New Tools for New Rules

CommVault, InBoxer help organizations facing new guidelines for legal compliance

November 29, 2006

4 Min Read
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With revisions to the U.S. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) set to go into effect Friday, it's no surprise we're seeing products aimed at facilitating e-discovery and compliance this week. (See Two-Gig Fibre Channel: Party of One?, Retention Rules Set to Change, and Storage Goes to Law School.)

Today, CommVault released a potentially useful addition to its archiving product, and newcomer InBoxer rolled out a more off-beat approach to sifting through email.

Both products are aimed at making it easy for lawyers and compliance officers to search electronic documents, without requiring a lot more effort on the part of IT. That's because the new rules call for corporate officers to produce electronic documents as part of the pretrial process as well as during litigation, or face hefty fines.

CommVault added an Outlook Add-In feature to its DataArchiver product that lets organizations search through an Outlook interface regardless of whether email or attachments are on disk, tape, or any other media. (See CommVault Enhances Search.)

InBoxer takes an appliance approach to email archiving with the InBoxer Anti-Risk Appliance. The appliance lets organizations search their archived email through a Web browser. (See InBoxer Adds Appliance.)Joe Martins, VP of IT for furniture retailer Design Within Reach, says he welcomes anything that would minimize his role in the discovery process, whether that means keeping him out completely or making searches easier.

"One time it took me a full day to search for an email I was pretty sure existed, but never found," he says. "It seems to me like it should've been easier to find."

Martins has been using CommVault for backup for about a year, but he uses another product, GFI Software's MailArchiver for Exchange, to archive email. He hasn't decided if he'll switch to DataArchiver but says the Outlook Add-in has some advantages. It would simplify searches for his organization and give him one console for managing backups and archiving.

Martins says his current system calls for users to log in and use Boolean searches to go through archived mail.

"The GFI product works fairly well, but I like consolidated management interfaces and would like to have it all in one interface," he says. "Also, with CommVault's new Outlook plug-in, I can turn that over to a compliance official and say, 'Here, search away.' The way it is today, you have to get IT involved to search for what the compliance official is looking for. But everybody knows how to use Outlook."InBoxer was founded by Roger Matus and Sean True -- former execs at speech recognition firm Dragon Systems -- and they apply what Matus calls language-based search techniques. No, you don't talk to the appliance to search. But like a voice recognition system, the InBoxer software is programmed to recognize certain phrases that HR, legal, and similar compliance-responsible groups might use to find applicable email.

"Our search engine is tuned to the types of things lawyers, HR managers, and compliance managers look for," Matus says. "For instance, it's hard to use a search engine to look for a social security number. We created a proprietary method of looking at things and saying, 'This looks like a social security number, even if there are periods in between or the numbers are broken up the wrong way.' "

Will it fly? It's too soon to tell, but Matus says he already has paying customers, including the San Diego Blook Bank. He's counting on FRCP to give his company a boost.

"The key to FRCP is you have to pretty much keep everything and retrieve it quickly," he says.

Design Within Reach's Martins says he thinks his company's current policies will keep it compliant with the new rules, but he hasn't fully digested the 60-odd pages of legal jargon."I haven't completely finished reading them yet," Martins says of the new rules. "I don't think it will affect me too much because we've taken the overkill approach of saving every email going in and out. As a retail company, our requirements aren't as difficult to meet as some industries such as health care or financial services. But as a public company, we have to keep track of normal compliance initiatives."

Dave Raffo, News Editor, Byte and Switch

  • CommVault Systems Inc.

  • GFI Software Ltd.

  • InBoxer Inc.

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