Information Faster Blog

HP TRIM for SharePoint and the Enterprise – Launch vs. Reality

By Kris Brown 

We launched HP TRIM 7 last week, and for the most part the press coverage was about the new SharePoint integration. Now don’t get me wrong, as one of the team that is responsible for the product and the launch, I would say we accomplished what we set out to achieve regarding our SharePoint support. But what we actually set out to achieve beyond that, may not necessarily be as apparent from what you read in the media.

In the press last week we saw a lot of this…

“The fact that a large company like HP recognizes the need for this type of management in the enterprise is significant. Companies are being flooded with information, while at the same time, they come under increasing pressure to monitor and in some instances, control this information.”    Fierce Content Management

 “Given the number of organizations that are now using SharePoint and are considering SharePoint 2010, the new HP TRIM modules are quite timely and probably not the last module we are likely to see for TRIM.”   CMSWire

And yes, HP TRIM 7 can seamlessly manage SharePoint content, not just documents.  Yes, it can help an organization archive information based on our lifetime management policies.  And yes, I think that we are extending SharePoint to a place where almost any organization could consider it for their frontline information collaboration platform.  But that’s not all we introduced in this launch!

HP TRIM also introduced a range of other new product features and enhancements. So here is a laundry list of highlights that hopefully will put some of the constabulary at rest… for now...

ThatTRIMGuy’s Top Ten HP TRIM 7 Enhancements (sans the SharePoint Integration):

10. A brand new SDK set, including SDK.NET and SDKUI.NET.  Separating our user interface components from our standard SDK, enables our partner and developer community to build even more extensible add-ons for HP TRIM 7;

9.   While this isn’t necessarily a functional enhancement, the acquisition of TOWER by HP, has meant that HP TRIM now has access to all the power of the testing and performance tools that HP development teams have. Which only means good things for the customer base!

8.   Full DoD 5015 v3 certification including all chapters Baseline, Classified, FOI and Privacy, ensuring HP TRIM continues its tradition of being one of the most certified products on the market. For the record, SharePoint 2007’s certification has expired and SharePoint 2010 doesn’t have DoD certification at the writing of this blog;

7.   Unicode support, ensuring our ability to move towards providing access to HP TRIM in all markets around the world;

6.   New search engine improvements, including parametric searching, and the ability to provide effective filtering by a search;

5.   User settings that follow the user through all of the HP TRIM 7 interfaces, such as favorites, recent documents, saved searches and even labels (which are now hierarchical);

4.   New Mini Crash Dump facilities to help you and the help desk provide detailed error information;

3.   New architectural features, like providing more efficient transport of database requests in WAN environments, for even faster search results;

2.   New workgroup features including distributed event processing, allowing multiple workgroup services process a single event type for an even more scalable solution; and

…. the # 1 HP TRIM 7 enhancement…. a brand new Web Client!

But this is only a short highlights reel, there are many other significant improvements, including 64-bit support, improved record type scalability, new email drag and drop functions, schema report and repair, and updated platform support.

So don’t judge a launch by its press coverage alone… If you’re reading this… then the coverage did its job. But as you can see above, HP TRIM 7 has introduced significant new features and improvements for all of our customers!

If you are in Australia in late March, be sure you register for TUF 23, our annual user forum.  If not, look out for HP TRIM 7 at an industry event near you!

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What would you say if... An HP TRIM for SharePoint Primer – Part 2

By Kris Brown 

What would you say if I told you, you can have fully compliant records management for SharePoint, without the hassle of doing records management (RM).  You’d probably say I’ve already read that blog, and it's time you told me something else.

Then what would you say if I told you that you can archive SharePoint sites, using automated rules to a Department-of-Defense-compliant Records Management platform.

HP TRIM 7 has recently introduced a new module that does just that.

In conjunction with the new HP TRIM for SharePoint Records Management module, HP is proud to announce the HP TRIM for SharePoint Archive module.

This module makes use of the same set of functions provided to the RM module, including Lifetime Management Policies, but allows organizations to manage, finalize, relocate and archive information from the site level and above.

