If we’ve been carrying on a lot recently about HP Autonomy, it's only because it seems HP has finally cranked up the gears. It's starting to develop Autonomy as an asset rather than looking at it through the lens of the disastrous acquisition process that still hasn’t finished. The latest release is a new cloud-based e-discover offering.
While HP is promoting this as a new product, it's just an old product migrated to the cloud. That makes it accessible not just to big businesses and major law firms, but also to companies in the lucrative small-to-medium business (SMB) market.
Higher and Fluffier
This follows the announcement at HP’s Discover conference in Barcelona last year that it is providing its IDOL (Intelligent Data Operating Layer) as an on-demand service, as well as other cloud-related announcements that have turned HP into a company that enterprises really need to consider when making decisions about cloud strategies.
But back to this morning’s release: HP eDiscovery OnDemand pushes the entire HPA platform into the cloud and offers its different components as cloud offerings.
This means that companies that are looking for file management, processing, early case assessment, review and production can go to HPA and subscribe to whatever service they need.
While HPA is clearly pitching this at the legal profession, any business that needs to manage legal documents can benefit from this - especially those that need e-discovery capabilities but don’t have the money to invest in e-discovery on-premises.
Changing the Status Quo
This is an interesting approach to e-discovery and one that not many other companies have taken. Law firms, due to the sensitive nature of their information, have traditionally been reluctant to embrace cloud computing. And despite many advances in the e-discovery market over the past several years, very little has changed.
Historically, there have been two options available to firms — a fully hosted, third party model that deprived companies of control of their data and processes, or a licensed, on-premises model that placed a considerable IT burden on organizations which had to install, manage, and maintain the software.
In recent years, however, legal departments and law firms have been forced to consider cloud computing as a way to deal with data sets that are increasingly large, expensive, and difficult to manage.
There are still security issues around cloud computing. However, shorter deadlines, multi-party collaboration on cases - both inside and outside the organization - pressure to rein in costs and ongoing growth in data volume and complexity are adding weight to the argument for cloud computing.
On-premises technologies only solve part of the problems around e-discovery tools, and businesses depend on other enterprise tools to fill in the gaps, increasing both time and costs.
In most cases, these systems fail to recognize concepts and patterns in increasingly unstructured information used in legal cases, which brings us right back to IDOL, which gives HPA’s cloud release an edge that many others don’t have.
HPA Cloud E-Discovery
The new HPA e-discovery solution is built on HPA’s private cloud, enabling swift scaling, easy deployment and the ability to subscribe only to the components firms need. As for security, HPA says its cloud is submitted to third-party audits, as well as operational process, personnel and security testing.
There is a large range of functionality inherited from the on-premises version as well as a number of enhancements which supplement the historical versions of the HP e-discovery product.
The new on-demand model also comes with enhanced data ingestion capabilities, deeper quality control tools and improved analytic and visualization capabilities.
If this is the most recent release from HPA, it certainly won't be the last. Over the coming year, as HPA gets into gear, there is likely to much in the way of development. HP CEO Meg Whitman has promised to rebuild HP on innovation and in-house technologies, after all.
For HPA using IDOL, there seems few limitations. The last upgrade of IDOL, announced last week, simplifies its use and hands more control over to business users. This is likely to be a continuing trend.
Title image by Ali Plonchak (all rights reserved).
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