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Symantec Enterprise Vault gets nod from Lawyers

Company has developed more efficient ways of retrieving, storing corporate data

Symantec Enterprise Vault gets nod from Lawyers
Anthony Harrison, senior principal solutions specialist for Storage and Server Management at Symantec said that 91% of respondents to their survey about ESI said it was a challenge to find the necessary information.

Symantec's new Enterprise Vault 9 has been named as a leader in enterprise information archiving by Gartner for the sixth year in a row.

The company has also conducted its own survey, the Symantec e-Discovery Survey, among members of the legal profession in the UAE, to see how important archived information is to them for legal cases. For the legal sector, to be able to quickly and easily find electronic interactions between two people or two companies is becoming increasingly important when conducting case research.

"Funnily enough for a survey, and I have never seen this before, 100% of them came back and said having to deal with ESI [Electronically Stored Information] is a challenge but nearly all of them said yes, [archiving] is important because they need to have that ability to go through and find all of these interactions," said Anthony Harrison, senior principal solutions specialist for Storage and Server Management at Symantec.

Ninety-one percent of respondents said that ESI was a challenge, with 59% reporting that the greatest challenge to searching ESI is the sheer volume of data that has to be sifted through.

Another new component of Enterprise Vault 9, called Discovery Collector, is designed to be able to sift through any current data to gather information on particular interactions and help reduce that huge volume of data into just the data that is relevant.

"You cant just throw manpower at it, as it will take weeks or months to find those nuggets, you want to be able to search by who sent it, who received it, what were the keywords involved," said Harrison.

Symantec's new archiving solution is also designed to ensure that data that is already archived, as well as data that is in current use cannot be modified, tampered with or deleted. In the new Enterprise Vault, if you modify something at the source, the original stays in the repository.

"Without any kind of archiving solution in place it is very easy for people to deny interaction and certainly having at least the corporate email side of things covered, has given people a big advantage. If you look at all the big cases like Enron and those kind of things, the reams of information that was gathered for evidence. It is like sifting for gold -  in order to extract gold you can either take huge volumes or use expensive processes to get something small at the end, or you can go through and have a very refined process and target the bits you want," said Harrison.

Respondents in the survey said the data they most need to access on a regular basis are emails (42%), contents of individual hard drives (45%) and word processing documents (34%).

In some legal cases between companies, even a file on a competitor's computer can be damning enough to convict them in court. Recent examples include McLaren vs Ferrari and Oracle vs SAP.

Harrison said that is was useful for Symantec to have their product given the thumbs up by the end-users who most benefit from their product, namely, the lawyers.

"Its great from our point of view as we had our product validated by the really heavyweight end-users. They are only a subsection of the people who get benefits from archiving as a solution. They are not really concerned about how much it costs to get a piece of data out, they are concerned about how much they will be fined if they don't get it out. We see fines running into millions, particularly in the UK," he said.

Eighty-seven per cent of lawyers that responded to the survey said that their legal cases had been impacted, delayed or resulted in sanctions because of issues relating to ESI.

Fifty-six per cent of the total UAE respondents said that there needed to be improvements to the search technology used to identify, save and process data to enable them to quickly find relevant data.

Symantec is encouraging people, particularly since the advent of the financial crisis, to archive their data more efficiently, not just buy more storage as the sheer volume of data grows.

"Everyone has seen what is happening budget-wise recently, but for the last two years things have been really flat, no one is getting big budget increases so what companies are having to do is say how can we spend the budget we have got and if they are thinking along the lines of another 20% growth of hardware, we are giving them choices by saying you don't have to buy all that stuff. If you spend a little bit more on software and a bit more on some services and you can get your money back in six months," said Harrison.

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