Sunday, April 1, 2007

An interview with Roger Matus on email archiving and retrieval

How does it work? Well, it connects to the Domino journal and copies every email message and attachment. It immediately classifies messages using about 70 tests and creates a full-text index.

The system archives the messages without ever changing the original message. It has a fast, flexible searching and discovery system that can be used by executives, legal counsel, HR professionals, and others can find messages with minimal IT involvement. It also can create real-time alerts and scheduled reports so that the company can monitor ongoing issues.

David:

Doesn't the scanning and archiving of company mail open the organization up to some interesting liabilities? Why is a product like your appliance important to today's large corporation?

Roger:

People used to think that they could protect themselves if they deleted messages instead of archiving them. The logic was that if the message does not exist, it cannot be used as evidence.

The problem is that exact copies of incriminating email do exist. They may be on desktop PCs, printed papers, BlackBerry handhelds, or the email server of an ISP. If there is a chance that anyone at your organization has a copy of an email on their computer, under the newly revised Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, you must be able to produce it. Even if it is on an employee laptop in a remote part of the country, you must produce it.

Fines for failure to produce emails have been staggering. For example, the largest single sex discrimination verdict in U.S. history, $29.2 million, came after UBS Warburg could not produce copies of relevant emails.

Of course, there is more than one way to produce every relevant email. I've talked to an attorney at a company that had to collect every laptop and hard drive to search for relevant documents. It is expensive and disruptive.

The safest thing to do is to archive messages with a fast retrieval system so that you have a copy and don't need to chase every employee.

David:

How is this device relevant, specifically, to Lotus installations?

Roger:

InBoxer saves IT costs, legal expenses, and reduces the risk of fines and adverse judicial rulings. It is relevant because almost any organization could find itself in a federal court case governed by the FRCP(Federal Rules of Civil Procedure). Examples of federal civil cases include any interstate lawsuit (such as one from an out-of-state customer), any EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) case, any immigration case, and any IRS tax case.


"InBoxer saves IT costs, legal expenses, and reduces the risk of fines and adverse judicial rulings."

By the way, I read an article today that said that even Canadian firms should follow the U.S. FRCP if they do any business in the U.S.

Of course, Lotus Notes certainly has data management and retrieval capabilities. But, these are not optimized for electronic discovery under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For example, it does not have any process for placing litigation holds on messages to prevent deletion.