Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) is one of the world’s most advanced collaboration solution suites. Within its grouping of tools and services, Teams stands out as a powerhouse application for business and enterprise communications. Just within Teams, there’s a host of in-app functions to take you way beyond chat and messaging. For example, you can create a wiki or a database, or sync data to SharePoint, Exchange, or OneDrive, all without leaving the app. Of course, Teams also is closely integrated with other Microsoft 365 features and apps, such as OneDrive, SharePoint, and eDiscovery and Compliance Center (now Microsoft Purview), and therefore its data is sometimes stored in different areas of the Microsoft 365 suite.
While all of these capabilities are great for business efficiency, from the legal discovery perspective it can be a mixed blessing. The sheer power and complexity of Microsoft 365 and the diversity of locations where Teams data might reside make eDiscovery far more onerous than with more narrowly focused tools like Slack or Zoom.
Enterprises and law firms are always looking for ways to simplify and speed the discovery process around data from today’s major communication and collaboration tools. This is why we’re very pleased to add Microsoft 365 and Teams connectors to our Casepoint eDiscovery suite.
Preserve and Collect
Casepoint now has the ability to preserve — via our expanded legal hold capabilities — all kinds of data from key enterprise collaboration systems, including Google Vault, Microsoft 365, Slack Enterprise, and Box Enterprise. This ability to preserve data in place is important for reducing both the costs and the risks inherent in moving data around, but it doesn’t reduce the legal teams’ options: When it’s time for collection, they can either use the preservation copy or create a fresh copy of the data.
Preserving data in place can be challenging within Microsoft 365 applications, since data may be stored within an application or in a different area of the suite entirely. For example, 1:1, group, and private channel chats within Microsoft Teams are saved in the mailboxes of the users who participate in those chats. Casepoint streamlines the preservation process for legal teams by enabling them to request the preservation of data in place through the Microsoft Purview functions. (More connectors will be added as the APIs are released by Microsoft.)
In collections, Casepoint allows users to collect data from the entire MS 365 environment including Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint. Moreover, users can request collection from entire teams, channels within certain teams, or specified individuals.
Where Microsoft and Casepoint Intersect
Microsoft’s Microsoft Purview eDiscovery and compliance toolkits can initiate actions that preserve or hold data on request, but they do not process that data for review or production.
Casepoint takes over at this point. With our legal discovery platform, legal teams can communicate with these Microsoft tools, request data preservation, and align with data holds. Then it’s time to search, filter, refine, collect, and process the data, and make it available for attorneys to review and act upon — perhaps associating it with specific custodians or dates, or conducting a full-text search using Casepoint’s built-in artificial intelligence and advanced analytics.
In a nutshell, while Microsoft provides a basic eDiscovery toolkit that organizes and keeps track of data preservation and hold requests, Casepoint empowers users to quickly filter and shape large volumes of data, reducing it to a set of intelligently organized and potentially relevant documents that can be quickly reviewed and acted on by a legal team. In a real-world example, this might translate to Casepoint enabling a team of 100 attorneys to simultaneously review the data and potentially produce it in a court of law at a fraction of the cost and time involved versus the manual review process.
Filtered, Targeted, Digestible Results
A really useful feature of the Casepoint platform is its remarkable range of filtering options that allow users to quickly and easily narrow down search results to the most relevant conversations or interactions and present them in a way that reflects their aims and preferences. For example, they can determine in advance whether they want to view the information in daily, weekly, or monthly digests, rather than, say, receiving months’ worth of data in a single PDF. They can initiate a query by date, custodian, keyword(s), or type of chat, then layer different search terms and parse the results. The preview function allows users to scan topline results for relevance before pressing the “collect” button as well as adjust the filters before downloading.
Chats and audio recordings can be classified as child documents and flagged within the main PDF. The data can be seamlessly transferred into Casepoint’s legal hold tool. Users can also organize search results by team, channel, or individual thread. This is a great time-saver for legal teams: A sales team will typically have a number of different channels such as education, enterprise, or SMB, but it may be that only a single channel is likely to possess relevant data.
Discretion is often a key priority of internal investigations. With Casepoint, gone are the days of needing to inform individuals one-by-one that collection is taking place and obtaining permission to view their data. Reviewers can undertake collections in Teams or Microsoft 365 at an enterprise-administrator level. This capability, which is more efficient and far less disruptive, is particularly advantageous in internal investigations.
Bearing in mind the pressures on legal teams’ time and resources, our Casepoint interface is designed to be the most user-friendly and intuitive in the business, so legal departments don’t have to wait for the IT group or external collection agency to search out and review the relevant data. Non-technical users can easily and quickly filter data, and parse and preview results on their own — before collection — to ensure that their team won’t waste time downstream in the discovery process reviewing irrelevant data. This is something no other platform allows, and it’s an important new benefit that saves review time, optimizes resources, and reduces costs in each new matter.
Getting the Most Out of Casepoint
Good preparation is key to making data collection work best for you. Here are four tips for making the most of Casepoint’s capabilities:
- Leverage the power of enterprise-level authorization to avoid having to seek individual permissions.
- Familiarize yourself with the basic parameters of the collection ahead so you can apply the most relevant filters to refine your search results.
- Carefully select the collection time frame. For example, if you are searching chats among a large group of individuals with multiple interactions, you probably want the data delivered in daily digests, whereas automated messages might be parsed by the week and identified in subordinate data sets.
- Take advantage of Casepoint’s flexibility to unitize PDFs of results into smaller, more digestible chunks.
We’re experiencing a great deal of interest and activity around our newly available connectors for Microsoft 365 and Teams and we encourage all our users to give them a test drive.
As further Microsoft APIs become available, we will rapidly add them to the Casepoint platform. As always, we are committed to ensuring you will always have highly functional and timely connectors for the entire Microsoft 365 product grouping.