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eDiscovery Integration Platforms are Maturing

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

eDiscovery Integration Platforms are Maturing

In a Blog post on July 14, 2010 by Bill Ives titled, “eDiscovery Market Consolidates but Integration Remains a Challenge”, Mr. Ives quotes a recent report titled “eDiscovery Market Consolidation Continues Its Steady March,“ from Brian Hill at Forrester, “…that recent survey results indicate that 60% of records management stakeholders and 57% of message archiving users perceive “synchronizing eDiscovery, records management, and archiving efforts” to be a challenge.”

Mr. Ives goes on to say that, “As usual, organizations must focus on separating marketing hype from actual functionality, especially in the area of end-to-end process capabilities. While integrated advances can provide concrete benefits and help rationalize application infrastructure, it’s important to look at these in the context of a broader eDiscovery strategy.  Such strategies should identify technology gaps and costly process integration points. Then enterprises need to request more eDiscovery application integration. Even then you cannot expect to end up with a single provider.”

I agree with the statement that it is unrealistic to expect to get an end-to-end solution from a single vendor and therefore enterprises should be taking a best-in-class approach.  And, I also agree that enterprises need to be weary of the integration issues and obstacles.  However, I would point out that organizations such as Exterro, with their Discovery Workflow platform have matured to the point of being a legitimate solution for seamless “enterprise class” integration of disparate eDiscovery technologies and more importantly, an advanced project management and workflow platform that meets and possible even exceeds the needs of today’s eDiscovery and Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) professionals.

Consolidation is going to continue and “the consolidators” will endeavor to integrate their new toys. However, having spent a good portion of my career in enterprise class applications development, I have first hand knowledge of the difficultiies involved in integrating completely different code bases into a seamless solution.  There is now doubt that in today's world "coding world" with application frameworks, etc. that it is much easier to accomplish these "integration" tasks.  However, very few of the technology solutions that these consolidators are trying to integrate were written with or for today's framworks and therefore will end up being nothing more than "black boxes" that are sent calls and return results.  Further, it is highly unlikely that the consolidators have the intimate technical appreciation of knowledg of these applications to be able to extend them beyond their current versions (I've tried that before also).

As such, integrating best-in-class / single component solutions internally is always going to be an attractive alternative  for those organizations that want to or need to be on the leading edge across the entire process lifecycle.  And, with platforms like Discovery Workflow from Exterro, these organizations will be able to continue to mix and match and upgrade to new best-in-class solutions without missing too many beats in the process and ultimately prove to provide formidable competition to the single source solutions that grew out of consolidation.

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At July 15, 2010 at 1:56 AM , Blogger Naxos said...

Having managed 75+ e-discovery projects over the last several years as a Project Attorney --- from collection, to review, through production, and in many cases at court presentations--- I have used (at last count) 52 ECA/ediscovery/CMS software systems in “live” litigation situations. I have lived with a market that has developed in a most helter skelter way. A virtual madhouse.

But I tend to agree with my colleague Chris Dale that the recent Applied Discovery + EMC + Kazeon tie-up is the first successful attempt at a seamless transition through all the EDRM stages. For Chris’s more detailed review click here: And based on a first walk-through, it works.

Of equal interest is the Recommind + Exterro tie-up which also offers a nice system to track/manage data and information throughout the whole e-discovery process. You have a blending of Exterro’s Fusion solution suite which manages legal processes (including the legal hold workflow) and then publishes collection requirements into Recommind’s INsite Legal Hold application to search, assess, preserve, collect, process, etc., etc. I have been spending time with the system and I like it.

Gregory Bufithis


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