Have you ever been involved in a project team that utilized a team site for collaboration?  How many times did you revisit that site after the project ended?  Probably not very many, if at all.  However, I’d be almost certain in saying that this team site still exists, is still being crawled by SharePoint, and is still returning results for searches.  While that might be important for a short time after the project ends, it is likely that a lot of the information created on that site will become stale, and perhaps even inaccurate.  Returning results from this site, could lead to an incorrect decision in the future.

SharePoint performance will also be affected by this continued growth of team sites. This is one of a  number reasons for CIO’s not formally deploying SharePoint across their entire organization.  The lack of control of the growth of SharePoint or put another way, the success of SharePoint to capture the users' information, is a key reason to put in place a records management system.

I hear you say is that you don’t want your users to be burdened with Records Management.  Well, HP TRIM 7’s Archive Module utilizes Lifetime Management Policies to seamlessly transfer information from SharePoint in the form of entire sites, and site collections to HP TRIM.  No user interaction is required, other than to use SharePoint in the way it was designed.  The records management burden is removed from the user while records management rigor is applied to important information as deemed so by the Records Manager.

And let’s be honest…  90% (or maybe even higher) of any given user base cares very little for the regulatory needs of an organization… But the organization still has those needs. HP TRIM 7 can meet you in the middle, allowing the experts in records to manage the information, and the experts in their fields, HR, Finance, Operations etc etc, get on with using SharePoint as a tool to get their work done.

Watch for more HP TRIM 7 updates…  including all things NOT related to SharePoint.

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What would you say if... An HP TRIM for SharePoint Primer – Part 1

By Kris Brown

What would you say if I told you that you can have fully compliant records management for SharePoint, without the hassle of actually doing records management (RM)?

Or if I told you that you can let your user base collaborate freely in SharePoint, without the fear of losing control of the critical business information?

I suspect you’d say:  GREAT, but what’s the catch?

There is no catch. HP TRIM 7 has recently introduced a pair of new modules that do just that.

And this solution is coming not a day too soon. SharePoint sites the world over are housing more and more business sensitive and business critical information, and CIOs, IT and Storage Managers are constantly asking how are they going to control not only the growth of their SharePoint environment, but also the records that are contained within SharePoint.

So here we go...  The HP TRIM for SharePoint Records Management module introduces four new features to the RM space in SharePoint.

  • Manage

  • Finalize

  • Relocate

  • Archive

These four features provide the capability to capture and manage any SharePoint content. Not just documents, and definitely not just things in a specific web part!

  • Manage – This feature allows you to take a copy of the object and put it in HP TRIM, where metadata, retention, classification and security are all applied automatically, according to rules set in SharePoint.

  • Finalize – This feature allows you to take a copy of the object and put it in HP TRIM, where metadata, retention, classification and security are all applied automatically, according to rules set in SharePoint and mark it Final. So no further edits can be made.

  • Relocate – This feature allows you to move the object and put it in HP TRIM, where metadata, retention, classification and security are all applied automatically, according to rules set in SharePoint, and still allow it to be edited from HP TRIM.

  • Archive – This feature allows you to move the object and put it in HP TRIM, where metadata, retention, classification and security are all applied automatically, according to rules set in SharePoint, and mark it Final, so it cannot be edited.

The powerful Lifetime Management Policies in HP TRIM 7 are a key enabler for these new capabilities. They are built into SharePoint, and provide a Records Manager or SharePoint Administrator with the ability to set rules around ALL different types of SharePoint content (not just documents!).

For example:

On a SharePoint HR team site, the HR users might go through an employee on-boarding process, with applications for jobs, interviews and the like. This type of information would require all sorts of different retention, classification and security. Based on SharePoint Content Types, user names and the metadata required by the SharePoint team site, HP TRIM’s Lifetime Management Policies can automatically place those objects including calendar items, announcements, and discussion items directly into the HP TRIM Records Management platform.  Once there, they will be managed according to the rules set by the administrators -- all without the need for the user to interact with TRIM.

In fact, users will not need to see HP TRIM or even have it installed on their desktop. They can continue to work in the SharePoint environment they are familiar with and the organization can feel safe in the knowledge that the information created is managed in the way that the Information Management policies of the business dictate.

