Kazeon bolsters eDiscovery review and analysis software

New Case Manager GUI, remote access support and an analysis and review tool could broaden Kazeon Systems' appeal in the eDiscovery market.

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Kazeon Systems Inc. is upgrading its eDiscovery software, adding a new Case Manager graphical user interface (GUI), remote access support, and an in-place analysis and review tool to the fourth generation of the Kazeon Information Server platform.

The eDiscovery software suite will now be sold in three modular products: Analysis & Review, Collection & Culling and Legal Hold Management. Customers can use any combination of the three.

Karthik Kannan, Kazeon's vice president of marketing and business development, said the new features are meant to help compliance officers, internal counsel and records managers "make a decision about where they are in a case fairly early on, because it's a costly process."

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Christine Taylor, an analyst at Hopkinton, Mass.-based Taneja Group, said this release adds key features that will make the tool more useful for the review stage of e-discovery. "I still think that for most big, important matters, users still need their law firms involved," she said. "But for relatively small matters or matters that can be settled, you can use this at the corporate level."

The Case Manager can be layered over Kazeon's existing data classification, collection, litigation hold, and review and analysis tools for legal users who aren't experts in information technology. The Case Manager offers workflow capture, support for multiple tiers of reviewers and custodians, the ability to tag items for further review, and the ability to officially close out cases.

The review tool can be accessed remotely, which helps organizations with multiple reviewers and is useful when cross-border transmission of data is illegal. Other new collection and culling features include the option of fully indexed or index-less targeted collection. Legal users can also perform their own collection and culling without IT assistance using the case management application.

New concept search, updated collection support

Like competitors in the indexing space such as Recommind Inc. and StoredIQ Inc., Kazeon is adding support for concept search, otherwise known as ontology. Unlike straight indexing, which applies specific metadata to each document, concept search can offer insights into the proximity of keywords or phrases to one another, as well as information about the relationship between records. Concept search distinguishes between different meanings of the same word, i.e., whether Jaguar refers to a car or an animal.

Kannan said Kazeon's concept search algorithms are also self-learning, so that if a company always means Jaguar as in car, the console will no longer ask for clarification on that keyword.

Taneja Group's Taylor said ontological search is interesting technology, but might be ahead of the legal industry. "Courts are all just starting to move from keywords to metadata, in terms of what an opposing attorney will know to ask for," she said, adding that agreement on keywords for e-discovery has become a key part of the pre-trial negotiation process. "Lawyers are still most familiar and courts are still most expert on keyword searching."

Brian Babineau, a senior analyst at Milford, Mass.-based Enterprise Strategy Group, pointed out that Kazeon's support for collection and culling of SharePoint files will also come in handy. "Right now, collections tend to involve PCs, email repositories and file shares," he said. "The latter is quickly moving to SharePoint, but Kazeon customers shouldn't care as they have all these data sources covered."

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