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Embracing In-Place Preservation with Microsoft 365 and Google

Aaron Gilbert

In the ever-changing legal landscape, one concept that has become increasingly central in the world of litigation and investigations is the legal hold. Issued by in-house counsel or legal teams, it's more than a suggestion; it's a binding directive mandating the preservation of potentially relevant information and data for impending disputes or investigations.

When your in-house counsel receives notice of a potential litigation or internal investigation, the race to safeguard crucial documents begins. A standard legal hold requires you to notify affected parties, receive acknowledgement, and send reminders throughout the process, but ultimately it is up to the individual to act in good faith and comply with the hold. However, there may be times you want to circumvent that process and proactively retain the data.

While it may seem straightforward, navigating the intricate web of custodians, platforms, and data sources can be legal and IT departments’ worst nightmare. But without the right tools in place to preserve this critical information efficiently and effectively, you’re not only burdening your investigative teams further—but opening the door to the risk of spoliation and sanctions if data is not handled properly.

This is where preservation in-place comes to the rescue, offering legal teams a beacon of hope. This concept revolves around safeguarding data from deletion or alteration during the legal hold process by safeguarding electronically stored information (ESI) directly in the tool or platform where it's in use. But how exactly does this innovative approach simplify the legal hold process?

Simplify In-Place Preservation

In today's digital world, data is spread across various programs and systems—email and calendar services, chat tools, video conferencing, document repositories, and more. Managing and retaining this data efficiently during a legal hold can be a complex endeavor. But here's where preservation in-place truly shines.

One of the significant advantages of in-place preservation is that it eliminates the need to export and centralize data from various platforms, reducing the risk of accidental data exposure. By preserving data directly through cloud services like RelativityOne, you keep essential documents where they belong, ensuring their availability and integrity during legal battles.

Enhanced Preservation with Relativity Legal Hold

Leveraging in-place preservation during the legal hold process is the most efficient and secure way to retain critical documentation for your investigation. And at Relativity, we've been working tirelessly to deliver a best-in-class legal hold experience for our customers. With our latest release, we introduced a brand-new Preservation application, which makes the process of protecting potentially relevant data even more efficient.

Our enhanced user interface now comes with a setup wizard that simplifies and streamlines the process of selecting custodians and data sources for preservation. This user-friendly approach ensures that you have what you need at your fingertips.

We've also added comprehensive status and error messages to give you real-time visibility into the status of all your preservations. We understand the importance of clarity when it comes to preserving critical data, which is why we provide easy-to-understand error messages with step-by-step instructions for resolution. Your preservation process will be smoother and more manageable than ever before.

One of the standout features of this new release is its support for multiple data sources within the same legal hold project. Whether you're dealing with multiple instances of the same data source or different data sources altogether, our application is designed to accommodate them all—allowing you to preserve a wide range of data with ease.

Preserve Data with Relativity and Google Vault 

In addition to the enriched interface, we’re excited to announce in-place data preservation for Google Vault. Now, you can preserve data from Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Chat, and even choose when to release custodians from directly within Relativity Legal Hold—eliminating the need to jump between systems.

This new capability complements Collect in RelativityOne, allowing you to seamlessly preserve, collect, process, and review Google data within RelativityOne.

Preserve Your Microsoft Data with Relativity

The newest iteration of our Preservation application also comes with enhanced integration tailored to Microsoft data. Use it to safeguard your data right where it resides, protecting it from deletion, spoliation, or accidental leaks.

With this update, you can seamlessly preserve your Microsoft Exchange Mailboxes, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Teams data directly from the RelativityOne platform, ensuring the safety and integrity of your information. This new application was designed for ease-of-use with new workflows like being able to retry failed Preservation Holds directly in Relativity.

Looking to The Future of In-Place Preservation

Preservation in-place isn't just a buzzword; it's a fundamental shift in the management of data during legal holds. It simplifies the process, ensures data integrity, and allows for secure data preservation. In a legal world where every detail matters, Relativity Legal Hold is a powerful asset in your legal toolkit, offering an intuitive interface, real-time status updates, easy error resolution, and unmatched flexibility.

With a roadmap promising further enhancements and the inclusion of new data sources—such as Slack, Box, Proofpoint, and more—we're excited to be your partner in data preservation, now and in the future.

Ready to see the Preservation application in action? Let us show you how it can streamline your legal data preservation processes. 

Graphics for this article were created by Natalie Andrews.

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Aaron Gilbert is a product manager at Relativity, focusing on Legal Hold.

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