations respond to the adoption of new platforms by purchasing or building platform-specific compliance solutions. Even the deployment of two or three compliance solutions can raise process inconsistencies, costs and risks. The Osterman Research white paper, Archiving and Data Protection with Microsoft Teams, observes “Different tools will offer varying capabilities and approaches for archiving, data protection, legal hold, supervision, and eDiscover, making it difficult to gain unified controls across all content.”

Data Explosion

Social collaboration is very different from email. Different platforms offer different ways to communicate and collaborate, which can include instant messaging, voice, video, stickers and emojis. This mashup of formats (e.g., text, images, voice, and video), contexts (1:1 chats, group meetings, and topical channels), and sentiment signals (emojis, stickers, animated GIFs, and text formatting) require advanced analysis to ensure compliance.

Crisis-Mode Management

Managing compliance for social collaboration platforms, most of which add new features and capabilities with little to no advance warning can prove costly and burdensome for organizations, raising the risk of data loss and depleting resources that could otherwise be invested in core business innovation.

Search and Query

One of the most critical capabilities of a compliance data lake is to easily and quickly locate the information you need.

Contextual-based search is built on a self-healing, optimized indexing engine that can scale to match specific information archiving and querying needs – delivering integrity, accuracy, and performance to data governance operations. And when a compliance archiving tool is built on a unified Compliance Data Lake, searching and querying the system is consistent across the entire offering; any query will have a consistent result across business communication channels.

Search Performance

As stated previously, the value of a compliance archive lies in its ability to quickly and easily locate the information legal and compliance teams need when you need it. Organizations in highly regulated industries typically need to conduct frequent search-and-export processes, several times per week across millions of messages in some cases. The ability to retrieve meaningful search results within seconds instead of minutes can profoundly impact productivity, quality, and job satisfaction.

Faceted Search

Features such as faceted search capabilities, which enable users to apply any number of filters by leveraging applied data categorizations performed by the system, are vital for both efficiency and effectiveness. After users refine their faceted searches to best identify key information, they can easily define which attributes should appear in the results, arrange for the desired presentation, and sort the results for any displayed attribute. Users can then save and even share their searches for future use, or utilize a saved search as a baseline for new searches.

Term Hits

In addition, the ability of the archiving system to display the numbers of relevant documents (i.e., Term Hits) even before users execute their queries, can save even more time over having to wait until the search results are delivered.

These processes should be integrated with the search workflow, to enable users to see the effectiveness of their terms or queries. These data-intensive previews allow them to make desired refinements prior to running the search itself, facilitating and accelerating the process of narrowing their searches to achieve their desired outcomes.

Discovery Conference Readiness

Effective compliance archiving is a necessity for generating reports to corporate or outside counsel in preparation for – and use during - discovery conferences with opposing counsel.

Robust search and export capabilities empower organizations to respond to all forms of audit requests, whether driven by state or federally mandated compliance audits (e.g., FINRA, MiFID II, GDPR, etc.), internal HR investigations, potential legal action, or simply an internal business request to meet internal policy management and opposing counsel needs.

Contextual Data

The ability of an archiving platform to capture and review sentiment through emojis, reactions, stickers, or linked web pages as presented in conversational view has become increasingly vital due to the explosive adoption of social collaboration tools by businesses. Organizations should further consider a platform with capabilities that enable ingested content to be presented, supervised, and exported in near-native formats. This will enable the capture and review of content while maintaining the contextual format and meaning intended during the original generation of the message.

By visualizing categories of electronic communication in near-native format and in its original context, the compliance archive will enable users to see communication consistently from origin to capture.

Further, by presenting content in the same format and context as originally generated, organizations will be able to implement visual segregation of data sources as desired, and support the ability to search across various communication categories to interpret conversations across all captured electronic communication categories. This creates a rich, unified experience that facilitates the detection of noteworthy patterns and anomalies.

