EMC today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Kazeon. I'll have the honor of running the Kazeon business, which will be placed under the EMC SourceOne brand, and will be part of EMC’s Information Governance strategy.
To say that Kazeon is a differentiated technology is an understatement. Kazeon has built a scalable, but fast to deploy software that allows for the indexing, collection, analysis and review of content from across the enterprise, allowing customers to bring eDiscovery in-house, and advance their longer term information governance strategies. Other players in this market have pieces of this puzzle, or collections of products that they call "end to end" solutions, but in fact are hard to deploy, integrate and maintain. Only Kazeon offers true "end to end" in-house eDiscovery in an integrated architecture and fast to deploy appliance model.
eDiscovery is one of the most acute information governance pain points for organizations because: eDiscovery is mandatory, it is risky, and it is being done today in reactive and wildly expensive ways. The economics are simple - the less automation, the more an organization over-collects (by manually collecting whole backup tapes and whole disk drives - rather than collecting only the information that is relevant). The larger the collection, the more information that is sent to outside parties for processing and charge-by-the-hour legal review, and in turn, the more money that is spent. It makes no sense to spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on a single case, and when the case is over, to have nothing to show for it - that money will need to be spent anew when the next lawsuit or investigation hits.
Kazeon doesn't just solve the in-house eDiscovery problem, it advances information governance in a tangible way, by federating the collection of metadata - allowing customers to do in-house eDiscovery and apply other policies, and take other actions, on content that is "in the wild" - in fileshares, desktops, Sharepoint and other places across the enterprise.
When I was a law firm attorney – a long time ago;) – I handled a case for a gas company, and I remember one of my witnesses making the comment that natural gas in a controlled state is the safest most efficient energy source in the world, but in an uncontrolled state, it explodes. So too with information. When we have ways to apply policy to information – to gain insight into it, take action upon it based on its value, to govern it - information is one of the most critical assets of an organization, as or more important that any other asset, other than the people within an enterprise. However, when information is left to pile up with no controls, policies or management, it can turn into a costly liability - like natural gas in an uncontrolled state...
Information governance remains an elusive goal at essentially every organization in the world. The reason is that information is getting created faster than individual human beings, or even existing systems, can possibly organize it. Many companies, large and small, have promised to deliver on the vision of true information governance – most by asking customers to put all their information in a single monolithic repository or single monolithic indexing platform. In theory, this could work, but in the real world doing this can take years, it is costly, and involves the creation of duplicative infrastructures.
EMC’s SourceOne strategy, with the addition of Kazeon, is different and simple. We are taking a practical and modular approach. Rather than asking customers to put everything in one repository, we provide them with building blocks that allow them to quickly deploy a solution to solve an immediate problem, save money and advance the longer term information governance strategy – “enterprise strategy, digestible pieces”.
EMC is already the leader in information storage, and as a result, we’re already managing the world’s most sensitive and important information. We’re taking Kazeon and integrating it tightly to EMC storage, making it one of the most mature, secure and scalable solutions on the market. Moreover, EMC is first to the market with the modular but integrated combination of archive technologies, records management technologies and Kazeon's unique fast to deploy index in place technologies. We now have the ability to apply policy to, and conduct in-house eDiscovery on, electronically stored information (ESI) both within and outside managed repositories ("in the wild"). No one else can do this in the same way, and the value to customers is tremendous.
More to come, but for now I'll just say how excited we are about what EMC can do for our customers with Kazeon, and the other stable of EMC and SourceOne offerings.