Chasing Holistic eDiscovery Solutions; Interview with Autonomy eDiscovery Director Jack Halprin Part 1

This blog entry is the first in a series of interviews with Autonomy‘s new Director of eDiscovery, Jack Halprin. Jack is well known in the eDiscovery world having held a lead role on the EDRM Metrics Project and for his work at Guidance Software.

In this first interview, Jack gets to talk about what drew him to Autonomy and his first impressions coming on-board. Autonomy’s breadth and diversity of offerings can be intimidating from a consumer’s viewpoint, so we get an expert’s inside view of what makes them different.

Greg: So first and foremost, tell us about your new role at Autonomy.

J: I am one of two Directors of eDiscovery at Autonomy, focusing on the early stages of the eDiscovery lifecycle, specifically the Information Management, Identification, Preservation and Collection phases. I work as an industry evangelist speaking at conferences and working with customers on how to apply advanced technology and best practices.

Greg: So what products do you concentrate on in these earlier eDiscovery stages?

Jack: I cover our Aungate Legal Hold and Aungate Investigator Early Case Assessment (ECA) products. At the core of each product is Autonomy’s Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) platform, offering an index of all data types to assist organizations with FRCP compliance. IDOL goes far beyond typical text based indexing and legacy keyword search, with advanced conceptual and analytic search capabilities and enables all of our products to analyze and act from a single index. It is the foundation of the entire Autonomy product line and enables a seamless integration of all applications throughout the eDiscovery and information management lifecycle without having to constantly move or reprocess the data.

Greg: We can go in depth on the products a bit later. You’ve talked to quite a few organizations over the years about eDiscovery and must have heard numerous perspectives.  Tell us about the contrasts and similarities.

Jack: In talking with corporations I found three main viewpoints. Some organizations are still completely reactive. They manually pull email or other ESI on request, but had no systems in place to truly manage ESI. The next thought that email was everything. They had invested in collection or archiving products to address their Exchange or Domino environment and assumed that would protect them for eDiscovery purposes while pretty much ignoring the rest of their ESI. The more progressive corporations understand that email is a big part of the problem but there are many other data sources that must be managed. These corporations want to be ready for every eDiscovery challenge with a unified system, and they were the ones saying, “Tell me about the other ways we can tackle this.”

Autonomy is enterprise founded with products in every conceivable step along the eDiscovery lifecycle, from information management through to production and presentation. I am really enjoying the shift in focus in that Autonomy’s infrastructure covers every data source, not just email or desktops and laptops. One of the things that I was looking for was a system truly capable of handling the challenges of unified messaging, SharePoint, and all the different data streams we see now, with the ability to grow and meet any challenge we could see in the future.


Greg: What else impressed you with Autonomy?

Jack: One of the things that struck me came during my first demo on Autonomy’s products. Forensic software is written by techs for techs, and it can be very intimidating and complex to a corporate attorney or even an IT analyst used to working with enterprise applications. I was impressed with the usability of Autonomy’s search and how intuitive it is for non-technical end users. The integration of keywords, natural language, conceptual search and more into our Meaning Based Computing platform, IDOL, is worlds apart from the keyword based GREP syntax of a forensic based software product.

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