It certainly doesn’t get any easier, or more transparent than that !!

Check back for Part 2 – HP TRIM for SharePoint – Archive Module.


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Social media overload? Communicating about data protection...

By Jen Tisevich

Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, IM, RSS, blogs, email, text messages... that's alot of information coming at you and that doesn't even include the mobile phone!  I don't even mention the home phone because I don't know about you but when mine rings now it actually surprises me, it's the least prevelant form of communication for my family.  Social media has created this interesting blur between personal and business lives. 

As I attempt to organize and digest all these methods of communication in both my personal and business lives, I wonder how this is impacting others and specifically how this impacts the focus of my business life, customers using data protection software.


The affects of change management on your information

By Melissa Osborne 

It’s amazing how quickly time flies when you’re in the middle of organizational change. When I wrote my last blog I was going to write about deploying DRMS software, and then time got away.

And that got me thinking…how did it get away? Was it the usual, a lot of work and deadlines? Or was it something more than that? I had a suspicion that it was the added pressure of organizational change on my information.

Most organizations engage in some sort of change, whether it’s a re-structure, a move, the implementation of a new system. In most cases the organization engages a team of professionals to manage this change. And this change is a disruption to information.

Why and how does this information change? The obvious is the change of a new system. This has an immediate impact starting with the creation, flow and access of the information. This is usually well managed and documented.

But even this change is disruptive in a way that is not always identified. Changing information in one area usually impacts information in another area that is not always immediately obvious or identified.  

In organizational changes that are not targeted by new systems or where IT does not have the major responsibility, changes to information and the consequences of those changes can sometimes be overlooked. This leads to a drop in productivity because people cannot go to their usual sources to retrieve or store information. It also leads to a less successful change program, because the indicators of successful change is as little resistance to the change as possible, and people will resist if they cannot easily access the information they need, when they need it.

It is important to remember the impact of your organization's change on information – the obvious and not-so-obvious, and to manage it as you would all other elements of the change management program.

Demystifying HP TRIM's integration tools

Recently I have been providing quite a lot of advice to customers who want to embed TRIM tightly within their enterprise information topology and automate their information flow as much as possible.  I think it would help many of you to understand what tools are available to create a truly unified information management experience.

For the technically minded among you, HP TRIM provides a software development kit (SDK) which allows integration from COM based legacy applications, .NET languages, and through a Web Service in service oriented architectures (SOA).

And now I try to use a few less three letter acronyms (TLAs). Basically these integration tools allow your programmers to write software code to automate the same functions that your users perform in the HP TRIM interface.  This way you can reduce the impact of recordkeeping on your users as much as possible. I have seen many customers who have integrated HP TRIM with line of business applications to automatically capture or present documents and records at defined points in a process. I have also seen extreme cases where independent software vendors have created completely new line of business applications on top of the HP TRIM platform. Because all the business rules of HP TRIM are inherent in the integration tools, these applications are automatically compliant with corporate records management policies.

In addition to making the HP TRIM functionality available to programmers, the SDK also provides the ability to reach out to other applications and to extend the existing HP TRIM functionality through the following mechanisms:

External Link - This mechanism is the easiest way to call an external application and doesn't even require you to write code.  You simply define the path to the external application and what command line parameters you want to pass to it. The command line parameters can be dynamically extracted on execution based on metadata from any selected HP TRIM object. A example use case is where a planning authority stores the map coordinates of building applications against the property record in HP TRIM and uses them as command line parameters for an External Link to a geographical information system.  The users can view a property record in HP TRIM and press a button to start the GIS system and show the property on the map.

Field Add-In - This mechanism allows you to write code to query external systems or databases during record cretion in HP TRIM. You can use it to validate entries of metadata or automatically populate metadata in HP TRIM record profiles. An example use case of this is where an organization uses a field add-in to retrieve the staff ID from an HR application when they profile personnel files in HP TRIM.

