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Much-needed R&R (management)

This article appears in the issue May 2006, [Vol 15, Issue 5]

Stellent has introduced Stellent Universal Records and Retention Management (URM), a new server architecture enabling companies to apply records and retention policies in a legally defensible way across the enterprise.

Stellent reports URM allows organizations to define, manage and execute records and retention management policies for all enterprise content from a single application. The system is a complete, Department of Defense (DoD) 5015.2- and 4-compliant records management application that performs both electronic and physical records management. In addition to managing the records customers choose to store in its built-in repository, URM uses an agent architecture to enforce records management and retention policies and schedules in applications and repositories throughout an organization.

This "in-place" functionality, Stellent continues, enables companies to leave content in its native location rather than moving it to a central repository for records and retention management; apply rules directly to content where it resides; and manage the disposition of all content, not merely the content explicitly declared as records. Agents also send information back to the Stellent server, enabling it to maintain an up-to-date catalog of all critical enterprise content. This server also facilitates legal discovery activities and applies litigation holds to relevant content.

Through its agent architecture, Stellent reports URM can apply records and retention schedules and litigation holds to content located in nearly any repository or application. Its agent application programming interfaces (APIs) are open and published. In fact, Stellent's own repositories--including both Content Server and its Imaging and Business Process Management--present themselves to the Universal Records and Retention Management server using agents.

The company has partnered with a number of leading technology vendors to develop agents that apply records and retention management policies and litigation holds to content residing within their applications. The individual applications will continue to perform their functions but will do so in ways consistent with enterprise policies. Stellent is prioritizing agent development in order to maximize the records and retention management footprint in the least amount of time, so the first external agents Stellent will release are for Symantec Enterprise Vault, Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and 2007, file servers and user notifiers. These agents will cover the lion's share of content within many organizations and also the least well-managed content, Stellent claims. In addition, customers and partners can leverage the open, modular nature of the system to build agents for their own custom applications.

Stellent further reports URM gives records managers the ability to centrally create records and retention policies and apply them to all content throughout an enterprise. Within these policies, records managers can determine whether records should remain in place or be transferred to the Universal Records and Retention Management repository. The Stellent system automates many of the tasks records managers used to perform manually while providing more consistency and control over records management processes.

For legal and compliance personnel, Stellent Universal Records Management provides a searchable catalog of all important content within an organization plus the means to place a hold on relevant content and, if necessary, move or copy it into the central repository. In a proactive manner, the Stellent solution optimizes the environment by cataloging the content and reducing the amount to be managed and searched. Additionally, all actions are logged and available for audits and reports.

Stellent says two of the biggest challenges facing IT departments today are accommodating content storage growth and ensuring applications and search functions operate efficiently in the face of rapidly increasing content. As a result, the company says, URM can help IT staffs address these issues by instituting content retention schedules and policies--often developed by specific departments and business units--that systematically facilitate the disposition of outdated or underutilized content. By eliminating unnecessary information, organizations can reduce content storage costs and increase the performance of search functions and business applications.

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