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All You Need To Know About Microsoft eDiscovery

Microsoft eDiscovery is a useful tool for identifying, holding and exporting content generated across Microsoft ...


Microsoft eDiscovery is a useful tool for identifying, holding and exporting content generated across Microsoft platforms. Users can gather evidence for legal cases and internal investigations by using this Purview solution. There are three subscription-based tiers of eDiscovery functionality:

  • Smiling businessman sitting with laptop at officeContent Search,
  • Standard and
  • Premium

Find out what you need to know to start locating and processing data and content with eDiscovery.

What Is Microsoft eDiscovery?

Stakeholders and legal counsels can use eDiscovery review tools to locate, place legal holds on and export results of searches for data and content that originate on Microsoft platforms. Enterprises that pursue cloud migration can create and store large amounts of discoverable information spanning multiple data sources and file types in Office 365 and Microsoft 365. The eDiscovery functionality offers search, holding and exporting features based on subscription tiers and assigned user roles.

While eDiscovery can perform a robust search of Microsoft platforms, its functionality is limited to software such as the cloud-based versions of legacy Office platforms and newer applications such as Teams, OneDrive and Yammer. Users report that this platform can have slow search speeds, requires learning Microsoft search query syntax and places rules and limits on the number of simultaneous searches and search results available to preview.

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What Is Content Search in eDiscovery?

Content search is the basic level of review available through Microsoft Purview eDiscovery. This tier of the service includes searches for content in

  • Exchange mailboxes,
  • OneDrive accounts for Business users and
  • sites created with SharePoint.

Microsoft Teams and Yammer users can also search content, as can users of MS 365 Groups. By creating KQL search queries based on keywords, eDiscovery users can set conditions for search results, find locations of the most relevant content and obtain counts of items matching search queries.

The base level of eDiscovery enables users to export search results by copying items from original locations in O365 to Azure Storage provided by Microsoft. Once a backup has been made, eDiscovery users can download results to their local storage. Content search also enables administrators to fine-tune access settings based on user roles for greater security. Admins also have the ability to assign permissions for eDiscovery to either custom or built-in role groups.

What Are the Features of Standard eDiscovery?

An expanded tier of Microsoft eDiscovery called Standard eDiscovery includes

  • content search,
  • exporting and
  • permissions features

and adds case management and legal hold functionality. Searches and exports can be associated with investigations, and administrators can control permissions for any users who are assigned to cases.

Standard eDiscovery enables users to place legal holds to secure content locations. This feature can protect digital case materials against deletion during an investigation. These features enhance the core functionality of eDiscovery, though this tier is much more limited than the Premium tier of the eDiscovery tool.

What Are the Features of Premium eDiscovery?

The top tier of Microsoft eDiscovery includes all content search and Standard features and adds a wide range of functionality that can be useful for discovery. Here are some of the advanced features that make Premium eDiscovery more useful than the lower tiers:

  • Advanced indexing: Content locations for custodial and non-custodial data are reindexed so that partially indexed data is fully searchable.
  • Analytics: Premium eDiscovery includes document analysis tools to facilitate data management and organization.
  • Cloud attachments: Add cloud attachments, SharePoint versions and linked files to content in Microsoft Azure review sets.
  • Custodian management: Manage data sources that are custodial or non-custodial by placing a legal hold on sources and communicating through notifications.

Premium Microsoft eDiscovery also features machine learning functionality in the form of predictive coding models that users can train to prioritize relevant items in review sets. A review set is a data backup to Azure Storage.

In addition to being able to export discovered documents to Azure Storage, Premium eDiscovery also enables users to specify which data types to export. These and many more features make Premium eDiscovery more powerful than the other tiers of this tool.

What Are the Licensing Requirements for Microsoft eDiscovery?

The basic content search tier of eDiscovery is available with Microsoft 365 E1, G1, F1, or F3 subscriptions or the F5 Security add-on. MS365 Business Basic, Standard, and Premium subscriptions also include eDiscovery content search functionality. This feature is also included in O365 Education A1 and E1 subscriptions.

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Standard Microsoft eDiscovery can be used with MS365 E3, G3, and Business Premium subscriptions and O365 E3 subscriptions. The core discovery tools are also available for Exchange Online Plan 2 and SharePoint Online Plan 2, MS365 F5 Compliance and Security & Compliance add-ons, and A3 Education subscriptions.

The Premium eDiscovery tier is available for MS365 or O365 E5 subscriptions, the MS365 E3 subscription with E5 Compliance or eDiscovery and Audit add-ons, and the MS365 G5 subscription with Compliance or eDiscovery and Audit add-ons. The top tier of the discovery tool is also available for the MS365 F5 Compliance add-on and MS365 and O365 Education A5 subscriptions.

Cloudficient helps large organizations and legal firms migrate to Office. Our next-generation cloud migration technology can ensure that no records are lost before becoming locatable through this Microsoft Purview discovery solution. Make the switch to cloud services with automated solutions that are scalable for any organization. Learn more about bringing Cloudficiency to your migration project on our website or contact usto find a record preservation solution for your discovery needs.

With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast and seamless.

If you would like to learn more about how to bring Cloudficiency to your migration project, visit our website, or contact us.

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