Cross-Channel Search

Given the diversity of business communication channels in use today, legal and compliance specialists need the ability to review cross-channel communication data from email servers and social collaboration tools (including instant messages, chats, social media, attachments, and emojis) in order to assess its relevance in a single search result, rather than through multiple platform-specific searches.

Effective compliance archiving solutions provide for capture, archiving, and search across all data formats across enterprise business communications platforms, including email, files, social media, structured data, video, and audio. Many of these dynamic communications can be beyond the capabilities of early-generation compliance archiving offerings. Look for a vendor that meets these changing needs, as well as offers support for file shares, SharePoint, Web, and structured data.

Reporting and Insights

Robust reporting and data visualizations provide insights into archived data, greater visibility into risk and compliance issues, and the ability to easily publish and communicate to key business stakeholders. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and investigative analytic technologies provide more powerful risk modeling and more reliable infrastructure, while maintaining an open architecture and enabling self-service use case models.

A clear and intuitive user experience with interactive workflows allows for easy data access, drill-down sorting, and filtering across business communication.

Unified Reporting

Reporting functionality that can be easily accessed from a single user interface and organized by category greatly simplifies access and generation for busy compliance professionals. This streamlines analysis and reporting on corporate communication data. Real-time reporting features that allow easy filtering to remove unwanted data, formatting to change visual elements such as typefaces, font sizes, and alignment are also mission-critical for creating compelling presentations and for engaging effectively with various stakeholders.

Interactive Reporting Dashboards

Visualizing potential risks and regulatory compliance issues helps organizations to mitigate them and proactively prevent future issues. Insight development is streamlined by interactive visual dashboards and pre-configured reports that are expertly designed to align with various use cases.

Organizations need the ability to configure reports to deliver a visual representation of their data to monitor employees, measure and present key metrics relevant to business needs, and meet various regulatory compliance requirements.

Administration Reporting

Organizations need the ability to configure reports to deliver a visual representation of their data to monitor, measure and present key metrics relevant to business needs and regulatory requirements.

Efficient and effective compliance operations depend on reliability, serviceability, and the ability to set up users and user-access rights. In addition to ease of use, uptime, data retrieval speed, and centralized policy management capabilities, compliance decision makers should consider the vendor’s track record for support and service.

In addition, organizations considering cloud-based solutions need to evaluate the fees a vendor would charge if the need to leave arises. Extraction fees can vary greatly among vendors, so these should be thoroughly reviewed before committing to a contract.

Supervision Reporting

Reporting for supervision platforms allow compliance professionals to combine data discovery with risk profiling and runtime protection to find exploit attempts, suspicious behavior, or inappropriate data extraction. Supervision reporting automates the import and organization of employees into risk-based groups and facilitates comprehensive supervision and data surveillance capabilities across multiple forms of electronic communication. Organizations can use these capabilities to monitor and identify areas of risk with assisted legal review.

Automation Technologies

Cloud automation technologies drive efficiencies and create a single, unified source of truth. When the compliance archiving tool is built on the same set of APIs available to customers, any action performed in the archive or data accessed by the user interface can be automated through the APIs.

Open, extensible APIs enable nimble integration with business and operational systems for distinctive insights customized to the unique needs of your business.


A critical component of any compliance archiving solution is its ability to integrate with other systems and workflows within the organization.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) based on RESTful interfaces enable nimble integration with business and operational systems and processes, allowing straightforward customization to the unique needs of organizations of all types. Workflows between systems can be integrated automatically, creating a unified, single source of truth.

Organizations are well advised to seek RESTful industry-standard APIs with OpenAPI Swagger specification and JSON payload for easy integration in any programming language. Having a system with standard clear and consistent APIs results in a better experience for developers. Having this clear framework of APIs allows for faster learning, therefore resulting in faster guideline building.

