HighQ to launch AI Hub after unveiling major product upgrades

HighQ will shortly unveil a platform that it anticipates will become the natural interface for multiple AI engines, following a number of impressive product upgrades in January that created a buzz at Legalweek 18 and introduce changes that genuinely simplify the client experience.
The AI Hub will be unveiled as part of HighQ’s next release and speaking to Legal IT Insider, chief product and strategy officer Stuart Barr (pictured) said: “It’s part of a strategy that we’ve been articulating to our clients for quite a while. The idea is that you will plug in different AI engines such as Kira, Leverton or RAVN and use our common interface to push work to those engines and get it back.”
While the document management system is one obvious platform or interface for AI engines, and in January NetDocuments unveiled its AI marketplace, Barr said: “The slight difference with us is that we are doing transactional work whereas NetDocuments and iManage are not. People run data rooms and legal project management and big property transactions through HighQ so our platform is better suited for that transactional work where you need to do due diligence or analyse leases.”
HighQ has had integration with Kira Systems and Luminance for around a year and RAVN for around two but that is set to grow: right now, if you log in to Kira for example, users can push data from Kira back to HighQ’s iSheets module. Within the AI Hub, there will be a mechanism through which documents within HighQ will be pushed out to various AI engines and pulled back and Barr said: “The may be thousands of documents you want to run Kira against and we will keep it in one centralised database, which is an aggregate of all of the AI engines that have run against that data. You will be able to run multiple AI engines to enrich the data.”
While some say that only tight integration, such as that being worked on by iManage with RAVN Systems, will achieve the seamless experience required by clients, Barr said: “When I talk to our clients, they are using multiple engines and need a way to bring them together into one hub and use them in a seamless way. We could have bought a RAVN or a Leverton but we want to be agnostic and the market is moving so quickly a new AI engine could pop up tomorrow that’s better than all of them. I wouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket.”
He adds: “There are things we’re doing to build the HighQ platform such as classification but there are always other engines that are specialist in particular areas, for example Leverton is brilliant at real estate leases. So, Osborne Clarke or Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer or Addleshaw Goddard use Kira but they are also going and buying Leverton to solve specific problems. You don’t want your normal end users -whether they are lawyers or clients – having to deal with different user interfaces, which is why we think the solution is to give them one interface and platform and in the background have the intelligence of multiple systems.”
Collaborate 4.3 and Publisher 4.6
In keeping with its strategic focus on simplifying and improving the client experience, in HighQ’s product releases in January there are some major new features in Collaborate 4.3 and Publisher 4.6, including the ability to achieve data visualisation graphs and charts at the click of a button and users no longer have to switch interface to use those two products. 
In Collaborate 4.3 there is a really clever new ‘no-code’ dashboard builder, which builds on and productises work that clients have been doing in a bespoke way. By clicking on the type of dashboard or graph you’d like to build and identifying data in the likes of iSheets that you want to visualise, the two are married instantly, giving visual insight into eg tasks that are overdue. The dashboards can be created for internal or client purposes.
Barr says: “The brilliant thing about it is you can click ‘add section’ – say you want two columns in your chart – and you just point and click. Then you select the iSheet you want to visualise, such as ‘fees generated between 2014-17’ and the type of chart you want and it immediately creates those charts and graphs.”
It is this feature that has clients really excited. While it could be used for multiple internal purposes Barr says: “We’re all about the client and the transaction. About how you simplify things and bring them into one hub. It’s making the client experience as smooth and seamless as possible.”
A new Outlook plugin allows you to drag and drop emails or attachments straight into Collaborate. Interestingly, HighQ does have a handful of small firms and in-house legal teams using it as a DMS but Barr says: “We’re not trying to displace anyone in that space and being used as a DMS is not a primary focus.”
Another key upgrade to Collaborate means that excel spreadsheets can be protected and shared in their native format. Whereas previously an excel spreadsheet containing eg financial data would have to be converted to a PDF or accessed via an online viewer (which didn’t work well with multiple columns), now you can view an excel spreadsheet in its native form but with restrictions as to what you can do with it. Barr says: “It’s a really important feature for transactional teams.”
The final major new feature is a Workshare integration, in which Workshare Compare Everywhere is embedded so that users can compare any two versions of files and receive an instant redline document within HighQ.
As users and vendors look for a single platform to live in, HighQ is doing a really good job of showing why it should be theirs.