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Bill Tolson

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Part 2 - The Link between Information Management and Data Value

Posted by Bill Tolson on August 23, 2017

In my last blog, I discussed the connection between information management and data value. I laid out a math exercise showing how a lack of information management can dramatically affect productivity across the organization by calculating the actual cost of employees not being able to find information when the need it. This in turn causes employees to waste time looking for it, and when not found, being forced to recreate it. By estimating the number of hours of lost productivity as well as the fully loaded cost of the average employee, we are able to determine the total cost of lost productivity.

Taking this theme further, we can use the estimate of lost productivity hours and calculate total lost revenue – the revenue the company could have captured if enterprise-wide information management was more efficient.

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Topics: Azure, Archive2Azure, Cloud archiving, information management

The Link Between Information Management and Data Value

Posted by Bill Tolson on August 18, 2017

Corporate data is what powers most businesses and so is a valuable business asset. In fact, you can say that companies employ information workers to generate and consume data for the betterment of the company. But can you actually calculate the value of data?

Employee’s annual salary, benefits, training, and corporate infrastructure all go into calculating the cost of information. On the other side of the equation, average revenue and profit per employee are measures of efficiency and productivity. To be successful, companies must generate more revenue (and profit) than total cost. And these are driven by how well companies manage their information.

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Topics: EDiscovery, Azure, Archive2Azure, information management

Archive360’s Three Laws of Machine Learning

Posted by Bill Tolson on August 9, 2017

In a couple of blogs over the last month, I have mentioned the possibility of Predictive Information Governance (PIG) - automated information governance based on unsupervised machine learning technology. Just like the name implies, unsupervised machine learning (computers teaching themselves) removes the iterative manual training cycles of the learning process and allows the system to automatically categorize, store, apply retention/disposition, and manage content as it flows within the system.

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Topics: Information Governance, Archive2Azure, machine learning

2017 – An Information Odyssey

Posted by Bill Tolson on August 7, 2017

In past blogs I have discussed the possibilities of machine learning and information management, i.e. predictive information governance (PIG) and auto-categorization to automate the management of electronically stored information (ESI). One of the challenges the information management industry continues to face is how to extend this machine learning capability to audio and video content.

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Topics: Archive2Azure, machine learning, information management

Does Archiving in Native Format Matter?

Posted by Bill Tolson on August 3, 2017

Many companies faced with a need to archive data (usually email) due to regulatory requirements, eDiscovery responsibilities, or business requirements, look for solutions based on capabilities, cost, vendor reputation, security, and regulatory requirements.

In the past, companies in need of archiving solutions purchased one of the many on premise or cloud-based solutions that met their needs. However, many of these archiving solutions actually converted the data so as to enable more efficient storage, indexing, and search. The problem with data conversion is the data can be corrupted or metadata changed or lost nullifying its “golden copy” or copy of record status. In most cases, this is not really a problem… unless you are anticipating or are in fact, involved in litigation.

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Topics: EDiscovery, Archive, Archive2Azure, Cloud archiving

Extending SharePoint Storage to Azure

Posted by Bill Tolson on August 1, 2017

SharePoint adoption continues to grow year over year. It was originally envisioned to be an entry level document management system but has since grown to include content management, as an intranet portal for enterprise information and applications, a groupware platform, a social platform, personal cloud, and a platform for custom web applications. Because of these expanding use models, many have found that the standard SharePoint storage allowance is not enough.

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Topics: Archive2Azure, SharePoint, Microsoft SharePoint

Social Media Archiving and the Financial Services Industry

Posted by Bill Tolson on July 23, 2017

Social media platforms have proliferated as a direct method for companies to connect with their customers. However, in the last several years, businesses have been forced to collect and make available social media content for both eDiscovery and regulatory compliance.

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Topics: Archive2Azure, Cloud archiving, SEC Rule 17 a-4, Financial services

Are Pigs Starting to Fly?

Posted by Bill Tolson on July 10, 2017

For centuries, records/information managers have had to rely on end-users to take the first, second, and third steps in information governance which are:

  1. Make a decision on a document as to whether it should be retained
  2. Decide how long it should be kept (retention period)
  3. And actually take the step to move the document somewhere for safekeeping and management.

Over the last 15 to 20 years, many companies have marketed and sold “records management systems” that would supposedly make information management much easier. However, these systems didn’t address the 3 points above; the reliance on end users to initiate the process and to make decisions on the importance of the content.

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Topics: Azure, Information Governance, Archive2Azure, machine learning

Financial Industry Cloud Archiving is Finally Unleashed!

Posted by Bill Tolson on June 28, 2017

Finally, the financial industry is no longer forced into purchasing and supporting overpriced on premise WORM storage or high priced, specialty cloud archives that lock them into the platform with ridiculously high penalties when you want to move your data out. At least many of the on premise WORM storage systems such as the EMC Centera storage system have a proven history of meeting SEC Rule 17 a-4 requirements however, the financial industry is moving to the cloud for lower prices and higher security.

