Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2011-06-14 08:19:04Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. Microsoft’s SharePoint has achieved significant market traction over the past decade – various research studies show the level of organizations using SharePoint ranging from 50% – over 90%.  Clearly, SharePoint is a force to be reckoned with.  The eDiscovery market took notice of SharePoint in the last few years and we’ve seen archiving and collection solutions become available.  While SharePoint has appeared in real cases, it has not reached critical mass as an eDiscovery issue just yet.

SharePoint delivers real business benefits by enabling collaboration in efficient ways, providing ways to track versions of documents edited by multiple parties, allowing non-technical businesspeople to apply basic workflow to content-driven processes, and faster access to information (via search and integration with the MS Office suite of apps).

Many laypeople assume that if information is searchable, eDiscovery will be no problem when the time comes.  But as is often the case in life, the devil is in the details.  Because SharePoint allows users to add value to content (e.g. adding workflow tasks), there is the factor of metadata to consider (and the associated collection challenges it can create).  This issue will be paramount in SharePoint instances because of the fact that so many organizations use SharePoint and many collection tools are only able to grab SharePoint document libraries (as they are stored on file systems).

Given the proliferation of SharePoint and the eDiscovery challenges it can create, I expected to have heard many stories from practitioners about how difficult SharePoint collection can be.  But, to date, I’ve only heard a few.  I do expect to hear more and more – and maybe there are a lot out there that just haven’t made it to my ears.  I’m doing some research around the subject right now.  Thus, if you are doing SharePoint collections or have been faced with them before, please shoot me a note and I would love to hear your experiences and offer any advice that I can.

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