It was a rare privilege to sit down with the nine Microsoft Purview eDiscovery product management and legal team experts to talk about their vision and roadmap. Five years ago, I made the decision to ‘bet on Microsoft 365’ when I realized that every one of my global corporate clients either had or would be migrating the entirety of their communications and unstructured data assets to M365. In those years, Microsoft has steadily ramped up their release schedule and transformed the architecture, services, and API’s that we all depend on to meet compliance and eDiscovery requirements.
- Enabling governance and management of modern collaborative scenarios and data such as cloud attachments, Teams conversations and more.
- Automation and extensibility with APIs and low code connectors.
- In-place data minimization as critical to mange risk and cost in today’s digitally transformed/ hybrid /data explosion modern workplace
- Microsoft’s commitment to supporting new apps and modalities.
On the surface, Purview eDiscovery Standard still resembles the original O365 Basic eDiscovery UI. eDiscovery legal hold, collection and review requirements have not changed radically in the last decade, though the scope and complexity of our data sources has. Microsoft highlighted the following enhancements to Purview Premium eDiscovery (previously Advanced eDiscovery):
- Deep indexing automatically resolves a substantial amount of index errors, supporting higher resolution searches for targeted collections.
- Simplified UI to lookup Teams/Yammer memberships and the corresponding substrate sources to manage holds and scope collections far more conveniently.
- Contextual Teams collections that return conversation transcripts, not just individual disjointed single messages.
- Ability to automatically collect Modern Attachments and maintain the logical connection via metadata. This is particularly significant; before this, users would have to know the specific additional locations to search (e.g., otherwise irrelevant users’ OneDrives). With eDiscovery Premium, it just works.
- Light in-place review with customizable coding panels, redaction capabilities, and even preconfigured classifiers to identify likely-privileged content or offensive material.
- Usability Investments across the workflow such as the new case management wizard, jobs notifications, and list viewer. Expect more usability and enrichments over the next few months.
The Microsoft Purview team has been laboring on the architecture to extend eDiscovery and enterprise search to encompass short message conversations, logged actions, collaborative content and more. The PM team, “Microsoft is committed to delivering a platform that will support customers foundation governance, retention and compliance requirements. Customers should be able to trust the platform they work in.” That focus on foundations is critical when you contemplate how much of the global business content resides in Microsoft 365. The Microsoft Purview team understands the complexity of new collaborative data sources generated in Teams, Loop and other meeting places. The team has a mandate to empower users to preserve, analyze and produce as adoption grows. The integration of external content by users is a challenge that they are already working on to expand compliance capabilities beyond content generated within M365. I hope that they will break Microsoft’s historic tendency to manage via collection or migration into Azure. Managing external content in place is a much stronger proposition to nimble, cloud savvy customers. Imagine how powerful a bidirectional GraphAPI could be as a universal portal to cloud content of every kind.
Now that I have published my research on M365 records management, the Purview team kindly offered to help my next research project on Purview eDiscovery. I am excited to contribute to the community understanding of the capabilities, limitations and better practices for Microsoft’s rapidly evolving global platform.
Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call if he has availability. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.
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