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The Next Big Milestone
Pan-Enterprise Records Management

This article is part of the Best Practices White Paper Records Management & Regulatory Compliance [November/December 2008]

Compliance and other information governance drivers requires nothing less than 100% management of all records.

There have been some very significant developments in electronic records management (ERM) solutions in the last 10 years. International standards such as DoD 5015.2 and MoReq2 have helped the industry to agree on the functional requirements, and the top-end solution providers have made significant progress in providing ease-of-use solutions which can manage millions of documents. The records management functionality introduced in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007 was a very significant milestone and was a spur to many more organizations to start, although perhaps tentatively, with RM implementations. However, the industry cannot, and does not, stand still. The need to control key business information as records is now widely understood as an essential requirement for all departments within organizations. The difficulty, of course, is that the information that needs to be locked down as records is widely dispersed throughout the organization in hundreds of different unstructured formats—everything from emails to word documents, spreadsheets, video and voice recordings. In large organizations, hundreds of millions of documents are effectively controlled by thousands of individuals and often only a small percentage is held in a secure format in a corporate records management system.

Although records management systems have improved, and the very best can manage hundreds of millions of documents and support tens of thousands of users, new compliance and information-governance business drivers have raised the bar and now organizations face a new challenge—how do we manage all business records dispersed throughout the organization? And not just 10% or 20%, but 100% of content deemed to be a record must be held securely in an unchanged state, be available when needed and destroyed at the end of its retention period. Compliance legislation means that anything less is unacceptable.

Getting to 100% is the next big milestone for any organization that wants to achieve information governance—but how do you do that? Over a number of years many organizations have acquired a number of disparate data stores. Some organizations have more than 100 separate systems, each holding a significant number of business records. One solution is to move all key records into a single records management repository, but this can be expensive and architecturally disruptive. And even this would not be sufficient; the amount of content being created, and needing to be held as records, is growing daily and for many it is no longer feasible to maintain the accuracy of records information by relying on staff to file records correctly. It is much more efficient if this burden can be removed and be performed as an automated background system activity in real-time. Recognizing the need for a more flexible approach, Autonomy has introduced a manage-in-place solution built on its ability to manage retention and disposition policies in real-time.

Autonomy’s Electronic Data and Records Management
The latest version of Autonomy’s award-winning records management solution, called Meridio, is now built on the Autonomy IDOL platform, enabling meaning-based retention and disposition records management policy to be applied to all data stores within the organization, and to perform these functions automatically and in real-time.

Autonomy’s technology represents a major step forward in reducing risks inherent in information by applying policies based on an understanding of the actual content of an email, document or phone recording instead of relying solely on its metadata. With the IDOL infrastructure at the core of this information governance platform, organizations have inherent value from pan-enterprise search. To automate real-time policy management, the Autonomy Information Governance platform provides a dynamic and real-time environment to visualize and control policy-driven information in the organization. This is accomplished through a vendor-neutral infrastructure using more than 400 out-of-the-box data repository connectors that allow management in place and retrieval of email, documents, audio or video information across the entire enterprise.

Using a combination of meaning-based search, enterprise data capture, auto-classification, enterprise taxonomy and fileplan, and with Meridio managing retention and disposition policy, documents in any target repository can be automatically examined and declared as records within the corporate fileplan with the appropriate access rights and disposition policies. If the documents are to remain ‘in-place,’ Meridio will record where they are located and the access and control can be managed through Meridio as if they resided in the Meridio system. Documents may also be moved into the Meridio system using Meridio’s unique Enterprise Document Capture (EDC) solution. Records can be automatically classified based on an understanding of their content, thereby minimizing the amount of work required by end-users.

When a document reaches the end of its retention period, the records administrator is given notice and appropriate action can be taken following the organizational policies of procedure for the disposition of records. The security of documents in the disparate stores is monitored and reported on a regular basis by the Autonomy IDOL platform.

Autonomy provides a solution that combines meaning-based search with advanced enterprise-scale records management, allowing organizations to manage content as records across multiple stores in real-time with low end-user involvement and minimal disruption to existing systems and processes.


Founded in 1996 and utilizing a unique combination of technologies borne out of research at Cambridge University, Autonomy has experienced a meteoric rise. The company currently has a market cap of $4 billion, is the second largest pure software company in Europe and has offices worldwide. Autonomy’s position as the market leader is widely recognized by leading industry analysts including Gartner, Forrester Research, IDC and Delphi, with the latter referring to Autonomy as the fastest growing public company in the space. 


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