Records/Base Object Add-in - This mechanism allows you to execute your own code when your users create or modify records or other objects in TRIM. You got different events at which you can execute your code, such as object initialization, pre-save, post-save, delete. A use case of this is where an organization wants to update a customer relationship management system whenever a customer correspondence is filed in HP TRIM.

Custom Event Processor - This mechanism allows your code to be notified of every single audit event in HP TRIM and to execute functionality accordingly. I have used this mechanism myself to remove copies of records in external systems whenever the original record in TRIM was destroyed.

Now that you are aware of the possibilities, you can let your creativity run wild!  HP TRIM makes sure that you can't break the records management rules when you use the tools. 

If you want assistance with your integrations, our professional services organization has some very creative and proficient HP TRIM SDK specialists. 

How long do you keep your backup tapes?


By Patrick Eitenbichler

Over the past week I talked to a number of customers and industry analysts to better understand whether backup tapes are kept for just a couple of months or for many years.  After all, the specs show that the lifespan of e.g. LTO media is 30 years.

To my surprise, I found out that close to half of all customers keep only three months worth of data -- before the tapes get re-used and the data gets overwritten.  The other half uses tape as an archive medium and keep the cartridges for several years (although I found no one who had a 30-year-old tape in their drawer  :-).

Question is...  Do backup administrators keep tapes for a certain period of time because "it's always been this way" -- or because they're following a recently updated backup strategy?  Through data classification and a proactive data protection and archiving strategy, users can achieve a multitude of goals -- all at the same time:

  • Reduce backup windows and simplify recovery:  If data is only kept for a couple of months, a disk-based backup solution such as HP's StorageWorks VLS or D2D using HP Data Protector software would make the most sense -- leveraging low-bandwidth remote replication to store data "off site", and deduplication to minimize storage costs.

  • After classifying data and determining WHAT data needs to be kept for the long term -- whether it's for compliance, e-discovery or corporate governance reasons -- decisions can be made re: what data can be kept on tape (low cost, low energy consumption) vs. and archiving solution such as HP's Integrated Archive Platform (single, searchable repository for all data types).

In short, users can reduce costs and increase IT productivity by calling a time-out and taking a closer look at "how long you keep your backup tapes" -- and WHY?


CMS Watch shares insights about HP in the ECM market

By Patrick Eitenbichler 

A couple of weeks ago, Alan Pelz-Sharpe, a Principal at CMS Watch covering Enterprise Content Management (ECM) technologies and practices, published an article entitled "HP and ECM - where to in 2009?".  If you have a moment -- take a look!  We think his observations are quite insightful.


New Information Heroes on the IM Digital Hub

By Steve Fink 

We have added five new Information Heroes to our Information Management Digital Hub.  Click here to check out the new members of the Information Hero community.  You’ll find:

  • Marty Loeber who oversees e-Discovery for Valero's legal department, discussing how the USA’s largest oil refiner is lowering the cost of e-Discovery and improving outcomes using HP’s Integrated Archive Platform.

  • David Cohen, co-chair of one of the USA’s largest e-Discovery practices for national law firm K&L Gates, discussing why the link between IT and corporate counsel is key to managing both e-Discovery expense and outcomes.

  • Sue Derison, Director of Information Systems for Forsyth County Schools in Georgia, discussing how they are responding to growth, adapting to changing regulation and saving money by using HP TRIM to manage records.

  • Randy Kahn of Kahn Consulting Inc. talking about the importance of e-Discovery in a down economy.

  • Mark Saussure, Director of Digital Libraries for Penn State, discussing how Penn State is working to drive XAM deployment and improve university information management utilizing HP’s Integrated Archive Platform.

Let us know what you think -- especially if you'd like us to publish best practices from other Information Heroes.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! - What is your resolution?

And so we start another year of blogging, emailing, instant messaging, powerpointing, and whatever other means we have to contribute to the information explosion. During the holiday break we had time to reflect on our life and most of us have come up with ambitious resolutions for 2009, mine are fairly mundane and mainly waistline and fitness related...

