By Ann Silverthorn
—Zantaz made two announcements this week regarding its EAS (enterprise archive solution) product. The first is that the company has evolved its API strategy to allow integration with products from leading enterprise content management (ECM), document management, and records management (RM) vendors. The second is that Zantaz has entered into a formal partnership with MDY, a records management company, integrating with MDY's FileSurf federated records management solution.
"Records management is nothing new," says Joe Romanowski, vice president of product strategy, "but with the advent of e-mail being deemed as records, it's important to be able to register those e-mails as records. We've extended our APIs so other vendors can tie into the e-mail systems, so the e-mails can stay in their systems of record." Romanowski says that while e-mail stays in its system of record, it can be registered, maintained, and disposed of. And at the same time, a company is able to respond to litigation holds and discovery requests.
The first records management company to tie into Zantaz's APIs is MDY, which was chosen because of the number of mutual customers both companies have and the fact that MDY has DoD 5012.2 certification—government rules for electronic records management systems. Zantaz is seeking its own DoD 5012.2 certification and expects to be approved in the first quarter of 2006. This certification is not only important for government contracts; many financial institutions use it to qualify their vendors.
Romanowski says when discovery requests are made, e-mail is often a large target. In records management, not all e-mail is deemed as records, but it may be discoverable. So if a non-records-in-place approach is used, multiple repositories of information would have to be searched. With the records-in-place approach, the e-mails that are considered records are maintained in the same place as non-records, which are also discoverable. This makes searching for them easier.
The key is the federated records management approach, which is where the industry is heading, says Kristi Purdue, director of marketing at MDY. She says many organizations have disparate systems, such as Documentum in the engineering department and Hummingbird in the legal department, plus more. It's not feasible for all the departments to convert to one suite. In addition, that complexity plus trying to apply records management retention schedules that can vary drastically across states or even countries, is cumbersome. Purdue advises: "They need to have an enterprise-wide records management product that manages it all—one console that reaches out into all the systems, managing retention schedules based on the complexities of the varying laws."
As companies strive to comply with the various government regulations, they are finding that the line between their document management systems and their storage strategies is blurring. Romanowski claims that Zantaz EAS is storage-agnostic. "Rather than keeping e-mail on the communications server indefinitely, it can be offloaded to a more cost-effective storage platform, typically Network Appliance SnapLock or EMC Centera," says Romanowski.