Putting eDiscovery in the picture


By Joshua L. Konkle

May/June Edition, 2008: Estorian LookingGlass, a third generation email archiving product, delviers an image review capability through their spherical search engine and intuitive user interferface. The Estorian spherical search engine utilizes new algorithms to reduce the full-text foot print, but allow for conceptual and contextual searches.

Email archiving systems have been in use for many years. In the United States, the primary purpose for archiving has been compliance, civil and criminal eDiscovery, as well as internal policy violations. Rest-of-world (ROW) drivers include eDiscovery for civil and criminal cases, but storage management and operational efficiency have been the primary buying motivation. In all cases, search is a critical part of the story, including full-text searching. However, full-text search can’t find words for images and, as the anecdote goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Since full-text search can only find words or associate concepts with image files, users still need to review the images. The ability to review images as it relates to emails has been overlooked in the major systems, such as Autonomy/Zantaz, Symantec Enterprise Vault, etc. The scenario is simple: your human resources or legal group has a need to do an early case assessment, but some of the critical email data-points are pictures attached to the messages. In most cases, the pictures have obtuse names like DSC30012.JPG or IMG_1459.PNG, telling you absolutely nothing about the file. What you need is a thumbnail view of all images related to your search query.

The LookingGlass image review interface enables a reviewer to pinpoint certain image types within search results. For example, a reviewer would select graphic search as an option. Then they would select senders, recipients, words in subject, body, multiparty messages, folders, drafts, inbox, etc. This search would winnow down the graphic results to the email that matches the results.

LookingGlass offers a thumbnail review mechanism within their search system. Using thumbnails a reviewer can visually identify and isolate images. Once an image is identified it can be expanded for further review. Moreover, the LookingGlass interface enables reviewers to use image review as a way to find the other email recipients and senders. Using the storyboard interface reviewers can explore other emails related to the a specific thread or concept.

The email archiving market place has been assuming much of the burden in the electronic data discovery market for several years. In the US, email archiving broke into the data management market as a requirement for financial services business. Through 2007 the data management requirements for email archiving have broadened and now include electronic data discovery.

Prior to the release of Estorian LookingGlass v2 there weren’t any vendors who could deliver archiving and pre-discovery tools with an intuitive and easy to use package. If you are considering an email archiving and pre-discovery solution you might have looked at Autonomy/Zantaz and Symantec Enterprise Vault, but in either case they are lacking effective pre-discovery tools. For Autonomy/Zantaz you would need Aungate; for Symantec Enterprise Vault you would need Clearwell Systems. Estorian LookingGlass is delivering on both email archiving and pre-discovery tools.

LookingGlass doesn’t require any agents or special configurations on your Microsoft Exchange Server. The simplicity in installation comes from Active Directory (AD) integration. During installation you only need to provide one account with appropriate permissions in the Microsoft Exchange Environment. For example, if your company has a few thousand users and you need to keep an ongoing litigation ready email archive; Estorian LookingGlass is a great option when compared to separate email archiving and pre-discovery products. Estorian is designed to support the mid-market archiving requirements. Installations typically take less than two hours based on current customers experiences. Using just one additional server you can support Microsoft Exchange email archiving and eDiscovery.

Estorian LookingGlass supports eDiscovery and pre-discovery by providing a technically minded paralegal an intuitive search interface. LookingGlass supports some of the most sought after sorting and filtering options available in high-end systems. For example, you can choose to filter outbound email, from specific custodians, during defined time frames, with specific attachments. Estorian takes the guess work out of creating complex queries, something that an eDiscovery service provider would spend significant portions of time on.

Estorian LookingGlass combines draft archiving with MAPI based journaling, without having to activate message journaling, along with pre-discovery capabilities found in some of the more expensive solutions today. Thus, it allows you to focus on data that is relevant and should be included in your company’s legal case.

Comment on this story.