A range of products can help with e-discovery, and in some cases, companies already have the technology they need. E-mail archives and document management systems are well-suited for e-discovery because they serve as an information repository. Products from e-mail archiving vendors, including Autonomy, CA, EMC, IBM, Mimosa Systems, and Symantec, offer e-discovery features such as search and legal holds on stored messages. Service-based archives from Dell, Google, Microsoft, and others also offer important discovery features.
Webcor Builders CIO and senior VP Gregg Davis relies on Enterprise Vault, an e-mail archiving platform from Symantec. The company has deployed an e-discovery module on top of the archive that assists with searches and legal holds. Before it had the archive, finding and collecting data could take weeks, Davis says. For some cases, old Exchange servers had to be kept up and running to pull up old in-boxes. "It was painful," he says. "Now it's a matter of minutes."
Specialized products also are available to collect and preserve data. They're able to search a variety of data repositories, including file servers, laptops, SharePoint, and e-mail systems for relevant information. Because these products sit on the corporate network and access critical business systems, IT operates them or closely oversees their operation. They're able to preserve information, either in place or by copying it to a secure repository, and they move files without affecting metadata. Leading vendors in this area include Autonomy, Guidance Software, Kazeon, Recommind, and Stored IQ.
Another group of specialized products assists attorneys, paralegals, and other legal pros in reviewing and analyzing information. They help separate relevant files and determine whether gathered evidence supports a case. Vendors in this space include Autonomy, CaseCentral, Clearwell Systems, FTI Technology, and Recommind. A host of litigation support providers also offers review services.
Brandon D'Agostino, ESI counselor at Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, chose Clearwell to identify relevant data. Clearwell's feature set was attractive, he says, as was its appliance form factor. Says D'Agostino: "We don't have to hire IT staff to maintain a large e-discovery environment."