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SharePoint 2013 eDiscovery? Is it Real or just a near miss?

So with SharePoint 2013 ECM (Enterprise Content Management) the implementation of an eDiscovery functionality might actually be part of the Enterprise Package. So I will be discussing a few of the finds I have discovered during my testing and investigation.  The big question we will want to know is

Are the eDiscovery features of SharePoint 2013 real eDiscovery or just a near miss?

So first off, I am making this post based on the SharePoint 2013, and since no company has defended a SharePoint 2013 environment in litigation—well we will see.

What about SharePoint 2010?

So one of the first questions I was wondering is “Hey didn’t SharePoint 2010 have Records Management and Records Center, and there was many companies creating Audit Compliance plug-ins?”

The answer is actually a little cloudy, YES and NO.   No we did not loose the Information Management rules and process we have defined up to this point.  First issue is SharePoint 2010 Records Management was not implemented by most organizations if they even knew they had the functionality.  Second is that SharePoint Records Management in general requires a real Information Architecture, Information Governance, Information Data Management Policy, and….are you ready the use of “CONTENT TYPES”…….Hold your hat, that means to do this right you needed Governance. Sorry had to use the G word.

In addition to SharePoint Records Management OOB, you had a slew of Software vendors selling you the magic tool.  It is important to understand that no eDiscovery software or tool vendor would call SharePoint 2010 Records Center an eDiscovery solution.  If anything it opened the way for tool vendors to create plugin solutions.  Most sucked, did not work, or were so clouded in mystery.  Why was this such a slippery slop to compliance,  you would never use them because you could never defend them in court.  I would never bet my company in litigation on the bullet points of functionality some sales person gave me.

What does that mean for SharePoint 2013,  we have a lot of room to grow.

Unified Discovery

In SharePoint 2013 we are talking about a Unification. How this plays out is first a Unified Console to work from for your Information Management and Retention process. Yeah. No jumping around, or having a different Records Center for each farm.

You can do this across Farms, File Shares, Exchange, and even into Lync.  It leverages the great power of your Search infrastructure. Go Bing.


Case Management

One of the great terminology and process changes is now things in ECM are handled by Case.  Thus you perform all your actions of eDiscovery by defining and leveraging the Case Methodology………I am not going to go into Case Methodology, sorry that is a whole post in its self, and likely you don’t follow a best practice…most orgs don’t…shame on you.

Office 365

Now it is important to note that in Office 365 (2010) no Records Management existed.  SharePoint 2013  Records Center and In Place Records Management does not extend currently to the Office 365 solution.  Sorry no Joy today…So you will need to come at this more with Policy and planning.

What does this mean for you….TOOL PROVIDERS AGAIN…So we will need to wait and see what the term “Best Practices” or “Compliance” will mean for your hybrid environments.


SharePoint 2013 will once again give you the same power of Records Management that did not use in SharePoint 2010.  Common, go find a SharePoint eDiscovery god,,,oops sorry I am the only one..haha…find a Governance and Information Management SharePoint person and get your Data, Information Architecture, UX, Policies, Governance and Compliance taken care of.  If you are not looking at a unified approach to your data, then spending building a pretty SharePoint is useless.  It has to be compliant, it needs to support your official records and documents.  Make It So.  SharePoint 2013 can more than handle what you want to do, and best of all….it does not require you to go by a tools or plug in.  You can do it, just know what you have INSIDE THE BOX.



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