IBM has unveiled eDiscovery Manager, a software product that lets enterprises manage electronically stored information so that they can retrieve it easily when a legal challenge requires e-discovery. The term e-discovery stands for 'electronic discovery' and refers to discovery in civil litigation dealing with information in electronic form.
Enterprises are being forced to adopt e-discovery solutions because of amendments in December to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) (define) that require companies to preserve and produce electronically stored information when facing litigation. FRCP is the U.S. federal district court procedures for civil suits.
Part of the vendor's Enterprise Content Management (ECM) (define) suite of products, eDiscovery Manager integrates with IBM's auto-classification and records management technology, and the vendor's content-centric business process management (BPM) (define) capabilities.
The eDiscovery Manager uses IBM's e-mail archiving solutions, leverages the vendor's ECM repositories, and supports an easy-to-use interface. It "controls information at its source when it is created," Aaron Brown, program director of IBM Content Discovery told InternetNews.com. The eDiscovery Manager works with IBM's Classification Module, and content management repository for this.
"We let you handle capture, retention, archiving and content management to manage your content proactively because the information has already been retained, classified and managed," Brown said. Many other e-discovery vendors offer point solutions or outsourced third-party solutions that companies put in place when litigation comes in, according to Brown.
While these point and third-party outsourced approaches do work, "they are expensive, because organizations often have to expand them to deal with other cases, and typically these solutions don't address the bigger problem of information retention," Brown said. "We want e-discovery to be part of the basic daily process rather than having you run around putting out fires."
IBM (NYSE: IBM) is one of the few vendors that can offer an enterprise-class solution for eDiscovery, Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told InternetNews.com "Nobody has the breadth anymore to cover all databases, all repositories; it requires a very large set of capabilities and IBM Global Services and EDS are among the few entities that folks love to help solve that kind of complex problem."
EDS is now a part of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ), which bought in May for $13.9 billion.