Authorized personnel should be able to upload data to the compliance archive, search for archived objects, and export the search results using the APIs. Federated Search APIs allow compliance specialists to create searches across multiple databases and document types simultaneously.

Organizations can ensure greater security with encryption of all data at rest, store data securely in a proven compliant storage solution that scales and provides secure access across the enterprise and to authorized third parties.

Ideally, the compliance archive user experience should be built on the same set of APIs that are made available to customers. This ensures that any action that can be performed in the user interface can be automated through the APIs.

Data Disposition and Retention Management

Strict constraints on archive data deletion under many regulatory frameworks run counter to the ability to identify, classify, and remove redundant, obsolete, and trivial (ROT) data in order to reduce costs affiliated with managing and storing business data while improving performance. For storage capacity management, features from top vendors will include automated defensible deletion, policy-based retention features, the ability to migrate data to and from the archive, and automated provisioning of CPU and storage for elastic, scalable resourcing.

In order to stand up compliance archiving solutions that deliver operational efficiency and performance, information governance leaders need to seek the flexibility to move, compress, deduplicate, or delete archived data as appropriate to maximize storage efficiency.


Many organizations do not have an organized approach to proper data retention. Too often, retention policies constitute no more than blindly eradicating data stores regardless of the content within or of the individual users affected.

Implementing a regular schedule for retention and disposition helps defensively prepare for litigation and regulatory compliance issues, and help ensure proper and legal data governance.


The ability to supervise and surveil individuals communicating in a variety of languages is also essential. The best archiving platforms translate in real time to ensure productivity in a secure environment, rather than having potentially sensitive information placed onto free public-web translation sites.

Organizations can give their teams the ability to securely translate documents, emails and instant messages into their native languages offline, on their device, or securely behind firewalls.

Open Architecture

A compliance archiving solution with an open architecture enables you to programmatically access and easily integrate within your own business systems and processes. Solutions built with the strategic integration of open source software can benefit users through increased stability and functionality infused by contributions from the broad community of developers.

Secure Cloud Infrastructure

Given the sheer volume of enterprise data highly regulated organizations need to manage, an intelligent cloud archiving solution to unify and provide insightful visibility across all information, companies is essential for meeting regulatory compliance, ensuring legal endpoint preparedness, and maintaining IT efficiency. As IT budgets mostly remain flat, organizations must rely on a cloud archiving solution that can effectively manage information and simultaneously address cost-reduction initiatives.

Compliance Data Lake

Compliance Data Lake technology enables ingestion, enrichment, preservation, and administrative handling of messaging and contextual data across all business communication platforms (e.g. email, instant messages, mobile, social media, unified communications, collaboration platforms, voice, audio, and video conferencing, etc.) with high performance and at scale. A critical design element of compliance archiving, the unified Compliance Data Lake provides the foundation for maximizing the value of archival data via interactive search, discovery, data surveillance, early case assessment, audit controls, and rich, actionable analytics.

The Compliance Data Lake makes up the bedrock for a contextual search, data surveillance, data discovery, and analytic insights experience. It enables diverse business functions in highly regulated companies to derive value from the data required of policies.

Once collected and populated within the Compliance Data Lake, the full value of archived information can be realized by your organization through a comprehensive compliance archive. Compliance archiving provides capabilities in the following areas:

  • Effortless, high-performing search and export
  • Supervision and risk mitigation
  • Early case assessment, legal hold, and regulatory compliance auditing
  • Analytical reporting and insights
  • Documented RESTful interfaces (APIs) for integration into third-party systems and workflows

Compliance archiving requires a single data source to enable consistent, streamlined searches for audit controls and readiness, supervision, data surveillance, ediscovery, and production. The Compliance Data Lake also allows for a separation of storage and computation, accelerating search time. A Compliance Data Lake presents a single, unified namespace that enables legal and compliance professionals to index and search across very large quantities of data.

This is invaluable because it removes the need by organizations to know in advance what electronic communication tool or technical communications format was used before searching the business communication archive.

