Corporate email systems are the primary target for opposing counsel when the discovery phase of any trial commences This has led to a whole new field known as e-discovery, whereby requests are made in droves to secure general or specific information from corporate email repositories.
Consequently, we are seeing a major shift in the email management software market. Specifically, email archiving systems now have to capture all discoverable content, not just sent and received emails. Judges have no sympathy for a company saying they couldn't find the required information these days, and they don't give them very long to come up with the data either.
IDC expects the worldwide email archiving applications market to rise to $1.4 billion by 2011, growing at an average rate of 23.4 percent annually.
"As the corporate litigation rate continues to increase, most companies will adopt email archiving solutions as part of their strategy for reducing e-discovery cost and risk," said Bill Tolson, director of legal and regulatory solutions marketing for Mimosa Systems Inc. of Santa Clara, CA. "Because a single e-discovery event can cost a company many times the cost of an integrated email archiving and discovery solution, even those companies in industries with lower than normal litigation rates will be driven to put these solutions in place."
Mimosa Systems' NearPoint content archiving solution combines a large number of functions in one package. As well as archiving of email (and associated attachments), it does disaster recovery, e-discovery and storage management. As it is built upon a Microsoft platform, it provides deep integration with Exchange and Outlook by Microsoft. In addition to aiding administrators, Mimosa NearPoint also allows users and auditors to find documents, tasks, contacts and other files rapidly.
"Mimosa Systems is the only email archiving solution vendor that captures and archives all potentially discoverable content in the Exchange system including email, attachments, email attributes, calendar entries, task lists, contacts, notes and journal entries," said Tolson.
Tolson touts NearPoint's data capture method, which the company terms Continuous Application Shadowing (CAS). CAS captures Exchange log files as soon as they are recorded to disk and stores them on NearPoint. Email content is extracted from the log files, indexed and then stored. This is an effective way to capture Exchange mailbox information, as well as email stored offline in Outlook-based .PST files, thus assisting in the e-discovery process as well as in Exchange recovery.
NearPoint utilizes a multi-node grid architecture to achieve scalability. As a result, Mimosa's email archiving products can support systems ranging from 100 mailboxes to tens of thousands.
One of the big sells, these days, is that NearPoint reduces the risks inherent in email. The Mimosa software offers email and file system litigation readiness via a comprehensive e-discovery solution that goes beyond basic email to encompass public folders, calendars, notes and contacts.
For those looking for a more robust legal discovery and workflow product, Mimosa Systems offers the NearPoint e-discovery option. This tool speeds legal discovery and boosts the search accuracy by providing a single destination to search all current and historical email information.
Most recently, Mimosa has released yet another option with an e-discovery twist. The NearPoint File System Archiving (FSA) option provides indexing, archiving, secure end-user search, e-discovery and content monitoring across platforms, as well as across file and document types. The advantages are said to be reduced storage costs, fewer retention management challenges and a lowered cost for e-discovery. Administrators can use this option to preserve selected files and enforce retention and disposition policies on files.
Stashing email in an archive for a specified retention period, then, is no longer enough. Companies have to be able to find specific data rapidly in order to survive it today's litigious climate. When selecting an email archiving vendor, therefore, make sure e-discovery features are part of the package. Otherwise, IT staff is in for many long nights.
"The truth is an opposing counsel, with reason, can ask for any data generated with the email system including such data points as what folders did the email reside in and when, was it opened, when was it deleted and who was it forwarded, CC'd or BCC'd to and when," said Tolson. "End users should then look for an email archiving solution that captures all discoverable content."
As a result, analysts are predicting a major spike in demand for email archiving systems in the coming years. International Data Corp. (IDC) expects the worldwide email archiving applications market to rise to $1.4 billion by 2011, growing at an average rate of 23.4 percent annually.
"Email and other content archiving solutions are converging, and now most vendors have added e-discovery," said Laura DuBois, an analyst at IDC. "The predominant drivers of the email archiving market are e-discovery, record retention, storage and IT optimization."
This article was first published on EnterpriseITPlanet.com.