Cloud-based email archiving company Sonian, a Talkin' Cloud 100 Cloud Services Provider, has developed a new unified information management platform for on-premises and cloud-based data management, compliance and information discovery.

DiscoverStor allows legal, IT, audit and line-of-business users in small-to-medium businesses (SMB) to search, analyze and manage the storage of documents in a range of formats. The idea is to enable users to uncover actionable intelligence for discovery procedures, early case assessment, regulatory compliance, data and storage management and audit policy actions.

The company expects to sell the new offering direct for at least the first few months, Sonian CEO Jeff Dickerson told Talkin' Cloud, but "Sonian is actively seeking partners for the DiscoverStor offering."

"Our traditional partners are hosted email providers, and because DiscoverStor handles content types other than mail, involves policy application and content typing, Sonian does not believe this new offering is something that our current partners will want to resell," he said.

But Sonian has plans to get more involved with partners, since DiscoverStor is a "larger solution" for the market, Dickerson said.

"We expect we'll be getting involved with new partners, especially MSPs which specialize in supporting law firms, legal departments within corporations, or which specialize in advising corporate counsel on retention policies and data management schema," he said.

After collecting feedback from partners, Dickerson said, "Channel partners are frequently asked to help customers address a myriad of compliance issues."

"Even the simplest function, like retention, can be complicated when users have rights to delete their own mail or documents," he said. "Automated policy-driven workflows, central to DiscoverStor, are key to managing these complex processes."

Unstructured data will present challenges for channel partners in 2014, Dickerson noted, pointing out two major issues: managing growth and searching through  data.

"Unstructured data comprise the majority of human-generated data, and it is a fast-growing component of enterprise data," he said. "The conversations and contracts living in email represent the very data being demanded by courts in order to resolve disputes."

Without proper planning, collecting, indexing and searching every mail could present "significant problems" to organizations, Dickerson said.

"Scouring offline PSTs is ineffective, inefficient and ultimately insufficient when trying to respond to discovery requests, yet the vast majority of email is left in exactly these repositories," he said.

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