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SonaVault Email Archiving & eDiscovery Workflows

Sonasoft’s development team thoughtfully created workflow processes to assist different users to maximize the benefits from SonaVault Email Archiving and eDiscovery Solutions.



 eDiscovery Request Workflow

SonaVault makes it easy for admins to setup an eDiscovery case and assign auditors to collaborate their searches for potential email to be reviewed.

  1. Create a New Case to hold all email could be associated with an eDiscovery request.
  2. Add collaborators/auditors with Active Directory (AD) and assign access.
  3. If necessary, add collaborators outside of the Active Directory (AD) by creating a temporary user account and assign access.
    • Can add multiple collaborators in the Active Directory or outside it to one case.
  4. Perform multiple eDiscovery searches or refine a search and search within the search results.
  5. Link the eDiscovery search results to the newly created case.
    • All email results automatically will be on litigation hold / locked indefinitely; these emails will not be purged from the archive even if the expiration policy has passed. Only until the case is closed or a reviewer has removed the flag and thereby removed the email from the case are emails susceptible to be purged from the archive as per the purge policy that is set by the administrator.
    • Multiple and incremental email searches are combined as one case result.
    • Duplicate emails automatically are removed.
    • Linkage of email is per case. One email can be linked to multiple cases.
  6. Production of email. Export email from case management as .PST file, PDF, .eml, etc. or send to new collaborator for further review.
    • Protected email can be excluded from export (see Automatic Litigation Hold process).
  7. Close case to remove litigation hold.

Note: Auditors can search all email, perform case management, run reports, and export results.

Benefits: Streamlined eDiscovery workflow, which saves time and resources. Minimal training required. Collaborative tools for maximum efficiency. Saves time to reconcile the results from different searches or reviewers (duplicates are automatically purged). Assures a company is in compliance because once an email is linked to a case, it is placed on hold. There is no need to explicitly place an email on hold; this is done automatically.

Automatic Content Identification Hold Workflow

Admins proactively can configure SonaVault to flag automatically emails that potentially may violate an organization’s standards.

  1. Define content identification polices for auto-flagging, e.g. nine-digit numbers (Social Security), credit card numbers, stock symbols, expletives, threats, such as ‘bomb’, etc.
  2. All email that is ‘positive’ to the content identification policy is flagged and is placed on hold.
  3. Assign ‘Reviewer’ and ‘Super Reviewer’ roles. (See Review Management Process Workflow below.)
  4. Review emails that are automatically flagged.
  5. Take collaborative action by adding notes, closing the email, escalating to the super reviewer, etc.
  6. Sign off or close email from the review process.

Note: Reviewers have the same access privileges as auditors (search all email, perform case management, run reports, and export results). Reviewers also can write collaborative notes, remove individual emails from the case, and escalate email for further review.)

Benefits: Proactively limits an organization’s legal exposure, enforces policy and best practices, detects early potential violations, achieves compliance standards and regulations.

Review Management Process Workflow

Financial industries particularly appreciate the review management process that helps achieve compliance. School districts and government agencies also have utilized this process.

  1. Assign ‘Reviewer’ and ‘Super Reviewer’ roles.
  2. Define content identification polices for auto-flagging (see above: Automatic Litigation Hold Process).
  3. Perform searches or sampling.
  4. Manual flag email after reviewing the searches or sampling.
  5. If necessary, reviewers can unlink protected or irrelevant email from the case.
  6. Take collaborative action by adding notes, closing the email, escalating to the super reviewer, etc.
  7. Run Review Reports.
  8. Additional steps in the eDiscovery Request Workflow (see above) also may be performed.

Note: Reviewers have the same access privileges as auditors (search all email, perform case management, run reports, and export results). Reviewers also can write collaborative notes, remove individual emails from the case, and escalate email for further review.)

Benefits: Achieves compliance to industry specific regulations. Able to make an initial case assessment. Helps to minimize liability and legal exposure

End User Access Workflow

End users can access and search their own email archives without any training. In addition to search tools, SonaVault’s folder-structure feature mirrors the folders in an end user’s Outlook mailbox.