There is a group of records managers in the UK who not only took the time to come up with resolutions, but went to the extent of laying them down in a Records Manager 2.0 Manifesto. You can find the full text on Steve Bailey's records management futurewatch blog. I like the manifesto because it encourages progressive thinking about employing new technologies to manage information, but with a clear focus on the user and enough pragmatism to recognize organizations need to be able to cope with change and implementation.

It looks like change in the role of records managers is accelerating. In the world of paper records management the records management department took almost full ownership of the task of filing, classifying, storing, maintaining, and disposing records. Then, around the change of the millennium, came a big change - information started to take on volumes and distribution that made it impossible to print it all for the purpose of record keeping. The reaction was to create electronic records management systems that allowed the classification of electronically stored information into predefined structures to apply the necessary rules and context to electronic records. The records management department's role changed from being the provider of physical records management services to becoming the administrators and support department of a system that had to be used by other employees in the organization. Not only did records managers have to come to grips with that change themselves, they also had to learn about how to encourage change to work practices in other departments.

What becomes clear from reading the Records Management 2.0 Manifesto is that the role of records management now needs to extend its focus from compliance and regulation to include the exploitation of information. We have always seen that the user uptake of TRIM was much higher in organizations that used it to improve information sharing and collaboration, and to streamline document workflow processes, i.e. embed it into their business processes rather than just implement it as an "after the fact"  compliance regime. Users react more positive to the carrot than the stick and we are always looking for opportunities to embed records management technology even more into their line of business applications and automate the compliance aspect. New technologies in data-link visualization, mash-ups, user defined folksonomies, data-push etc. can all be used to go to the next level and turn a collection of records into an active business asset by providing the right information to the right user at the right time. While it is up to us technology providers to bundle these tools into useful applications, I see that records managers will be the ones who need to work with their organization to analyze what information is the right information to provide in which place.

I think that the key to success is that technologists and records managers work closely together and my resolution is to encourage and facilitate this dialog wherever I find an opportunity. I look forward to talking to you!

Keeping the record straight in a volatile economic environment

"It's because of the credit crunch!" is a phrase that I hear almost every day now. It seems to be the reason to any introduction of business change or deviation from previously laid out plans and strategies. I hear it when talking to people in Government as well as private industry.

Certainly, economically challenging times require organizations to re-assess, re-plan, re-align and consolidate in a drive for more efficiency and to get themselves into a situation where they can weather the storm. All of this causes a lot of re-organization. Even well positioned organizations can expect change, as the volatility of the economy will lead to a new divide between strong and weak and to new mergers and acquisitions.

Organizational changes are a serious challenge to records managers, whose job is to document the business context in which information was created and used, for many decades to come. This is why many records managers build business classifications according to their organization's activities rather than departmental structures. In a time of consolidation and re-organization it is likely that the business activities change to a lesser degree than the organizational structures.

The problem is that many records managers device their own classifications, which are all highly unique in structure and terminology used. This means that when it comes to a merger of two organizations there are always difficulties to merge their business records because of classification mis-matches.

When I look at business classifications from a birds-eye view, every organization has three main elements: money, people, and a mission. I can see that there is a lot of similarities between organizations in the first two; the real difference lies in the mission. Does this mean that it is possible to create standardized business classifications for all the non-mission specific information? I don't see why not! State Records of New South Wales in Australia released Keyword AAA in 1995. This thesaurus of general administrative terms has been adapted into a business classification by many government organizations, not just in New South Wales, and this supports increased interoperability between different organization's record holdings.

I think coming up with a universal records classification for business records would be a fantastic achievement. For records managers it would mean that they could concentrate on the non-overlapping sections when merging business classifications. For technologists it would mean that they could work toward auto-classification of records into a non-moving target. For future researchers it would mean a more consistent information environment. I am sure that there are many more benefits. If not, we should just do it "because of the credit crunch!".

Enterprise Mashups for better business insight

I attended a webinar on Enterprise Mashups this morning. For any of you who are not familiar with this term, it is about using Web 2.0 technologies to combine information from a variety of sources into a single view for the end user. Mashups don't just list the different information alongside each other, they actually overlay and combine the information to visualize contextual links, helping the user make more informed decisions.  One example used in the webinar was a mashup that combined enterprise-internal power grid information with an external map and 2 different Internet weather forecasts into a form of a weather-risk assessment application for electricity suppliers. The result looked like a fantastic interface that showed the user at a glance where storms might affect the power grid and what the load was. This is the kind of application that is required to provide better business insight from information!

