Don't forget that the e-discovery business wouldn't exist without reliable data storage. So this is no peripheral topic for The Station. Bringing e-discovery software in-house for legal purposes looks like a legitimate trend for 2010 and beyond, thanks to the impressive cost and content control it brings to users.
E-discovery software used to be a mystery to everybody but lawyers (and even they sometimes couldn't figure it out): how to collect various types of data, how to filter it correctly, how to get usable results in limited time frames, etc.
Now, however, a handful of providers are coming out with intuitive e-discovery packages that can be installed and used by savvy businesspeople.
Guidance Software is one of those providers. The decade-old software provider, based in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 19 announced Version 4 of its EnCase eDiscovery platform.
EnCase provides legal and IT teams with an integrated software package that includes all the necessary functions for in-house electronic discovery, such as legal hold, precollection analytics, and identification, preservation and collection.
The latest news is that Guidance, in its Version 4, has added a couple of other important features: processing, analysis and early case assessment, and first-pass review.
In most other e-discovery products, analysis and review can be performed only after collection and processing is complete. However, EnCase eDiscovery 4's new analysis and first-pass review capabilities can be activated at any stage of the electronic discovery process, such as during collection or after collection or during and after processing.
This saves great deal of time (and time equals hundreds of dollars per hour for lawyers, remember) and effort all around.
Guidance also features a unique precollection analytics capability that operates "on a level under the operating system," Russ Gould, Guidance's director of product marketing, told The Station. "In this way, it disrupts nothing in the system," he said.
Gould said EnCase eDiscovery enables organizations to rapidly understand case facts, better prepare for "meet and confer" conferences, negotiate keywords with opponents and perform first-pass reviews in-house to reduce data sets prior to outside attorney review, thereby increasing speed and reducing cost.
Because the analysis and first-pass review capabilities are Web-based, attorneys and paralegals can test keywords, view data and tag documents from their desktops or laptops, without having to install any software.
Licensing is simpler, too. Payment is based strictly on the amount of storage nodes -- not on the number of users or physical or virtual images. The company also offers a pay-per-use option.
If you're thinking about adding e-discovery to your IT processes this year, this might be one to check out. Go here for more information.