Google Enters the eDiscovery Game, Who’s Next?
There is no question that Google knows search. The internet goliath accounts for 66% of all U.S. search queries, clearly dominating the market. Never content with just its search engine, however, over the past several years Google has made forays into a variety of technologies, from the ubiquitous Gmail, to social media channel Google+, to its most recent consumer offering, Google Drive, a personal cloud storage solution.
But Google hasn’t just been all about consumers. They’ve also made significant plays in the enterprise space, and given their expertise in search, their most recent foray – an eDiscovery application – should come as no surprise. In March Google launched Apps Vault, a governance and eDiscovery service for business that automatically captures, archives, and indexes data from employees’ emails and IM chat sessions, enabling easy access it in the event the company is involved in a lawsuit or regulatory investigation. Apps Vault leverages Google’s cutting edge search algorithms to enable users “to search and manage data based on terms, dates, senders, recipients, and labels.” With the launch of this new product, Google is only dipping its toes in the eDiscovery waters. Apps Vault can only be used with other Google applications, making it less comprehensive than other solutions. As Google begins to develop Apps Vault it will be interesting to see if they extend their reach into all areas of eDiscovery.
Despite this somewhat limited offering, the launch of Google’s Apps Vault, following on the heels of major eDiscovery acquisitions by tech heavyweights including Symantec and HP, is just the latest indicator of the growth and maturity of the eDiscovery space. What remains to be seen is how other major tech players will go about launching eDiscovery offerings. HP and Symantec acquired tried and true solutions like Autonomy and Clearwell, while Google is working on developing its own independent solution. In all likelihood, Google will be an outlier in this respect. The company is well known for organically developing its own solutions rather than acquiring them, and its industry-leading search capabilities make eDiscovery a natural extension of its existing enterprise offerings.