e-discovery’s killer app: smart search + smart archiving

Autonomy

I’ve already written about how a fast-talking huckster from search vendor Autonomy tried to oversell the hell out of my legal website startup in the late 90’s. That salesman lied through his teeth. By some miracle, I avoided that bullet — which is amazing because I fell for every other dot.com lie that the industry had to offer. But I digress … back to software vendor Autonomy (then a relative unknown) pushing its technology via shuck and jive men like the one that called on me and nearly cleaned me out ($100,000 for the software as I recall – not including development and installation). Uh … yeah … whatever. But hey, what’s past is past, right? I mean, its nearly 10 years later and Autonomy appears to have overcome its slimy beginnings to position itself as a genuine e-discovery contender, if not a powerhouse. At least that’s what you’d conclude if you read about the acquisition by Autonomy of Zantaz, a content archiving, e-discovery software vendor. Zantaz, they say, makes software to retain and retrieve unstructured digital information, while Autonomy sells the platform for accessing the information via a smart search. And the acquisition is the largest since Autonomy bought data retrieval software maker Verity. Let’s hope the combined company is slightly less slimy than its predecessor (but how likely is that?). In the end, if it achieves its goals Autonomy will take its place alongside vendors such as Kroll Ontrack and Lexis-Nexis … or will it be acquired by those companies? Autonomous no more, it seems.

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