Changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are creating solutions opportunities in data storage for enterprising VARs. Here are some things that solution providers should keep in mind if they delve into this space.
1. Read up on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which applies to almost any company -- even small businesses -- that could face litigation.
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2. Get hooked up with a vendor of storage arrays or combination hardware/software devices that can store data in an unchangeable, unalterable form.
3. Get certified and trained on software to handle e-mail archiving, which is one of the most difficult parts of the electronic discovery process -- but one that experienced VARs can help customers implement.
4. Use e-discovery to clean up your clients' data backup processes and technologies. The FRCP changes give guidelines on which data must be saved and made accessible in litigation, but they also state that courts will not impose sanctions for data deleted as a result of "routine, good faith" operations. Your clients may have old, unnecessary data that not only wastes tape space and data center floor space, but it also could be trouble if it came to light during litigation.
5. Help customers implement policies, but don't set them. Setting policies regarding how long to keep e-mail or backup tapes should be handled by customers' legal advisers.
6. Steer clear of giving legal advice.
7. Don't forget your own company. Have you talked to your own legal adviser about your company's e-discovery policies and how to implement them?