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Disjointed Legal Counsel Seeking Help for Comprehensive Early Case Assessment

Synopsis 1: Disjointed legal counsel seeking help for comprehensive Early Case Assessment

Electronic data discovery interview – Thomas “Tom” Spadafore, President and CEO, Vantos.

With over 20 years of experience leading and growing organizations to achieve their strategic objectives and revenue milestones, Thomas Spadafore has been instrumental in the successful incubation and growth of both startups and Fortune 1000 companies.

Most recently, Mr. Spadafore was responsible for global sales at Reconnex, where he accelerated sales from zero to $10 million within two years. Prior to Reconnex, he focused on technology leadership and channel development as Executive Vice President of GreenBorder Technology. As Executive Vice President, Thomas was pivotal in leading Brightmail’s worldwide sales, marketing and business operations to the next stage of growth – a $370 million acquisition by Symantec. In addition, he has held executive positions at Netopia, NETCOM Communications and Apple Computer.

Mr. Spadafore received his B.S. in Computer Science and his M.S. in Computer Technology and Education from Boise State University. (more)

Editors Note: In June of 2008, Vantos secured funding of $10.6 million in Series B funding.

In April of 2008, Joshua Konkle writing for dcig.com, performed this interview:

Joshua Konkle: In your work with corporate legal counsel how do you help them synchronize their policies and their IT, what is the mood of legal counsel out there?

Tom Spadafore: The mood is disjointed. Legal counsel must understand basic technology issues with respect to early case assessment, hard-drive forensics and content (email) archives. These disjointed applications leave legal counsel with more questions about an investigation than answers.

To build a product like VANTOS V-Flex requires a thoughtful understanding of the end users and their use cases. We have worked with chief, security officers, chief risk officers, investigators, CFOs, General Counsel, external audit firms, CEOs and the boards of directors to define “holistic investigation.” Each of these leaders and groups has a stake in the success of an enterprise investigation platform.

Joshua Konkle: How do you educate the non-security IT, legal and key content stakeholders important investigation concepts?

Tom Spadafore: We have built an advisory council and community management component into VANTOS V-Flex product. We worked with our advisory council for over six (6) months building use cases for the VANTOS Enterprise Investigation platform. During the course of product design and requirement gathering, our clients made it clear that we were the first ones helping with “holistic investigation” in the Enterprise.

Enterprise and holistic investigation, as concepts and strategies, generate many questions, concerns and risks. Our investigator, legal and security community is made up of 50+ professionals. Our community helps develop working Investigation Playbooks to intersect pressing investigative issues. For example, our community collaborates with us to develop Investigation Playbooks to manage retention policy, business continuity and information security issues. Some of our community members includes KPMG, ARC Group NY and individuals, such as Steve Harper of Crucial Security and Randy Barr Chief Security Officer at WebEx.

We were able to listen to and respond effectively to the customer’s needs because we aren’t trying to slot an existing product or solution into their business. Using this model, we can aggregate existing data management tools into an enterprise investigation platform along with a supportive community.

Joshua Konkle: One of the challenges corporations concern themselves with is large amounts of un-reviewed data going to outside reviewing review systems, what is your experience?

Tom Spadafore: The typical conversation with GCs is about managing data internally in an attempt to reduce hosted and outside review costs. Moreover, risk and security groups care deeply about the content because of corporate exposure and sensitivity level. In our early discussions with these groups, the biggest issue with existing early case assessment products was and still remains “chain of custody.” We’ve worked closely with these groups to address process and technology to directly address audit trail management, deposition primers and case management primers.

Joshua Konkle: What is causing the need for in-house investigation and early case assessment systems by enterprises, in your experience?

Tom Spadafore: The issues of enterprise investigation have been around for a number of years. In my previous business, Reconnex, we dealt with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) on a daily basis. However, DLP is designed to mitigate risk and becomes one facet of an enterprise investigation platform. Therefore, the roll-up of multiple mitigation and auditing technologies are driving the need for inside the firewall investigation systems and Investigation Playbooks provided by VANTOS V-Flex im system.

Joshua Konkle: In your experience, what are the pitfalls that enterprises have yet to encounter bringing eDiscovery and investigation inside their firewall?

Tom Spadafore: In our discussions with KPMG, clients and our community we have identified several elements to produce a successful internal enterprise investigation platform:

  • Incident response
  • Digital forensics
  • Physical forensics
  • Criminal investigation
  • Civil investigation

All of these are critical in the key industry segments that we have been tackling, such as Financial Services, Government, High-Tech and BioTechnology.

Joshua Konkle: What is your companies’ vision for dealing with escalating costs in review datasets for large cases, civil and criminal?

Tom Spadafore: Holistic investigation management for the enterprise, including a community of peers that are supporting our product via advisory councils and social networking channels. Our experience is that stakeholders at different companies are facing the same perils and need support. Security, investigation and public welfare are not competitive advantages and our customers realize this.

If you would like to communicate with Tom directly, he can be reached at info@vantos.com or by calling DiscoverReady at 1 206 838 7938.

www.dcig.com publishes interviews with legal professionals; click here for more eDiscovery interviews.

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