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Iron Mountain Add E-Discovery

Iron Mountain Inc. has incorporated new electronic discovery features such as content archiving, legal discovery, and data classification and consulting into Enterprise Discovery Suite. The new features includes data archiving from Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, file systems, and third-party repositories to enable retention policies and legal holds, policy-based search to identify potentially relevant data from endpoint laptops and PCs, early case assessment to develop case strategy and reduce data volumes, and document review in preparation for outside counsel review and production in response to regulatory investigations or litigation.

The software is available now as individual components or as a suite. Pricing varies but a 2,000-user deployment of the suite would cost approximately $500,000. The four individual components are: Iron Mountain NearPoint, a central content repository that provides dynamic retention policies and legal holds from Exchange, file systems, SharePoint, and third-party data repositories; Connected Classify & Collect, which collects data from devices such as laptops and desktops; Iron Mountain eVantage, an early case assessment product; and Iron Mountain Legal Discovery, which collects data from the other three components for tagging, as well as portfolio management for team support and automated workflow.

Electronic discovery is important to legal firms because the rules for electronic evidence in federal cases were changed in 2006. Attorneys now need to have a much better idea of what sort of electronic data they can ask for and provide to opposing counsel, and this happens much earlier in the litigation process. In addition, attorneys need to demonstrate retention policies, especially if they wish to contend that an organization no longer has requested data.

The suite is a combination of technology and consulting services that makes e-discovery a critical business process. E-discovery costs are unpredictable and could be $200,000 to $5 million per request. The four technology components are combined with consulting on litigation readiness that helps users with e-discovery such as developing search terms, reducing the amount of data, ensuring quality control, and project management. In addition, the company has integrated the various components so that data and metadata can be exchanged among them using an application programming interface.

This is a logical move for Iron Mountain to bring together the different elements to provide a more comprehensive e-discovery offering, says Nick Patience, research director of information management for 451 Group. In addition, the company's move shows it is trying to make pricing both more predictable and more flexible, he says. "Any organization that engages in e-discovery can find the price getting out of control," he says. "This is a good move for customers."