Review: Clearwell Intelligence Platform v 2.0

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Review: Clearwell Intelligence Platform v 2.0

It’s a litigious world. Today there are organisations that believe that one gets ahead by litigation, not innovation. More important and, perhaps, more common, are regulatory requirements that mandate a detailed response to investigative inquiries.

These regulatory inquiries, up over 14 times since 2000, according to Clearwell, often require detailed analysis of communications between workers and groups, both internally and externally. It is this process — eDiscovery — that the Clearwell Systems Intelligence Platform is designed to speed up and simplify.

The Intelligence Platform is a remarkable tool for dynamically analyzing email and documents. Once the appliance is installed, it begins to learn what is stored on the enterprise.

To do this it crawls the entire enterprise, including, if configured, Active Directory. It looks at documents and email, stores key information such as email to and from, subjects, dates and times (normalised, of course), and history.


It then analyses content, associated documents and their contents and metadata.

The result: it builds a complete picture of who knew what, and when they knew it. These results are then relevance ranked and presented on an intuitive user interface. These results can be used either proactively or reactively.

What I particularly liked was that the Intelligence Platform can crawl the enterprise nightly, keeping itself up to date on the activities of the organisation. Then a quick scan of its dashboard the next morning will reveal any emerging problems that could require investigation.

Universe of documents
Investigations, too, are greatly simplified. The first steps, culling out the relevant documents and emails from hundreds of thousands, is tedious and expensive if performed manually.

Intelligence Platform performs that task in a far shorter time than other methods, even those that are semi-automated. Once the universe of documents has been reduced to those that are relevant to the case, analysis can begin in earnest.

Analysis can be performed in a variety of ways, including threads, relevance rank or topic. Full analysis of communication flows — including carbon copies, blind carbon copies, groups, etc. — is a snap. Additionally, Intelligence Platform acts as a case management tool keeping everything in its proper order. Documents can, additionally, be called out based on keywords.

Dollar savings
The culling process is one important key to the success of Intelligence Platform. Intelligent culling can reduce the quantity of data that needs to be analysed deeper by up to 80 percent. This represents a significant saving in time, as well as hard costs. Clearwell estimates, based on an outside study, that the actual dollar savings is better than 60 percent on average.

The Clearwell website is full of useful information for customers. White papers, case studies, documentation and other support resources are available through the customer support portal. Support also is available 24/7 by phone and email.

When we first looked at Intelligence Platform, our initial impression was that it was a product looking for a reasonably sized market. After all, how many companies really need detailed eDiscovery? The answer, it turns out, is most.

At some time or another just about all but the smallest organizations are going to need to establish the details of email communications and other documentation. The need could be as either a plaintiff or defendant, during a regulatory inquiry, or just as good governance.

Knowing who had copies
That said, in my view, the notion of good governance is pretty important. Elsewhere in this issue we review several extrusion prevention products. The one thing that all of those products have in common is the inability to analyse documents and email to determine its workflow.

It’s one thing to know that a piece of critical information exfiltrated the network. It’s equally as important to know who else had copies and to whom other copies were sent, perhaps within the organisation.

We found the Clearwell Intelligence Platform to be extremely useful, well thought-out and extremely well executed. We find the contention that the product can save up to 60 percent in eDiscovery costs to be completely credible and we recommend this product for just about any medium to large company as part of the organisation’s ongoing governance support tool set.


AT A GLANCE:
Product: Clearwell Intelligence Platform v 2.0
Company: Clearwell Systems
Availability: Now
Price: US$65,000 for 100 GB of email analysed. Cost scales up from there, and is based on the amount of data an enterprise needs analysed.
What it does: Full eDiscovery platform for email and documents.

See original review on SC Magazine US

What we liked: This is the most comprehensive eDiscovery product we have seen, and it's all in a single package. Everything you need to uncover email threads, the documents behind the email, and to produce an ongoing case file is there in a single 2u appliance. What we didn't like: We couldn't find a thing to complain about.

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