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September 13, 2010

Clearwell unveils all-in-one eDiscovery platform

Lets IT and legal do their thing from single portal

By Steve Evans

Clearwell Systems has launched a new eDiscovery offering that it says is less costly and complex than other products on the market, while providing a single product for the entire eDiscovery lifecycle.

Gartner defines eDiscovery, also known as eDisclosure, as "the identification, preservation, collection, preparation, review and production of electronically stored information associated with legal and government proceedings."

The Identification and Collection Module will be released as part of version 6.0 of Clearwell’s Intelligence Platform and is said to offer all of the above features in a single product, reducing the disconnect between the IT department and legal team during the eDiscovery process.

Traditionally the eDiscovery process involves identification and collection of relevant data by the IT department, who then forward the data on to the legal team for processing, analysis and review. Clearwell claims this can be a complicated and time consuming activity. Its new Identification and Collection Module enables the IT team to upload the data to the application, where the legal team can then log in and carry out necessary tasks.

"Other products are costly and disjointed; you have a hodge-podge of tools used to collect data and the IT team is in charge of collecting it even though they want legal to do it but retain full visibility," Kamal Shah, VP of products and marketing at Clearwell Systems, told CBR.

Shah added that IT can control when and how the data is collected by specifying time of day and how much processing power is taken up to reduce disruption for workers. If a search needs to be repeated the platform can be set up to only collect new information or data that has been modified since the previous search, Shah said.

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The platform can pull data from over 50 sources, including cloud-based applications, and offers a single dashboard for report generation.

Other features of the new platform include an interactive data map, which enables users to navigate through data sources with what Clearwell calls an iTunes-like filter; collection templates, which save commonly-used collection settings, including specific directories, filters and preservation stores; and collection analytics, which provide a portfolio of analytical charts and tables that display the types of data collected.

Shah added that the platform can be up and running within a few days compared to the months it can take for other similar offerings to be installed. It is delivered as an appliance so can simply be plugged in and set up. He said this can provide much quicker ROI than many other eDiscovery products.

Gartner recently released a report that claimed eDiscovery software market is set for rapid growth, with revenues expected to surpass $1.2bn in 2010, up from $1bn in 2009, a 25% rise on 2008 figures. The growth is being fuelled by the increasing amount of electronically stored information (ESI) as well as the rising amount of litigation in the business world, Shah said.

Other vendors in the eDiscovery space include tech giants such as IBM, EMC, Symantec, CA and Autonomy as well as more niche players such as ZyLab, Recommind and FTI Technology.

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