Simplifying E-Discovery and Early Case Assessment With a Cloud-Based Archive

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In 2017, a company called RescueTime conducted a study to learn how people spent time on their computers and phones. The study revealed that, at the time, employees were spending an average of five hours a day working on digital devices. Now, amid the pandemic, workplace communication has been altered to such an extent that most of our interactions with coworkers and business partners have gone entirely virtual.

This shift has caused a significant increase in the volume and variety of communications data being generated. Accenture recently noted that enterprise data is growing exponentially, in volumes we might not have been able to fathom just a few years ago. Today we measure data not just in terabytes or even petabytes, but in zettabytes and yottabytes (that’s 1024 bytes!).

With millions of employees transitioning to remote work, potentially for the long term, regulated and litigious organizations have a lot to think about when it comes to managing the expansion of communications data. Legal teams face a uniquely daunting challenge as they adapt their processes. Now, they’re potentially searching for case-relevant content like needles in a yottabyte-sized haystack.

Technology solutions purpose-built to handle large volumes and wide varieties of communications data can help legal teams meet this challenge and manage processes such as e-discovery and early case assessment.

The trouble with modern communication technologies

The modern worker needs a multitude of communications tools to do their job effectively. Workplace conversations must have the flexibility to be carried across multiple electronic channels and devices, from chat to video and laptop to mobile phone at a moment’s notice.

Historically, organizations preserved electronic communications in archives built for the purpose of storing emails and scanned documents. These legacy archives were not designed to handle the growing assortment and volume of data generated through modern channels. Collaboration platforms, social media, mobile texting and other modern channels are far more dynamic, context-sensitive and multi-dimensional than email.

To accommodate these new types of communication, many organizations find themselves paying for multiple point solutions to archive each communications channel. Not only is it more expensive to procure and maintain additional technologies, but it also makes accessing and parsing communications content more challenging for the person/s searching across multiple archives.

This is especially the case for the e-discovery process. It becomes even more time-consuming and less reliable as legal teams search among various tools for communications they ultimately have to patch together. Now they’re looking for needles among several haystacks. How can legal teams efficiently and effectively sift through and piece together the contents of an investigation if the information is stored in multiple places and the original context is lost? Can your organization afford that inefficiency?

With Smarsh & Microsoft, those concerns can be a thing of the past.

The enterprise solution for legal e-discovery and communications archiving

The Smarsh Enterprise Archive is a purpose-built, cloud-native solution designed for large, global organizations. The Enterprise Archive collects and stores communications data in its native format, with full conversational context, which is critical as virtual conversations take new and evolving shapes. For example, work-related discussions may happen over a series of tweets, in a chat room where individuals join, leave, edit content and interact via video, or in a private chat made up entirely of emojis.

The combination of Enterprise Archive with the Smarsh Enterprise Discovery application gives organizations the ability to quickly and efficiently execute e-discovery or early case assessment processes. With the Discovery application, content is preserved securely in evidentiary quality. Identities can be proactively mapped between custodians and content sources. Organizations can easily find and analyze essential content using powerful search, case management, legal hold and review tools. No more laborious searches among disparate, intimidating databases.

The Enterprise Archive and Discovery solution helps organizations control the total cost of managing large volumes of data, and provides a secure, defensible, and auditable workflow across more than 80 communications channels. It is also designed to leverage the scale, flexibility and extensibility benefits of public and multi-cloud infrastructures, including Microsoft Azure. Together, Smarsh and Microsoft empower enterprises to engage with modern workplace tools to increase productivity and collaboration and fully harness the value of their electronic communications data.

A modern archiving solution should reduce the time, effort and cost of e-discovery and internal investigations. With more people than ever working remotely, on multiple devices and applications, utilizing a cloud-based archiving and e-discovery solution with robust security can help ensure seamless business operations.

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