Office 365

Is Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery Worth It?

Lawsuits and other legal compliance issues are a part of everyday business for most large organizations. Tools that ...

Lawsuits and other legal compliance issues are a part of everyday business for most large organizations. Tools that support the electronic discovery process, such as Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery, help organizations meet their legal compliance obligations more efficiently and cost-effectively.

What Is Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery?

Businessman hand sending a bunch of messages on laptop with cloud computing concept-1Electronic discovery is the process of reviewing, identifying, tagging, analyzing and preserving electronically stored information (ESI) that legal professionals present as evidence in a case. Emails, instant messages, documents, accounting data, chats and websites are examples of ESI that may be evidence in a lawsuit.

Basic eDiscovery comes standard with any Enterprise- or Business-licensed copy of Microsoft 365 or Office 365. You must purchase an additional license, such as the E5 compliance add-on or the eDiscovery and Audit add-on, or upgrade to the Microsoft Office 365 E5 tier to gain access to advanced eDiscovery.

Why Do Organizations Need Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery Tools?

There are two main reasons an organization may need an eDiscovery tool.

1. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure apply to procedures for managing civil lawsuits in the United States. Changes to these rules in December of 2006 expanded the definition of discoverable material to include ESI.

2. Challenge of Collecting ESI

Even small- to medium-sized companies generate so much ESI that manually searching through all of it is a labor-intensive process. Fortunately, eDiscovery makes it significantly easier and faster for organizations to find, collect and produce ESI during the discovery process.

Microsoft's eDiscovery tools allow organizations to natively perform eDiscovery in Office 365, instead of copying the data to a third-party discovery tool. Native search and collection are available for multiple Microsoft programs:

  • Yammer
  • Teams
  • SharePoint Online
  • Exchange Online
  • OneDrive for Business

What Is the Difference Between Standard eDiscovery and Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery?

It is important to understand the differences between eDiscovery and Advanced eDiscovery when deciding whether to purchase an additional license for Advanced eDiscovery.

Basic eDiscovery Features

The basic eDiscovery tool includes several commonly used features:

  • Create a case
  • Define data that a hold applies to
  • Put a hold on data that prevents deletion of that data
  • Establish conditions that govern what is discoverable in a hold

With eDiscovery, you can create cases to collect and preserve data. Administrators can permit specific users to run searches that identify content that is in storage on different Microsoft services. Organizations can also make sensitive files inaccessible by placing a hold on them.

Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery Features

Advanced eDiscovery uses the Electronic Discovery Reference Model framework. This provides users with more granular control over the settings and additional features:

  • Thread search emails instead of processing them separately
  • Query, analyze, tag, review and export content as a group instead of as individual files
  • Train the system to identify relevant data through predictive coding
  • Convert images to text-searchable documents with optical character recognition
  • More easily track long-running tasks
  • Detect duplicate or almost duplicate files to avoid reviewing the same content

Advanced eDiscovery also allows you to import content from applications other than Microsoft 365 and assign and manage custodians.

What Is a Custodian?

Custodians are the users or people whose content an organization needs to find and collect as evidence for a legal case.

What Is a Non-Custodial Data Source?

Organizations sometimes need to include data from sources other than the specific people who are the subjects of a legal case. You can include non-custodial sources in searches when needed.

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What Are the Benefits of Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery?

Advanced eDiscovery provides several benefits to users when compared to standard eDiscovery and third-party discovery tools.

Improved eDiscovery Workflow

Advanced eDiscovery streamlines your workflow and allows you to reduce the number of eDiscovery solutions you use. The ability to automatically map shared and unique data sources to the custodian reduces the effort required to identify and collect potential sources of relevant information. By using Microsoft Graph APIs, you can automate your workflow and utilize Advanced eDiscovery in custom solutions.

Intelligent Data Culling

The machine learning ability of Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery helps you efficiently eliminate irrelevant data from a set so that you do not waste time reviewing it. This technology works by identifying duplicate or near-duplicate data and using technology-assisted review tools and smart tags to identify and refine relevant data.

Support for the EDRM Model

The workflow of Advanced eDiscovery aligns with the eDiscovery process described by the Electronic Discovery Reference Model.


You can add people that are important to an investigation as custodians to your case. This makes it easy to collect, preserve and review custodian documents.


The legal hold features allow you to protect relevant data. The built-in communication features make it easy to communicate with custodians about legal hold notifications.


Integrated search tools allow you to find and collect live data from custodial and non-custodial sources.


You can view documents and execute queries to narrow down searches to the most relevant data.


The integrated analytics tools allow you to reduce the amount of relevant data. This decreases the cost of legal reviews and makes it easier to organize content.

Presentation and Production

You can export documents from a review set for legal review in either their native format or in an EDRM-specified format and import them for use in third-party review applications.

How Can Cloudficient Help You Prepare for Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery?

Cloudficient helps customers migrate to Office 365 while remaining compliant. We can help you retire legacy systems and transform your organization so that you can take full advantage of the capabilities of Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery. We focus on client needs and provide services that are scalable, affordable and seamless. Contact us today to find out more.

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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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