Compass and Cloud: Autonomy’s New Direction #ILTA12

After HP’s acquisition of Autonomy, there was much speculation regarding whether or not this change would be good or bad for the legal industry. Today Neil Araujo (CEO, AutonomyProtect) did more than just assure us things were headed in the right direction. He actually had something great to show us.

[These are my notes from the International Legal Technology Association’s 2012 Conference 2012. Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets. In addition, since this was a vendor presentation, it will contain primarily promotional material. Analysis will follow as more people take a look at these new offerings.]


  • Four Pillars of Autonomy ECM. Information capture and management; information workflow; information insight (IUS); and information governance (records managements, policy, security, compliance).
  • Four Trends Driving Autonomy’s Vision. (1) UX (user experience); (2) mobility; (3) Big Data; (4) Cloud — as a delivery mechanism and a platform for law firm engagement with its clients.
  • User Experience. There are several aspects of UX that Autonomy is focused on now: (1) High performance synch. (2) High performace search — they will enable biger searches. They discovered that 95% of searches are on document or author name so they are optimizing this popular search. (3) Integrated software & hardware solutions — this shows the beneefits of partnering with HP. With this technology, users can go to a multi-function printer to do a job — not just print or scan. For example, the user could go to the printer screen to select a document from the DMS and print it. Or, scan a document and send it directly to your personal document collection without travelling via email. (4) The new Compass product is a collaboration between HP Labs and Autonomy. It will be released in IUS 8.
  • HP Compass. This tool builds on IUS to provide navigation across people, communities/collections, and individual information assets. The relationships among these elements are created automatically by IUS and analytics, without any manual metadata coding by staff. In the example we saw, the user initiated a simple full text search and then moved through the results either by scrolling through the list of responsive documents or pivoting on the name of an author or major contributor and then from there to related communities, people or documents. Autonomy calls this social search, bringing some of the best aspects of consumer web search to the law firm.
  • Mobility. Autonomy now provides mobile security, the ability to edit or annotate documents (and have those edits synch up to the DMS immediately) and the ability to capture and store information on the go via your smartphone camera. The next worksite mobile app will use HP technology to clean up this smartphone picture to create something that looks more like a high-quality scan that can be uploaded as an image in worksite. They also have the ability to OCR it.
  • Big Data. Autonomy believes that Big Data for legal primarily involves unstructured data. There are significant challenges regarding how to manage these collections from a security and compliance perspective. The traditional approach was to secure the perimeter, but this is becoming increasingly difiicult to do. Therefore, Autonomy is focused on securing individual information assets inside and outside the firewall via the private cloud.
  • Policy-Driven Information Governance. It is impossible to manage, much less govern, content if you don’t know what you’ve got, don’t know what it is and don’t know what to do with it. Autonomy offers Control Point to help with visibility, understanding content and automating key governance processes. They can go through large content stores and apply compliance policy to it in an automated fashion.
  • Cloud. HP is very focused on the Cloud. HP Autonomy is offering a private cloud, as well as a cloud for a hotsite backup for disaster recovery.
  • Collaboration Through the Cloud. Autonomy offers a private cloud to share documents directly from WorkSite with clients. This provides a secure alternative to file -sharing or file-synchronization consumer apps such as Dropbox. The tool is called LinkSite. They have created new “Binders” that allow you to provide synching. They also allow you to move a large file to the private cloud with one-click, which then generates an audit trail provided by Autonomy. Secure Send and LinkSite are the new tools that Autonomy offers to accomplish all of this. Even better, all of this sharing and collaboration operates outside email.

During this session, I was both drafting this blog post and sending out the occasional tweet. I was interested to receive some cautiously optimistic feedback from one skeptic in England who said that based on the tweets coming from Neil Araujo’s session, it sounded like Autonomy was headed in a better direction. If Autonomy makes a success of this new direction, that can only benefit their many law firm clients.

One thought on “Compass and Cloud: Autonomy’s New Direction #ILTA12

  1. I believe with Neil in charge at Autonomy things will continue to go in the right direction. He is one person who has always been customer focused. He used to be a bits and bytes guy so that gives him an edge at HP which has historically valued engineers in leadership roles.

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