Like many organizations, yours probably has a vast amount of data in the form of email messages and electronic documents. Not only do you have lots of email and documents, but you also probably have other types of content such as social data, instant messages, and webpages. There are significant legal risks associated with preserving, searching, and producing this data when legal events occur. How do you search this content and export it into a format you can hand off for eDiscovery requests? How can you provide your users with the best collaboration technologies while protecting your business? The new eDiscovery capabilities in SharePoint Server 2013, Exchange Server 2013, and Lync 2013 do just that.
In case you are not familiar with eDiscovery, it is the process of finding, preserving, analyzing, and producing content in electronic formats as required by litigation or investigations. Now you can save time and help reduce your legal risk with In-Place Hold, near real-time search, and the ability to handle more types of content. We have built on our eDiscovery work in SharePoint 2010 and Exchange 2010 by enabling you to perform eDiscovery across SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and file shares—all from one location. You can help protect content in SharePoint and Exchange by using In-Place Hold, identify and reduce the amount of content with eDiscovery queries, and export the results into an offline format you can hand off for legal review.
Here is a quick overview of eDiscovery with SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2013, and Lync 2013:
SharePoint 2013 introduces the eDiscovery Center site collection, which has features to help with the first half of the eDiscovery Reference Model (EDRM)—identification, preservation, collection, processing, and analysis. The eDiscovery Center is available on-premises and in Office 365 and can be connected to Exchange so you can do eDiscovery across SharePoint, Exchange, and Lync content archived into Exchange. In the eDiscovery Center you can create eDiscovery Case sites, which are used to organize in-place holds, queries, and exports for a particular case. The eDiscovery Case site is designed for in-house legal teams to perform their eDiscovery work.
Our customers have told us that when a legal event begins there is often a need to make sure that potentially relevant content that may be evidence is not modified or destroyed. Content is spread across many different locations including email servers, file shares, content management systems, and user’s computers. Previous versions of SharePoint were a challenge for eDiscovery because there are many types of content, such as pages and lists, which are difficult to export into an offline copy. SharePoint 2013 makes protecting content easier with eDiscovery Sets, a new feature used to identify Exchange mailboxes and SharePoint sites, group them together, apply filter criteria, and put the content on In-Place Hold.
With In-Place Hold, users can continue editing and deleting their content while, behind the scenes, the system ensures the original versions are retained for eDiscovery. The metadata and context of each item is retained because it is kept in place.
Legal review can cost thousands of dollars per gigabyte, so reducing the amount of content you hand off for legal review is an important part of the eDiscovery process. The new eDiscovery Query page helps you identify and reduce your data set by using keyword syntax, property restrictions, and refinements. The query experience focuses on statistics for individual sources and query fragments to help you make decisions about the content you are searching across. You can also preview SharePoint and Exchange content to make sure you have identified the right set of results.
The eDiscovery query experience helps you reduce your content set to the relevant items you care about, with a focus on statistics and preview. Here are a few key features and examples:
One of the biggest eDiscovery challenges when dealing with SharePoint and Exchange is getting the data out of the system in a portable offline format. This is a concern both on premises and in Office 365. Exporting is now as easy as clicking a few buttons. After you finalize your query, you can click the export button, select a few options, and then download the search results directly to your local computer. Using our export, you can remove duplicate Exchange content, include document versions from SharePoint, and even include unsearchable items (items that have had indexing errors).
An Electronic Discovery Reference Model XML manifest is included in the export to provide metadata about the exported items. After export:
After you have completed your export, you can import it into popular review tools or hand it off for legal review.
The new eDiscovery capabilities have three advantages to help you get the job done when you need to handle legal investigations:
SharePoint 2013, Exchange 2013, and Lync 2013 help you reduce your legal risk and save time. Now you have the tools you need to quickly respond to legal requests, so you can protect your organization without getting in the way of your users.
To get started, you can create an eDiscovery Center site collection and then create eDiscovery Case sites. Getting everything hooked up with Exchange requires some configuration—check the TechNet article Plan for eDiscovery in SharePoint Server 2013 to help you get started.
Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions.
Quentin Christensen Program Manager, Enterprise Content Management