Channel Partners Get More Active in eDiscovery Market
Latest deal with systems integrator CACI underscores the growing reliance by government agencies on third parties to fulfill contract requirements in the growing vertical market.
The federal governments pressing need for cost-effective eDiscovery solutions recently encouraged Guidance Software to partner with CACI International (NYSE: CAI), a leading government systems integrator, to provide a comprehensive eDiscovery solution to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal agencies.
Guidance and CACI will provide Guidances EnCase eDiscovery solutions to the DOJ and other U.S. government agencies on a pay-per-use basis. EnCase eDiscovery is an enterprise-wide solution that operates from a central location to automatically perform search and collection of electronically stored information (ESI) from unstructured and semi-structured data sources such as workstations, laptops, servers, removable storage devices, and archiving and content management solutions.
Dave Petty, vice president of channel operations at Guidance Software, (NASDAQ: GUID), a Pasadena, Calif.-based leader in digital investigative solutions, said the partnership is modeled after a recent successful, large-scale eDiscovery engagement in which CACI and Guidance Software used EnCase eDiscovery to preserve, search, collect, and process electronically stored information (ESI) from 800 employee desktop computers and several agency servers in multiple locations.
The federal government is involved in a ton of litigation all the time, so it has to be proactive in its eDiscovery methodology while keeping a close grip on costs, which can escalate rapidly if proper procedures and technology are not in place, he said.
The eDiscovery market represents a good opportunity for channel partners because government agencies are relying more on third-parties for the solutions.
Government agencies and corporations are forced to be proactive. They have to implement eDiscovery systems that cover the gamut of records management and data collection and to ensure those systems are repeatable and defensible, said Matt Miller, product marketing manager at Guidance.
For the most part, government agencies and corporations are looking to third-parties for their eDiscovery solutions, said Miller. This is creating a lot of opportunities for VARs and vendors such as Guidance.
The electronic discovery (eDiscovery) of digital information is one of the most predictably lucrative markets for VARs and vendors these days. What gives this market its importance is that government agencies, corporations and law firms are literally forced to spend millions of dollars on technology, and reseller know-how to comply with amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) covering the discovery of digital information.
Those amendments, which took effect in December 1, 2006 compel companies and government agencies to do precise and exhaustive recordkeeping. Under the new rules, a judge or jury can assume a company or agency is hiding information if it can't provide emails deemed relevant to a lawsuit.
Spending on eDiscovery technology will grow from $1.4 billion in 2006 to more than $4.8 billion in 2011, according to a report from Forrester Research. Another report, from Palo Alto, Calif.-based Radicati Group, forecasts that the email archiving market will increase from an estimated $1.2 billion in 2007 to almost $5.5 billion in 2011.