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Legal Eagles Seek Data Unity

NEW YORK -- Despite the pressing demands of compliance regulations, legal firms are struggling to link their records management, email, and e-discovery systems, according to top lawyers at the LegalTech conference here today.

Speaking during a keynote discussion this morning, Jason Priebe, corporate counsel for Allstate Insurance warned CIOs not to expect any quick fixes to their data woes. "There is no silver bullet, whether it's a records management system or an in-house system, that will solve all your problems," he said.

These sentiments were echoed by another panelist, Ron Perkowski, senior counsel of Halliburton. "You just have to attack the different pieces from different directions," he told Byte and Switch, adding that he would like to see more interoperability. "I dont care about a one-size-fits-all solution -- it is how they are all integrated."

Halliburton uses a number of different products to handle its data, including offerings from EMC's Documentum division and FileNet for records management, and Guidance Software's EnCase Enterprise offering for e-discovery. (See Documentum Puts on a Microsoft Face and FileNet Provides Platform.) The firm is also looking at a pilot product being developed by Microsoft for email management, according to the exec.

A host of vendors is currently playing in these spaces, including EMC, which acquired email and records management technologies through its Legato and Documentum acquisitions; NetApp; and a number of smaller firms. (See EMC Tailors Documentum, Symantec Shakes Up Archiving, NetApp Showcases Legal Discovery, Zantaz Enhances E-Discovery, and Kazeon Reduces Cost of E-Discovery.)

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