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Topics: Archive2Azure, Cloud archiving, SEC Rule 17 a-4

Why You Should Move your Corporate eDiscovery Repository to the Cloud

Posted by Bill Tolson on June 8, 2017

Updated: Corporate eDiscovery data storage practices have progressed (a bit) over the last 10 years. More than a few times over the years, I’ve received emails from my employer’s corporate legal department informing me that they would need me to search my email—including local and online file repositories—for any potentially relevant content and set it aside until it was asked for. Come to think about it, I never received any follow-up emails releasing me from those instructions …

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Topics: EDiscovery, Azure, Cloud Storage, Archive2Azure

Archive360 Continues Knocking 'Em Down

Posted by Bill Tolson on June 5, 2017

I am pleased to announce that Archive360 has made it past Round 1 and is moving on to Round 2 of the Big50-2017.  To make it past the first round, the Big50-2017 judges evaluated Archive360 on criteria that ranged from exploring the challenges we help our customers to overcome and the IT and business goals we help them to achieve – to drilling down into how we actually do it.  We were excited to make it onto the Round 1 roster!!  Then, the next step was for actual end customers and our fellow vendors to vote.

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Topics: archive360

Paying a Ransom for your Data; it’s not just Cyber-Criminals

Posted by Bill Tolson on May 22, 2017

Many companies that store content in cloud-based archives are stunned by their cloud vendor’s one-way attitudes - it’s free to move huge amounts of data into their cloud-based archives, however, it’s another story when you want to move it out again.

Whether you need to export a large data set in response to an eDiscovery request, or, heaven forbid, you’ve grown dissatisfied with the cloud vendor and want to move your data somewhere else, the cost to extract your data skyrockets, and in many cases, to ridiculous levels.

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Topics: Azure, Archive2Azure, Cloud archiving

The Federal Reserve of eDiscovery

Posted by Bill Tolson on May 4, 2017

Can your defense team save additional litigation cost and lower risk by using the cloud to dramatically reduce the number of data transfers?

The cloud has become a ubiquitous tool for most companies (and industries) over the last several years. However, when dealing with legal situations and eDiscovery, companies are still in the habit of shipping hard disks, optical disks, or if they’re lucky, electronically transferring terabytes of data to their external law firms in response to eDiscovery demands. Those same law firms turn around and follow the same data shipping/transfer processes when turning over client eDiscovery data to opposing counsel.

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Topics: EDiscovery, Azure, Cloud Storage, Archive2Azure

A Backup is not an Archive … But, a Cloud Archive can be an Effective Backup

Posted by Bill Tolson on April 18, 2017

With the continuing explosion of data piling up across organizations around the world, many are turning to the cloud as an economical way to keep pace with the vast amounts of data they must store, manage, and share. Eventually, much of this data is archived for regulatory, legal, and business reasons while all of it is backed up due to disaster recovery practices.

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Topics: Azure, Archive2Azure, Cloud archiving, Backup

Have Departmental File Shares Stopped your Move to the Cloud?

Posted by Bill Tolson on April 10, 2017

Most of us have been exposed to enterprise file shares during our professional life. These enterprise file shares are what some also referred to as “home drives”; personal folders setup on network drives that employees would have access to store work files etc. Over the last several years, cloud-based individual file shares have become very popular. Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, Apple iCloud, SugarSync, and Microsoft OneDrive are but a few of the more popular ones.

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Topics: Azure, Cloud Storage, file share

Application Retirement: Target – Documentum?

Posted by Bill Tolson on March 29, 2017

I have written about application retirement a couple times in my blog. The concept is simple; organizations retire (shut down) aging business applications for several reasons all the time including cost reduction, application consolidation, risk reduction, and because of new regulatory and eDiscovery requirements. The big question continues to be what should be done with the associated application data? Before I address that question, let's look at a large, well known business application that many organizations are now looking at as a target for retirement - Documentum. 

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Topics: Archive2Azure, application retirement

The Lifecycle of Data versus the Value of Data

Posted by Bill Tolson on March 20, 2017

Back in January of this year, we published a blog titled Quarantine your Stale Data about the need to quarantine your stale (or grey) data. In it, we talked about a conversation we had with Alan Daley, Research Director of Gartner Research, about the problems his clients were having with managing stale data – or those files that for whatever reason, become less valuable to the end-user over time.

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Topics: Azure, grey data, Archive2Azure

Journaling by any Other Name

Posted by Bill Tolson on March 13, 2017


The Journaling function in “on premise” Microsoft Exchange email systems was originally developed back in the late 1990s for financial services organizations to meet SEC requirements.  The main requirement consisted of capturing broker/dealer communications (emails) immediately, ensuring those emails could not have been altered or deleted before they were stored on immutable storage (WORM) per SEC 17 a-3 and a- 4 requirements. The SEC wanted to ensure that broker/dealer communications were available to review in an unaltered state if complaints were later filed against the financial services organization or individual broker/dealers. In fact, other companies adopted journaling for various reasons, mostly when under litigation hold to ensure target custodian email was captured and held thereby avoiding spoliation charges.  However, the financial services industry was the only industry to really require it via government regulation.

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Topics: Journal, Archive2Azure, compliance archiving

SaaS Compliance Archive Solution in the Azure Stack

Posted by Bill Tolson on March 10, 2017

Archive360 Webinar on 3/14/2017

See how the Power of Azure Manages and Protects your Digital Assets!
Regulatory Data Storage Compliance
Unlock the Enterprise Data Analysis and Search Cost effective SaaS Archive Solution built on the Microsoft Cloud!

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Topics: Azure, Archive2Azure

Efficient Storage of Low-Touch but Still Active Data

Posted by Bill Tolson on March 8, 2017

Many companies struggle with the long-term storage of low touch data that, because of its nature, does not really fit with the high priced, high performance enterprise storage strategy many companies rely on.

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Topics: Azure, Archive2Azure, HSM


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