The UK Government just released a new strategy paper called  "Information Matters". In its foreword UK Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell states: "Successful societies and economies in the future will depend on how well they enable information to be appropriately shared while maintaining essential protection for those on whose behalf the information is held. They will depend on how well they learn from the information they hold, and how they use it to create new value, and on how well they deal with the new challenges that digital information presents, whether around security, sustainability or privacy."

The statement puts great emphasis on the creation of value from information and on learning from the past. Mashup applications can certainly contribute a great deal to this. Government departments maintain a large amount of statistical data, which, when properly visualized and contextualized, can provide great insight into our society. 

Now you may ask yourself why a "records management guy" like me gets so excited about mashups? There are a couple of reasons. Firstly I think that a system like HP TRIM, which provides structure over unstructured documents, is a great source of information for mashups.  Imagine, for example, an application that shows environmental impact data overlaid onto a map -  wouldn't it be great if the user could drill down into the underlying environmental impact studies, reports, building applications etc. by clicking onto a particular area? This is why HP TRIM provides a Web service that can be used to exploit its data in SOA based mashups.

Secondly, mashups provide a new records management challenge.Sir Gus makes it very clear in his statement above that there is a balance between exploiting the information and protecting the information. If records management is about keeping evidence of business events and business decisions that our organizations is involved in, what records do we need to keep from mashup applications? If we do want our users to rely on mashed up data to make business decision, we also need to make sure that we can keep a record of what they based their decision on. The challenges here are very different for mashups that contain data from external sources, because we can't rely on these sources to keep audit trails and system logs that conform to our governance policies, so if you are using such data sources, think about their potential impact on your records. For internal data sources we need to look at what mechanisms they provide for the auditing of transactions and how they can be compiled into a record of a mashed up view. 

I can see that these issues will drive records management closer together with other disciplines, such as SOA governance, identity management,network security etc., a move which is certainly facilitated by HP bringing its Information Management and Business Technology Optimization businesses together under one umbrella.

Have you had an information nightmare?

By Rhys Jones

To celebrate Halloween and the nightmare season we are offering a US $1,000 shopping spree at the HP online store to the person that tells us the best story of an information disaster. We are interested in hearing about disasters that impacted – or could have impacted – your backup and recovery, challenged your records management or compliance and e-discovery practices. What went wrong and why? How did you recover the situation? What lessons did you learn? Could it happen again?

So what are you waiting for? Submit your story here!


Collection of electronic files for e-discovery

Putting the "collection" step at the beginning of the e-discovery reference model can save time and cost.

I recently spoke to a customer who wanted to collect files from disparate drives to a central repository after a legal hold has been issued. Their problem was that the standard Windows copy command changes the file level metadata during a copy operation. This can be overcome by using the Windows ROBOCOPY utility, which allows the preservation of the original file level attributes.  Of course, once a hold notice is applied you need to be very careful that you plan and document your whole approach in great detail, not just for electronic files, but also for physical media, such as Cd's, thumb drives etc., and that you keep exact records and proof of the chain of custody. 

All this effort makes a good argument for pro-active collection of information into a central tamper-proof environment, so that when you need the information for e-discovery, you don't need to collect it, but just flag it with the appropriate hold to protect it from the routine disposal activities, and then process it in place. This is a key strength of our Integrated Archiving Platform (IAP), which not only protects the chain of custody of the data, but also indexes it and makes it searchable to enable easier identification, processing, and analysis.  Data can be automatically transferred into the archive through rules based agents for e-mail systems, file systems, and even structured data sources.  In addition, HP TRIM can store manually registered documents and records in the IAP, completely transparent to the user. All of this means that you perform your "collection" step of e-discovery ahead of time, saving you a lot of cost and hassle later on.


E-discovery of records or records of e-discovery?

