Index Engines wants its partners to be ready for litigation. The vendor of enterprise discovery solutions last week launched its Litigation Ready Partner program for service partners and systems integrators doing e-discovery work.

E-discovery refers to finding and producing stored electronic documents stored in response to litigation or regulatory requirements.

Touted as a service offering, the Litigation Ready Partner Program allows partners to use Index Engines’ technology to provide customers with comprehensive media restoration and processing services, substantially reducing data discovery process times from months to days, according to Jim McGann, vice president of marketing at Index Engines.

“Our partners will be able to search tape archives without first restoring the data, saving them and their customers substantial time and money,” he said.

Calling the new partner program a “game changer,” Chris Clark, chief operating officer at NDC (National Data Conversion), a New York-based full-service tape restoration and data conversion firm, said Index Engines’ technology will ultimately help companies get control over tape assets.

“With the Index Engine technology, we can wrap a powerful service around data assets and content retrieval,” Clark said.

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Index Engines’ electronic discovery product is a plug-and-play appliance that performs full content and metadata indexing on all types of electronics records. According to the company, the e-discovery appliance expedites discovery requests by streamlining the e-discovery process.

Other components of the Litigation Ready Partner Program include a dedicated partner support team, informational partner portal and newsletter, a software development kit to simplify custom-built applications, product and marketing support education, project assessment tools, expedited sales and technical support, marketing and demand generation services and focused feedback for product enhancements.

Requests for electronic records for legal or audit purposes is forcing many organizations to search current and historic electronic files, e-mails and instant messages, a process that is often chaotic, lengthy and costly, particularly when dealing with tape archives.

“Now, instead of restoring 20 tapes at a time, out of 300 over a two-week period, looking for what’s relevant, deciding if there’s material that needs to be retrieved then moving on to the next 20 tapes, we can run all 300 tapes through the Index Engine Enterprise Discovery Platform appliance and within 24 to 48 hours review and retrieve actionable data,” said Clark.

In addition to NDC, Onsite 3, a global provider of eForensics, eDiscovery, eReview and consulting services and litigation support for law firms and corporations, and The Oliver Group, a provider of litigation and compliance support, are the first announced authorized partners of the Litigation Ready Partner Program.

The vendor is actively recruiting program partners and expects to have dozens signed up by the end of the year.

“We expect some of our systems integrator partners will offer a hybrid solution, a service and product,” he said.

For example, instead of simply reselling the Index Engine Enterprise Discovery Platform, channel partners can load tapes, spin and index the customer’s tapes and then ship the box. “Many customers don’t have the manpower to index the tapes and don’t want their information sitting on a service provider’s site,” said McGann.

The program offers a new revenue opportunity for current channel partners that have expertise in the legal discovery market and secure, bonded facilities designed to process sensitive data.

“We see this partner program opening up new opportunities for us. Beyond the time benefit, companies will now be able to say, with hand over heart, that they looked at all their tapes, where before for many organizations it was cost-prohibitive to do so,” said Clark.