eDiscovery has grown up. That was my first thought when I saw the manned Microsoft booth at Legal Week. Google and Amazon have yet to really engage with legal, compliance and governance markets. To be fair, my friend Jack Halprin delivered the Google Vault back in 2012, but it seems to have gone quiet since his passing in 2018. The Microsoft legal department and eDiscovery (now Purview) team have spoken on partner panels and taken Legal Week briefings for over a decade. The 2024 marks the first sign that Microsoft acknowledges the influencer role of legal in enterprise licensing decisions.

Microsoft also brought a much wider set of stakeholders to briefings this year that had been previously limited to product management and marketing (at least for my briefings). It was great to talk with actual developers, technical specialists and customer success managers who spend every day in the code or with enterprise customers.

Microsoft had several announcements for Legal Week, mainly focusing on upcoming releases of Copilot driven natural language queries, summaries and security features.  While I am excited to test the new Copilot functionality, I am focused on supporting and defending basic hold, collection and ECA usage scenarios.

Hold Reports – Those of us whom have missed our legal hold metrics will have be disappointed that they are not part of the new global legal hold report within Purview(Premium). I am hoping that partner platforms may be able to generate hold metrics via the recently expanded GraphAPI eDiscovery export functionality. While some of my smaller clients can track a limited number of holds in Purview and associated SharePoint sites, my larger global corporate clients generally use a partner platform with advanced automated legal hold functionality that places the M365 holds via the GraphAPI. We lost the hold item counts (which were always an approximation) a while back as the Purview platform has evolved.

New Purview UI – The team is bringing a completely new Purview(Premium) UI to users. I hope to preview it soon and bring you some sneak peeks on the new functionality. They hinted at new functionality that would convert docs to a narrative story format, a feature that makes a lot of sense in upstream investigations. This is a potential feature previously only found in full review partners such as Reveal and Relativity.

Targeted Documentation – Microsoft (and most enterprise tech providers) documentation seems to be written for a very technical audience. That is great for MSCE administrators managing giant Exchange/Sharepoint/M365 deployments. eDiscovery professionals have a wide range of technical acumen with very little time to doom scroll tech docs. The team did not flinch (much) when I said, “Microsoft documentation s*cks.” I give them a lot of credit for asking how it can be improved. I hope to start publishing some practical how-to guides that start with ‘why do I care?’ Hopefully the team will keep me accurate and avoid the trap many M365 competitors seem to fall into. It is all too easy to call out feature and architecture limitations with usage scenarios that the platform was never intended to support. The key is to leverage Purview capabilities within practical usage scenarios with known limitations and validation testing. Unless you want to spend all your time testing/tracking M365 like me, that requires narrative guides or expensive consulting support. Since cloning is not yet practical, I have been working on the guide content and appropriate publication channel(s).

My thanks to the Purview team for a great extended session and all of you for the stream of M365 questions that keep me playing MSFT roadmap whack-a-mole.

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Book a free 15 minute ‘Good Karma’ call if he has availability. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients.

Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment or advice. Greg is no longer an investigative journalist and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being published. Do you want to share your own perspective? Greg is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

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