Fluid Office files are Microsoft’s next generation of dynamic collaboration documents for Teams Chat and other communication channels. Multiple users will be able to simultaneously edit tables, agendas and task lists within M365 online mailbox, SharePoint sites and Teams chats. “Google Docs on steroids” indeed. Thankfully, the default OneDrive and SharePoint storage locations mean that existing preservation functionality covers new .Fluid files created by users experimenting with the new live component button that has appeared in many M365 Teams chat instances. Unfortunately, .Fluid files only operate within the M365 fluid framework environment. Which means you cannot just export them to local drive or perform a collection to your favorite integrated eDiscovery platform. Microsoft made the fluid framework open source. A bright tech could set up local fluid environment via GitHub libraries, but Microsoft does not currently intend to support offline access. So what does that mean to eDiscovery?
First, TURN FLUID FILES OFF until you have a policy and a plan for them. Even before you or your provider figure out how to process these new files you need to explore the default implementation to know whether user actions and changes are being stored. I anticipate moderate pressure on IT departments once executives see their counterparts building dynamic OneNote or Teams dashboards monitoring live updates to departmental sales spreadsheets, production releases or other critical data. Fluid files have the potential to eliminate the lag time built into the constant stream of updated files attached to email. Microsoft is stepping up to challenge Google Workspace’s lead in dynamic collaboration, leaving corporate eDiscovery chasing the evolving data yet again. Are fluid live components available in your Teams environment yet? If so, send me a note as they have not reached any of my environments as of this morning.
Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.
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