A unified architecture supports the consolidation of electronic communication in a unified object store and streamlines holistic, single pane-of-glass analysis and data governance.


Archive security tops considerations for almost all organizations. Fundamentally, your solution must adhere to certified controls and processes so data is safely preserved and accessible for litigation, regulatory compliance, and end-user search.

Protective measures should include encryption, VPN tunnels, and multi-level authentication. For the most sensitive and confidential data, the data center capabilities should meet Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 auditing standards. That means data is stored across multiple data centers with 24x7 surveillance, biometric access, and anti-intrusion controls. Leveraging a private cloud can provide an ever-greater level of security around the data.

Data Preparation

Compliance Data Lake technology structures the presentation of messages following best practices to enhance searchability, enabling single pass review of messages and attachments.

The Compliance Data Lake helps visualize electronic communication in its native look and feel to present data in context, letting users view communication consistently from origin to capture. This allows for the ability to interactively search across all communication categories, creating a unified experience contributing to the identification of patterns and anomalies.

Data Enrichment

Compliance Data Lake enrichment of individual messages and attachments allows for streamlined ediscovery, data governance, and regulatory compliance. This is an important and often overlooked key to an efficient solution. Providing data enrichment of both messages and attachments allows for a single query to return results for both messages and attachments, eliminating the need to run multiple queries to return the full result set.

Deeper insight results from being able to apply data enrichment functions such as text extraction, voice transcription, metadata correlation, entity extraction, sentiment analysis, and others to the incoming data stream easily, in a single, unified architecture. Machine learning and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques are vital components of this architecture. This enables users to horizontally scale enrichment services, which can be computationally intense, to ensure that data enrichment keeps up with the archival volume.

End-User Search

Archiving platforms that empower end users by providing access to their own content can achieve significant operational efficiencies. When users can search for and retrieve data themselves, organizations can free IT resources to attend to more strategic initiatives.

The best compliance archiving solutions provide end-user access via an intuitive web interface, a mobile interface, or even access from within Outlook. Management features should include the ability to limit access, such as role-based restrictions, and the ability to view data in the same folder structure that exists in the native application.

Managed Services

A compliance archiving tool with managed cloud services can help you monitor and optimize the information archiving environment so you can focus on your business.

Included compliance consulting helps meet the needs of highly regulated industries that must adhere to regulatory compliance. When selecting a managed cloud services provider, here are some key services the solution should have to ensure the best cloud archiving experience possible:

  • Premium support and services
  • Migration services
  • Compliance consulting
  • API and integration services
  • Audit outsourced services
  • Compliance collectors managed services
  • Records management as a service
  • Surveillance consulting services

Cloud Ecosystem

Many communication forms – e.g., email, SMS, instant messaging, mobile data, and social media – reside outside firewalls or in the cloud. This makes cloud-based archiving convenient. However, for more sensitive information sources, such as file servers, integrated databases, or custom enterprise applications, on-premises archiving may be obligatory. Some platforms can do both.

Size is another consideration. Moving large data volumes from on-premises to the cloud, or vice versa, can be complex and expose your data to the risk of error. Additionally, the more data you have, the more it may cost to store with a third-party repository.

Why Choose Micro Focus Compliance Archiving?

The ability to integrate and archive all different communication types into one compliant unified content store is the first step in being able to effectively maintain a proactive regulatory compliance stance. Compliance Archiving helps organizations accomplish these goals to perform compliant information archiving in nearly any type of organization, including highly regulated industries.

Its modern architecture, powerful governance capabilities, and sophisticated information analytics help you protect your data and make it possible to:

  • Deliver massive scalability and execution on large amounts of data
  • Own a single version of the truth for everything
  • Manage a large variety of data sources, from social media to messages, file systems, voice files, etc.

Languages supported:

  • Chinese(Traditional)
  • Chinese(Simplified)
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Italian