A few years enterprise content management vendors were focused on eDiscovery as the predominant driver for building new solutions. And although that driver hasn't gone anywhere, it's not taking center stage these days.

At least not according to EMC (news,site). What's rising to the top of needs pile is IT efficiency -- such as storage and backup costs. So what has EMC done to help fill this new need without forgetting about the old one? They have created a new family of products and solutions called SourceOne. And it all starts with that blasted email we all hate to love.

The EMC SourceOne Family

Out of the gate we are looking at three products in this new family, but Sheila Childs, Director of Product Marketing says there will be more. SourceOne provides an integrated approach to information governance. And it starts by putting archiving at the foundation and then adding compliance and eDiscovery capabilities.

EMC SourceOne: Integrated information governance for multiple content types
EMC SourceOne: Integrated information governance for multiple content types

So those are the three products and to start, they are focused on primarily on email:

  • EMC SourceOne Email Management: Email and instant messaging archiving
  • EMC SourceOne Discovery Manager: Discovery and Legal Hold for Email Management Archives
  • EMC SourceOne Discovery Collector: Indexing appliance to automate collection throughout the enterprise for everything else

Why the initial focus on email? Childs told us that most email solutions weren't designed for how we use email today. Today it's a repository of record for many and contains a huge volume of data. And despite what many may want, it ain't going anywhere, anytime soon.

Today's systems need to recognize this and they need to be able to find information inside email quickly, producing it in a forensically sound way.

Childs says SourceOne was built to address this growing need.

SourceOne Email Management

The Email Management solution will archive email from MS Exchange, Lotus Notes, SMTP and instant messages. The solution is built to run on a single server, but can be separated out during peak periods. It has full international support and has a localized interface in seven different languages out of the box.

This solution is extensible with an API expected to come later to support third party customizations.

EMC SourceOne Email Management console is used to configure and manage all aspects of the messaging archive, utilizing Microsoft’s intuitive MMC technology.

Designed with usability in mind, there is simple centralized administration and a web-based search interface for administrators.

EMC SourceOne Email Management provides a web-based search interface, allowing authenticated user search and access to their archived e-mail in multiple languages. Searches can be performed from desktops, laptops and hand-held devices and do not require a mail client to be installed.

In addition you can access content using a Universal URL through just about any medium including mobile devices (Blackberry and iPhone), Outlook and Notes Client and Web Access and new clients like Microsoft Entourage.

Using EMC SourceOne Email Management’s Universal shortcut, alternate mail clients such as Entourage are able to seamlessly resolve messages and attachments that have been truncated from the production e-mail database.

SourceOne Discovery Manager

The Discovery Manager is designed for discovery search and collection of email archived using SourceOne Email Management. It follows the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) model which is widely adopted for eDiscovery processes.

EMC SourceOne Discovery Manager is designed to quickly find, safely hold, efficiently cull and produce responsive sets of e-mail messages particular to any given matter or investigation.

The Discovery Manager provides an initial culling or search for information, tagging it and assigning it to a case. Role based reviews can then be performed and the information can be packaged up and exported using an industry standard format for further review.

EMC SourceOne Discovery Collector

The Discovery Collector is used for information stored in other repositories other than email -- SharePoint, file servers, desktops and other content management solutions. Its an indexing appliance that helps to identify, collect, preserve and apply policies for unstructured content.

Is There a Lawyer in the House?

It's interesting to note that EMC has a Compliance Services Practice as part of their Global Services. Although mostly used for pre-sales, this group of lawyers (yes you heard that right) is fully trained on EMC solutions and they can help talk with customers about their requirements, helping to bridge the gap between the business and IT.

If you are interested in hearing more about the EMC SourceOne Family, there is a webcast planned for April 2, 2009 at 12pm EDT.

Both the EMC SourceOne Email Management and Discovery Collector are available now. The Discovery Manager will come latter this quarter.