Can E-mail Analysis Be Easy?

My article “The Easy Button” recently posted on InsideCounsel.com where I take a look at four vendors that provide tools for searching and analyzing e-mails. The four vendors mainly sell their products to in-house counsel with the alluring appeal that in-house attorneys can search employee e-mail and discover potential smoking guns before the litigation trigger is pulled.

At symbol for e-mail

The four vendors I talked to for the article were AXS-One, InBoxer, Clearwell Systems, and Estorian. Each vendor enjoys a certain sweet spot.

I wanted to talk to AXS-One after I read the great story on ComputerWorld.com about how KeyBank adopted the AXS-One Compliance Platform to help manage the laborious process of collecting and producing e-mails from their 300TB e-mail archive. The story provides a rare insight into how major corporations are dealing with the stress of complying with e-discovery requests.

I am very impressed with InBoxer and have blogged about the company in the past. The big seller to me with InBoxer is that it’s so easy to deploy – you either pop in a rack mounted server or install the software in a virtual appliance and it’s ready to go within an hour, or even a few minutes. In-house counsel search and analyze employee e-mail through an online interface (you can visit www.enronemail.com to test out InBoxer for yourself).

I’ve been following Clearwell for a while now, and I believe they have one of the most intuitive interfaces of the group. They made it very clear to me that they are not an e-mail archiving system, but that they work complementary to systems you may already have set up from Symantec or EMC. A Clearwell system can also get up and running very fast, and provides such a comfortable interface that I can see where some users may not even need training.

And lastly Estorian offers an interesting alternative to the slick-ness of InBoxer and Clearwell. Estorian’s LookingGlass software may not look as pretty, but I found that it provides an extensive array of options for searching, monitoring and saving potentially risky e-mail messages. The company views LookingGlass as more of a compliance tool because users can easily set up searches to automatically and continuously monitor employee e-mail for risky keywords.

I foresee in the near future that every corporation will have some sort of e-mail analysis tool constantly monitoring employee e-mail. And why not? In this country, the company owns the e-mail and has the right to read every message sent by an employee through the company-owned servers. Companies that purchase tools such as the ones mentioned above will enjoy a) the comfort of knowing that something is policing the e-mail servers for naughtiness, and b) the ability to quickly search and secure e-mail messages that are relevant to the latest litigation matter that flys across their desk.

Link to my article.

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