Companies struggling to control vast amounts of documents for compliance, or even litigation purposes, may be interested in the latest partnership designed to deal specifically with these issues.

This time the partnership is between open source Enterprise Content Management vendor Alfresco (news, site) and document management software provider Rational Retention (RR).

The result is a system that will automate the management of both structured and unstructured data from across an entire ECM that may be needed for drawn-out compliance and litigation proceedings.

Legal Costs Cut With ECM

As it stands, in many litigation or compliance hearings the ability of a company to provide the required data quickly, efficiently and in its entirety will be reflected in the costs associated with such a hearing.

The quicker the process is completed, the less a company will pay out. And with the increasing costs of pursing such cases through legal process, many companies are turning to enterprise content management systems to manage documents life-cycles.

By managing that life cycle companies can save, by some estimates, up to 50% of the costs of eDiscovery and regulatory compliance.

This new partnership sees the implementation of a new system that will connect Rational Retention’s end-to-end solution for managing the entire lifecycle of data with Alfresco’s centralized content repository.

Easy Document Archiving

In effect, it will allow users to archive e-mails, documents and enterprise content that needs to be retained for whatever reasons, legal or otherwise.

Rational Retention’s solution provides end-to-end management of documents by providing life-logs of all documents in the systems. In doing so, the solution prevents tampering with the document unintentionally or maliciously.

Documents from third-parties outside the network can also be imported into the system using a simple upload wizard and after analysis, will be classified, stamped and exported to any industry-standard e-format.

There is also an automatic destruct feature once the user has deemed the document life-cycle at an end.

Using the Alfresco Content Repository

For its part, Alfresco brings with it its Common Interface File System and WebDav protocols. This means that content can be migrated to the Alfresco’s document and records management tools where it is stored from just about anywhere.

There are also a number of other functions built into the system that follow guidelines set out by regulators including eDiscovery for investigations, metadata collection that allows easy document organization and recall on tagged documents.

Document Lifecycle Management on an Enterprise Scale

What this product does is offer a single system that provides auto-classification, integrated review and production of documents with enterprise scalability.

While neither Alfresco nor Rational Retention claim to be offering something that cannot be done elsewhere, they do say that because it leverages Alfresco open source ECM, it will be considerably cheaper than other solutions.

Available now to select customers, the solution will become publicly available sometime this quarter. Until then, you can learn more with a webinar on May 12.