Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2015-01-19 19:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

After the early letter of intent was announced last October, Microsoft today announced that it has acquired the small eDiscovery analytics company, Equivio. A couple perspective points to mull over. Equivio was the only analytics solution provider in my 2014 Analytics Adoption Report with clear IG case studies and formalized offerings for using machine learning to categorize unstructured data repositories. I found lots of providers who talked the talk, but only Equivio seemed committed to finding practical applications of their technology to tackle corporate ROT (redundant, outdated or trivial files). Office 365 adoption, migration and integrations seem to come up in every 2014 eDJ strategic consulting engagement. The acquisition announcement was made by Rajesh Jha, Microsoft Corporate Vice President of Outlook and Office 365. That tells me that Microsoft wants to add Equivio workflow and analytics to the new SharePoint eDiscovery Center. If Microsoft follows their normal adoption strategy, Office 365 customers may get the early Equivio functionality for NO cost for a time period. This is definitely a shot across the bow of the eDiscovery provider armada. My last point is the purchase price. Microsoft is not disclosing the final number, but the Wall Street Journal originally reported a possible $200 million offer and subsequent reports have the number in the $150-200 million range according to Venturebeat.com. If you give Hoovers or Owler revenue estimates any weight (and that is always tricky with privately owned companies), Equivio could have just pulled off a 15x or greater multiple. This kind of profit may finally inspire the venture funds to get off the fence and put real money into this market for players who have a compelling IG-eDiscovery solution story.

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s 2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more. Blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment.

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