Whenever I read about records management and e-discovery, it is all about making sure that the information which is subject to e-discovery is properly managed. However, the business of e-discovery itself is probably one of the most records intensive processes and warrants the implementation of a system like HP TRIM just for its own purposes.

At every step of the e-discovery process you need to follow strict and consistent procedures and policies. They need to be managed in a system that ensures that everyone uses a single authoritative source and allows you to prove that your staff have read them - HP TRIM.

At every step of the process you need to document what actions you have taken, and relate them to your e-discovery strategy, procedures and policies. You want a system that allows you to safely store your documentation and create navigatable links to related items - HP TRIM.

When you collect physical evidence, you need to ensure chain of custody. This requires you to label items, track them from custodian to custodian and keep a strict history of all movements. You want a system that allows you to describe the physical evidence, print labels for it, and track it using barcode scanners - HP TRIM.

In your process you don't want to miss deadlines and keep control of progress.  You want a system that allows you to set deadlines and automatically notify you of them and any exceptions - HP TRIM.

Well, it looks to me like we have come up with the ideal e-discovery management system when we developed a single system that manages electronic and  physical records, and includes a workflow management module. 

Are we moving into the Collaboration Age?

Over the last 200 years we moved from the agricultural age to the industrial age, and then on to the information age. Many of us now believe we are on the cusp of a new age - the Collaboration Age. Driven by the need for global operations but local, personalized products; driven by the need to vastly speed up innovation and yet reduce costs dramatically.

Here's an interesting article I recently came across that discusses the need for an electronic collaboration strategy within today's pharmaceutical companies, and goes on to highlight some tools that can be used to speed up time to business benefit. In my mind it applies to all companies that want to survive and flourish:

 What do you think? Is the collaboration age here or is it still on its way? What are your companies doing to make sure they are leaders and not followers? And how are they transforming their business operations and processes to meet this challenge? Let's get some great dialogue going and collaborate!


Gartner's Integrated Content Archiving - 5 reasons to implement

By:  Randy Serafini

Through some smart moves in building a long term archiving strategy, with a foundation based on Gartner's concept of an "Integrated Content Archive", they believe you will have the right prescription for the myriad of the issues and headaches you are most likely facing today.   Here are Gartner's five reasons to implement:

  1. Reduce the number of archiving platforms that IT needs to support resulting in cost savings

  2. Provide more effective repository support - reducing the overall infrastructure requirements in terms of storage and servers

  3. Provide more efficient storage utilization - migrate content over time to storage media for cost-effective utilization

  4. Leverage content services, such as retention management and discovery, across the entire archive repository

  5. Improve content governance of archiving applications - allows organizations to set policies on management of archives

Integrated content archiving means just that.  It's not just for email archiving, or for files, it's the ability to consolidate the many silos of information accumulating in your enterprise.  It's a broad based enterprise archiving platform the can support a wide range of content types and should support applications for:

  • E-mail archiving

  • File archiving

  • SharePoint archiving

  • Digital assets archiving

  • Report (print-stream) archiving

  • Document capture archiving

  • SAP document archiving

  • Imaging

The HP Integrated Archive Platform offers all of the features below as standard, HP designed and factory integrated components:

  • Archive Platform Management & Monitoring

  • Policy based Retention management & Legal Holds

  • User repository Search & Retrieve

  • Authorized search and retrieve across parts or all of the archive

  • Scalable Grid Storage & Distributed Indexing for optimum performance

  • Firewall, Security, and tamper resistant disk based WORM storage

  • User & Upgrade management

  • Application management

  • Replication management for compliance and disaster recovery

  • Multi-dimensional scalability for virtually any size enterprise

Every c-level executive today is asking how exposed they are, both from a personal and business perspective, to compliance regulations, lawsuits and litigation, and the ability to control costs in the face of a declining economy and an information explosion.  

Take a look at the HP Integrated Archive Platform, you may find the reason you've been looking for.

Thomson Reuters is thriving in the information explosion


By Dave Parrott, Chief Architecture Officer, Thomson Reuters 

Thomson Reuters considers information interoperability key to thriving in the information explosion.  Looking forward to our web event on October 2nd!  


