I’ve been thinking about this a lot.   And I’ve talked to a lot of people about it.   I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 2 ways to go about doing email discovery and forensics work, particularly when it comes to litigation support type work.   The first way is the way that I end up doing a lot of my work.    I get a call from a LitSupport company who has a bunch of data they were sent and it’s all GroupWise.   I help them extract the data using my GroupWise expertise and the tools that I have.    We tend to extract everything to PST since that’s what most LitSupport companies want it in.   This is the Post-extraction method.  It tends to cost a lot of money in Consulting and LitSupport dollars.    And it’s not very good for companies (well, other than companies like mine and Lit Support companies who make money doing the extraction work) who have multiple litigation requirements that they have to fulfill.

The other way to handle this is pre-emptively, or before it happens, the customer can setup (or we can help them set it up) an archiving solution such as GWAVA Reveal and/or Retain, Nexic Discovery, or Messaging Architects GWArchive.   These products all support GroupWise natively and allow the customer to do searches and extract those searches to a readable and searchable format.    If a judge tells you to provide all the mail from 2006 that includes the words balogna, you can easily go to any of these tools and do a search on those keywords and then export them to a CD and deliver it.   You don’t have to get a Consultant involved (although sometimes the objectivity of a consultant is required) or at least it shouldn’t take the consultant as long to take care of if you’re already got an archive that you can search and prepare for them.   Cost-wise, each of these products are sold on a per-user basis, but by paying up front to get these types of solutions in place and ready to go, you can avoid the costly attorney & consulting fees that come around the other side of a litigation situation.

So, you might want to take a look at what your email retention requirements are (check with the regulatory board in your industry to find out what they are) and get ready ahead of time by using an Enterprise Archiving solution to get ahead of the curve.   The other huge benefit of using tools like these is you can get a bunch of that old GroupWise email off of your production GroupWise environment, and on to an online archive that your users can refer to, but it wont’ be hogging up your GroupWise System.

Let us know if we can help you install and configure any of these types of solutions.   We’ve installed them in lots of companies across the nation and could easily be scheduled to come help you.

Until that time, keep sending those emails, and let us know how we can help you get your GroupWise System in the best shape possible.

Matt Ray, Owner, Prinicipal Consultant, MC Consulting – GroupWiseGuru.com