Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Xerox Planning Acquisitions in E-Discovery Segment

Interesting article on LAW.com website: Xerox Seeks Expansion in and Beyond E-Discovery

Xerox Litigation Services wants to grow its e-discovery catalog -- and grow beyond its parent company's stodgy image.

The historic company's legal technology division, which began as a startup called Amici in 2002 and was acquired by Xerox for $174 million in 2006, plans to buy its way into the information management side of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model.

Xerox's primary e-discovery product is OmniX, used for data collection, hosting, and processing, complemented by the CategoriX predictive coding tool. Both are sold as hosted applications. Now the product catalog needs additional e-mail archiving and document review software, division general manager and vice president Randy Burrows said.

"That's a big part of my job right now, and that's what I'm looking at," Burrows said. "My number one goal here is to do no harm, so I don't want to go out and make a bad acquisition."

Burrows said that Xerox management expects him to make a move but there are no set parameters or timelines. "They're very acquisition-minded and the pressure's more on me. Xerox has got a lot of cash. There is no budget. We'll continue to grow organically and make the right strategic add-ons as we go on," he added.

Forrester analyst Brian Hill, who covers the e-discovery field, said he is not surprised by the plan. "I think it's important. One of the biggest challenges that enterprises have right now, as they go through the e-discovery process, is that they effectively pay a transition tax in working with multiple vendors."

Information management, on the left side of the EDRM workflow, is traditionally a mainstream information technology task. "Xerox has quite a bit of legal talent and expertise, we'll see how effectively they might be able to incorporate an e-discovery tool that has a much stronger IT focus," Hill noted, in Cambridge, Mass.

Burrows declined to say which companies his department, in Albany, N.Y., might buy. Digest-able companies in the hosted archiving space include Global Relay, LiveOffice, Mimecast, Perimeter E-Security, Proofpoint, Sonian, and Smarsh, along with more comprehensive e-discovery firms, from Autonomy to ZL Technologies.

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