Clearwell Makes Sense of E-mail

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Clearwell Systems on Monday unveiled a solution that the company says helps make sense of the mountains of e-mail overwhelming enterprises.

Clearwell calls its E-mail Intelligence Platform the “first dedicated e-mail intelligence solution that discovers, organizes and analyzes information contained in corporate e-mail systems.”

The start-up, which also announced $4 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, said its technology is similar to business intelligence solutions, which extract information from data contained in databases. Clearwell said its product can help enterprises with issues such as regulatory compliance and e-discovery.

“Current tools with basic keyword search do not provide the sophistication these organizations need to perform automated, large-scale retrieval and rigorous in-depth analysis,” the company said. “As a result, the cost of responding to a regulatory audit can reach $250,000.”

E-mail discovery costs in the U.S. are expected to reach $1.8 billion this year, according to the 2004 Socha-Gelbmann Electronic Discovery Survey.

“Clearwell has an interesting technology that provides a very in-depth and real-time view of a company’s e-mail archive,” said analyst Michael Osterman of Osterman Research.

Clearwell’s claim that it can reduce discovery and compliance costs by 90% “would be a major selling point for the product, since discovery and compliance can be extremely expensive,” he said.

The product “takes archive data in combination with other data to provide insight into what an e-mail store contains,” Osterman said. “For example, using the Clearwell platform, a company can create a dashboard of sorts that allows managers and others to see what types of content and discussions are taking place in e-mail.”

Clearwell said its platform performs large-scale e-mail analysis across a range of industries and applications. The start-up counts among its customers Constellation Energy, business law firm Gunderson Dettmer and global professional services firm International Network Services.

John Petruzzi, director of enterprise security at Constellation Energy, said Clearwell’s solution “allows me to reinvest in my department and assign my current staff to more strategic initiatives, which in turn adds even greater value to the business.”

The platform analyzes “the unique properties of e-mail,” combines the results with organizational data, and applies proprietary linguistic and statistical analysis algorithms to extract intelligence from e-mail messages and attachments.

Clearwell says it offers “key capabilities not found in other offerings, including: personalized dashboards, communication flows, discussion threads, topics and e-mail-specific search,” and accomplishing all that without intercepting or disrupting the path of e-mail. The solution deploys within hours and leverages a corporation’s existing investment in e-mail archive solutions, the firm says.

The company claims its platform also “proactively identifies violations of regulatory or corporate policies before they become major issues for the corporation.”

The solution also offers customer advantages, organizing customer interactions and feedback into relevant topic areas, helping organizations understand customer issues and to share knowledge across projects.

The Clearwell E-mail Intelligence Platform is generally available now. Clearwell declined to reveal pricing, which is based on the amount of data being analyzed.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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