Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2010-07-29 16:45:41  Legal hold is one of the hottest eDiscovery topics of 2010.  First, we saw legal hold applications featured prominently at LegalTech in New York – it seemed like every vendors was offering some kind of solution for preservation.  Next, we had the Montreal Pension plan opinion, aka “Zubulake Revisisted,” in which Judge Shira Scheindlin hammered home the need for companies to have a written notification place in plan to let custodians know they have an obligation to preserve information.  After that, we got a lot of pundits (eDJ included) questioning whether the sanction avoidance benefit of legal hold applications really exists – too many clients were saying that the sanctions were not really scaring them into action.  And now, I am beginning to see a bit of a bifurcation in the legal hold applications market – vendors that offer a “complete” solution for the notification and tracking process as well as identification, preservation, and collection and those that offer a solution more targeted at just managing the notification and tracking process.While the market clamors for a broadly integrated solution for handling eDiscovery, the reality is that point solutions are often a better choice in an immature, evolving market like eDiscovery.  Certainly, there are very few – if any – vendors that can seamlessly handle a customer’s end-to-end eDiscovery needs.  Some vendors, PSS Systems and Exterro specifically, began years ago to focus on solving the legal hold challenge.  These solutions provided features to manage the process of notifying custodians, tracking acceptance of holds, conducting custodian interviews, and tracking collections.  The evolution of the solutions saw the addition of either managing or directly integrating to the collection process – and this saw the increased usage of connectors to data repositories.  As a result, these solutions got more complex, more expensive, and have a reputation for longer deployments.Now, in addition to PSS and Exterro, vendors like Autonomy, EMC/Kazeon, Recommind, and StoredIQ offer legal hold applications.  But, the reputation here is often that the vendor took an IT-centric tool and slapped a legal user interface onto it.  The reality is that most of these vendors will partner with more robust providers like PSS and Exterro for holistic legal hold management.  It is worthy to note, however, the huge amount of “coopetition” going on here.  The vendors that started with collection and processing software and then added legal hold applications both compete with and partner with the likes of PSS and Exterro.  Can you say, “looks like market consolidation on the way?”Just recently, new market entrants like Bridgeway Software and Zapproved have debuted offerings that specifically aim to manage just the notification and acceptance-tracking element of legal hold management (and believe me, more vendors are coming to market – from many different directions – and have briefed me on their offerings, but those are under NDA and can’t be mentioned now).  What these vendors will tell you is that implementing the full spectrum of legal hold functionality is complex, expensive, and time-consuming.  And, they are right – it can be all of those things.  What’s interesting is that pure cloud-based approaches have hit the market (the aforementioned Zapproved with Legal Hold Pro and an offering from Exterro).Implementing a legal hold solution is a positive step, assuming the organization has some grasp of the process and the policies that will be enforced.  Whether or not the application only covers notification and tracking (with likely a few more bells and whistles like managing custodian interviews, etc) or goes with full legal hold functionality (notification, tracking, identification, collection, preservation) depends on maturity, litigation profile, and risk tolerance.  In my opinion, more functionality is better, though.  If one only needs the notification process right now and deployment is time-sensitive, it’s not a bad thing to go with a smaller vendor that can provide just that.  But, be sure to press the provider on their roadmap, as more integrated legal hold management is the wave of the future.

0 0 votes
Article Rating