E-Discovery Gets a New Startup

Digital Reef came out of stealth mode this week with new data search and classification technology that promises to make pressing issues like e-discovery less painful.

Brian Giuffrida, the company’s vice president of marketing and business development, sums up the company’s value proposition thusly:

“If you’re involved in litigation, you need to know what you have, you need to know where it is, and you need to pull it together instantly,” he said.

The company’s unique indexing and searching technology “pre-collects” data so it’s in “previewable” form when needed, Giuffrida said.

“It’s always ready for the review process,” he said. “That’s significantly better than anyone does it today.”

The software is useful for e-discovery, compliance, security, data risk, storage reclamation and knowledge reuse and even business intelligence and data mining, said Giuffrida. He also said it is “blazingly fast with even a minimal configuration,” processing as much 5 to 6 terabytes in a 24-hour period.

The company, funded by Matrix Partners and Pilot House Ventures, says it can automatically process the unstructured and semi-structured data found in documents, spreadsheets, e-mails, and presentations that make up as much as 85 percent of corporate data, and do it without disrupting IT processes.

The analysis and classification tools let managers locate specific kinds of data such as Social Security and credit card numbers, identify regulated data for compliance and relevant documents for legal issues, and locate intellectual property that can be reused.

The company spent two years developing its technology, with much of that time spent under the name Auraria Networks, and Giuffrida already claims “large iconic organizations” as customers.

“The concept of classifying data before taking action and managing it makes a ton of sense,” said analyst Brian Babineau of Enterprise Strategy Group.

“The company has very good technology, but it is a Swiss Army knife and can be used to solve so many issues,” said Babineau, adding that the company needs to focus on a few management problems for now.

“Organizations that go through frequent electronic discovery events can benefit from solutions that help them understand what data they have, where it is, and who has access to it,” Babineau said. “This helps attorneys quickly identify what data may be relevant to a specific request and then move and retain that data so it can be further reviewed.”

Another possible use is locating information that may be better off managed within SharePoint applications, he said, noting that “nearly half of worldwide organizations have either already deployed SharePoint or are planning to. Companies need to figure out what data belongs in SharePoint so it does not become a dumping ground like many corporate file shares are today. Classification solutions like Digital Reef can actually be used to help people maximize their SharePoint investments.”

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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 Time.com, 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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