You may want to take a look the OpenCalais project and its blog.  We aim to make the world's content more accessible, interoperable, and valuable. Some call it Web 2.0, Web 3.0, the Semantic Web, or the Giant Global Graph - we call our piece of it Calais.  Have a look, and join us in October.


What the heck is "classification"?

By Urs Raas

I have been discussing the meaning of the term “classification” with some of my colleagues at HP.  Coming from a records management background I had a very clear notion of it being a hierarchical structure of terminology and rules that can be used to express and preserve the business context in which information was created, so that it is recognizable for people who were not actually involved in the creation of the information and also to automate the application of records management rules.

It turns out that there are more interpretations of the term in the information management industry alone.  Security experts talk about classification as a system of security levels and privacy markings.  Researchers use classification as a tool to assign one or more categories or topics to a piece of information, and IT specialists use classification to talk about primary, secondary and offline storage.

Of course my view was tainted from being too close to the records management use of the term, and suddenly it became clear to me why I sometimes thought that people “didn’t get it”; it’s because we use the same term but talk about different things.

In HP Information Management we provide solutions for all the different meanings of classification, so I think we need to start qualifying the term when we talk about them.  My suggestion is “business classification” for the records management use, “security classification” for the data protection use, “subject classification” for the categorization and I am still looking for a qualifier for the storage medium use.  No doubt some of you out there have different ideas and I would be happy to be educated.


The right information at the right place at the right time....... Information Faster


by Noel Rath 

HP TRIM enables organisations to meet their regulatory compliance obligations and facilitates the e-discovery process. But that's not all! 

A core goal of any organization is to improve productivity and free up staff to work on value-added tasks for the business.  However, a third of non-legal professionals and half of all legal professionals spend more than an hour a day searching for information.  But there is more at stake than just lost time.

Delivering information faster is of value when all corporate information is available for users where they need it, when they need it and without wasting resources in gathering the information. And importantly, it must be easy to access for all authorized staff. This is a necessary and important step towards making informed decisions and gaining insight into the business.

My last decade has been working in the vendor community with enterprise content management products and their precursors. During that time I’ve seen many implementations of information management products. The most impressive experience was on joining Tower Software when I entered an organization that embraced records and documents as core to their complete business. The culture was impressive to see. A culture that had the confidence that anyone could find the right information needed to do their work easily. With no need to chase people to find that critical document and no need to recreate what was already there, the productivity benefits were obvious to all employees.

How was this done? With all corporate records and documents accessible through a well planned, structured classification system, finding the right information became so easy.

So the right information in the right place at the right time and without wasting time getting to it means improved productivity, ensures decisions are made on all the information thereby delivering improved organisational effectiveness.

What are your experiences?  We are keen to encourage dialogue on this subject.

"Information Faster"


By Patrick Eitenbichler

Welcome to our new blog focused on Information Management!

Given the continued explosion of digital information, all of us are spending more and more time trying to find the needle in the haystack...  looking for that one email we remember seeing about 4 months ago...  In fact, half of all legal professionals, and a third of non-legal professionals spend more than an hour a day searching for documents or emails.  And on many days that includes me :-(.

That's why we named our blog "Information Faster".  We all want to...

> Find information faster...
> Retrieve information faster...
> Recover information faster...
> Classify information faster...
> Discover information faster...
> Analyze information faster...
> Capture information faster...
> Deliver information faster...

... and access information faster so we can be more productive in our jobs and daily lives. 

And to help you get to YOUR information faster, we'll share innovative ideas and best practices re: information governance, e-discovery, compliance archiving, document and records management as well as data classification and data protection in this blog (

Happy reading -- and comments welcome!!

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About the Author(s)
  • This account is for guest bloggers. The blog post will identify the blogger.
  • For years I've been doing video and music production back and forth between Boston MA and New Orleans LA. Starting in 2010, I've began working with Vertica (now HP Vertica) in the marketing team, doing customer testimonials, product release videos, and website management. I'm fascinated by Big Data and the amazing things my badass team at HP Vertica has done and continues to do in the industry every day.
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