  1. Collect and archive offline PST files.
  2. Define the Stubbing and deletion (expiration) policies.
  3. Share the SonaVault URL with the end users. (The SonaVault console link is automatically created in every users’ Microsoft Outlook client.)
  4. End users log in with their Active Directory (AD) credentials.
  5. End users may now view and search their own archived email.
  6. End users access their stubbed attachments within their Outlook client as if these documents were still attached to their emails.
  7. End users are no longer forced to create offline PST files anymore.

Note: View a sample of SonaVault’s Outlook-like folder structure.

Benefits: The IT Department is not taxed with training requests, user issues, or to search and retrieve individual emails, which saves time and resources. The Active Directory (AD) login credentials also saves time and resources creating individual accounts. No more individual PST management and other related issues from corrupted PST files. Reduced file size of the Microsoft Exchange Server results in improved overall performance and reduces the time for maintenance issues such as backups and restores.

Hybrid Model (Office 365 and On-premise Archive) Workflow

SonaVault is archive-ready with Office 365Organizations that are migrating to Office 365 can archive their on-premise email and Office 365 email in one interface.

  1. Move the specified mailboxes to Microsoft Office 365.
  2. Install the SonaVault email archive agent on the on-premise Microsoft Exchange Server.
  3. Create a Journal Mailbox on the Office 365 Server.
  4. Forward email from the Office 365 Journal Mailbox to the on-premise Microsoft Exchange Server.
  5. Perform unified searches through the SonaVault server.
  6. End users now can access their archived email from both the on-premise and Office 365 through SonaVault interface.

Benefits: One system to archive and perform eDiscovery searches saves resources and time. Provides a unified access to email that is on-premise and in the cloud. Future-proofs an organizations email architecture. Allows for a seamless migration to Microsoft Office 365.

Email Retention / Storage Management Workflow

Organizations might chose to purge its archived email after a specified period of time as in accordance to compliance standards.

Retention policy is the criteria to determine how long to keep certain emails that are not on legal hold. The purge policy is the policy that removes the email from the archive.

  1. Identify compliance and retention requirements.
  2. Define Global and/or custom retention policies for the SonaVault archive server.
  3. By default, the purge policy is turned off.
  4. If the purge policy is activated, then alert email will be sent notifying that email will be purged and may be still be saved if desired. (Email that is on legal hold never will be purged until the case is closed.)
  5. Define the stub policy to remove attachments from the Exchange Server.
  6. Define the deletion policy to remove email from the Exchange Server, but still maintain it in the SonaVault archive server.

Benefits: Will accelerate the backup and restore time of the Microsoft Exchange Server and the archive server. Achieve compliance by retaining email up to the specified time period, but purge email that legally can be purged. Will limit legal exposure and liability.

Search Performance Workflow

SonaVault splits up the archive with multiple data stores that are automatically created. This allows for simultaneous searches of all the data stores, which increases the search speed significantly.

  1. Define the archive data store policy (by date or size).
  2. Archive data stores are split automatically based on the policy.
  3. Parallel searches in each data store are performed simultaneously with each eDiscovery search.
  4. Only the relevant data stores are accessed during the search.

Benefits: Fast and efficient searches. Produces and fulfills eDiscovery requests in minutes. Cuts legal time, which saves on attorneys’ fees. Fully satisfies court orders quickly, which reduces the possibility of sanctions and penalities.

Exclusion List Workflow

Protected email is, such as those that are classified as client-attorney privilege, are excluded from an eDiscovery export.

  1. Identify exclusion list such as email addresses that are associated with client-attorney privilege.
  2. Perform searches based on emails with sender or recipient as identified in the exclusion list.
  3. Enter the email ID into the exclusion list search bar of the email that is to be protected, e.g. the email address of the attorney. Add multiple addresses if needed.
  4. All email that has the protected account in the To:, From:, CC:, and BCC: fields will be removed from the export, but will still be visible in the case management.

Benefits: Protects client-attorney privilege, prevents leakage of sensitive information, reduces legal liability and exposure.