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EMC Turns a Legal Eye on Compliance

When legal eagles ask for specific documents, corporations need to retrieve those files in a fast fashion, thanks to litigation retention requirements.

Seeking to address the pain points associated with respond for legal requests for information, EMC today unveiled a bundle of storage hardware, content management software and services to help businesses pinpoint electronic files.

The bundle approach is a departure for EMC, a company traditionally known for offering so-called best-of-breed point solutions. It is a signal of a direction the information systems vendor is becoming more of a complete systems vendor to compete with the likes of IBM and HP.

EMC's e-discovery solution is designed to help enterprises produce information in the event they are slapped with subpoenas or civil lawsuits that seek information about employees or transactions, said Andrew Cohen, EMC senior counsel and director of global solutions practice for compliance.

As an attorney with experience in the electronic discovery process, Cohen said businesses have to manually cull tape drives or hard disk drives to find the data, collect it, preserve it and produce it when called upon.

Moreover, the correct data required for a specific case has to be found so that the rest of the company's files are not paralyzed, known in legal parlance as litigation hold.

"You end up not being able to handle that in house, and it gets thrown over the wall to an outside counsel," Cohen explained. "Once you throw it over the wall, they charge you a tremendous amount of money by the hour to review that information."

For this time and effort, it is not uncommon for businesses to spend $1 million or more to find records and other relevant information for a single case, he said.

Cohen said the EMC offering, available now and priced according to customer needs, allows a company to reduce the costs in time and effort by automating searches and data collections across multiple repositories.

The e-discovery bundle includes EMC's e-mail archiving product, EmailXtender, to automate e-mail search, capture and retention.

From the Documentum side of the house, the solution offers Enterprise Content Integration Services software to search and data collection across disparate content silos and Enterprise Content Management platform software to deliver content, records and legal-matter management.

Once the correct content is retrieved, Centera and Clariion storage systems are then used to hold and secure it.

To round out the technology bundle, EMC is offering professional services to advise customers on strategy, architecture and operational improvements.