EMC is targeting email archiving, e-discovery and legal compliance after releasing a new set of software products under the brand name SourceOne.

The launch includes three products designed to archive email; conduct high volume searches for legal discovery processes; and automate identification, collection, preservation and policy management for various types of unstructured content found on PCs, file systems, network-attached storage, Microsoft SharePoint sites and other sources.

Too many enterprises let email pile up in unmanaged locations, and when they are hit with lawsuits have to go through an unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming e-discovery process, EMC says.

"Most organisations do not have good information governance in place," Andrew Cohen, EMC's vice president and general manager of e-discovery and compliance, said during a conference call announcing the new products. "Handling that e-discovery process in a manual way is incredibly expensive."

Pund-IT analyst Charles King says "EMC's new SourceOne family offers an intriguing, potentially powerful approach to a growing problem for virtually every business - how best to manage massive and continually growing stores of company content."

EMC rival NetApp handles legal discovery with its Information Server 1200 storage system, as well as through an email archiving partnership with Mimosa Systems. Customers can also choose from smaller vendors focused primarily on compliance and e-discovery products, such as Stored IQ.

EMC is gearing its first product releases around email but promised much more to come, including software that archives and searches content from SAP, as well as images and reports.

EMC's three initial SourceOne products are:

  • SourceOne Email Management, which archives email from Microsoft Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino as well as SMTP and instant messages. Supported languages include French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese and simplified Chinese.
  • SourceOne Discovery Manager, which performs high-volume email search and collection to "quickly find, safely hold, efficiently cull and defensibly produce archived email" in response to legal actions.
  • SourceOne Discovery Collector, a set of partner appliance offerings that automate identification, collection, preservation and policy management for unstructured content from data sources such as PCs, common Internet file systems, network file systems, network attached storage, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and other content management repositories.

The products have been shipping to select customers since September and will be generally available this quarter. SourceOne Email Management and Discovery Collector will hit the market first, later this month.