Sunday, April 1, 2007

An interview with Roger Matus on email archiving and retrieval


By David Gewirtz

We continue our series of interviews with Lotus Business Partners. This week, I had the opportunity to interview Roger Matus, CEO and co-founder of InBoxer, Inc. In this very timely in-depth interview, Roger helps us understand some of the issues involved in making sure your organization's email is archived and can be found in the event of a legal situation.


Please introduce yourself and tell us about your background.


Thank you for inviting me, Dave. I'm the CEO and co-founder of InBoxer, Inc. I've been in software for about 25 years and worked on the development of an email product back in 1983. But I've spent much of the past decade working on speech and language technology in business applications.


I know you come from a speech recognition background. How did you get from speech technology to mail management? Does your experience in speech recognition give you any special skill, perspectives, technology that can be applied to email management?

"How do you know which wright/write/right is right?"

Actually, InBoxer is a marriage of my early software work and speech. Much of InBoxer's proprietary technology is based on classification techniques deployed in speech recognition.

When most people think of speech recognition, they believe the hard problem is to convert sound to a bit pattern. Actually, much of the hard part is deciding what word is meant by what sound. For example, take the sentence "Mr. Wright will write a letter right now." How do you know which wright/write/right is right?

That is where classification techniques are important. To classify a sound, you need to use context and the other words in the sentence or document. Words also have multiple meanings and many words can mean the same thing. To determine intent, you need to use context and other words in the document.

InBoxer does something similar to speech recognition in order to classify a message. That is one of the reasons why InBoxer is much more effective than competitive products. InBoxer classifies and finds messages that keywords cannot. For example, any product may be able to find emails with dirty words, but InBoxer can find potentially harassing email and jokes that do not contain any dirty words.


What exactly is your email appliance?


The InBoxer Anti-Risk Appliance is the first rack-mount server for email archiving, search and discovery, and real-time compliance that is easy-to-install and easy-to-use with minimal IT effort. It is typically takes about an hour to install at IBM Lotus Domino sites and helps organizations to quickly meet the needs of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.