Microsoft acquires Equivio, provider of machine learning-powered compliance solutions

I’m pleased to announce that Microsoft has acquired Equivio, a provider of machine learning technologies for eDiscovery and information governance. We are making this acquisition to help our customers tackle the legal and compliance challenges inherent in managing large quantities of email and documents.

Businesses and governments around the world generate enormous volumes of data every day. Sifting through that data to find what is relevant to a legal or compliance matter is costly and time consuming. Traditional techniques for finding relevant documents are falling behind as the growth of data outpaces peoples’ ability to manually process it.

Equivio’s solution applies machine learning to help solve these problems, enabling users to explore large, unstructured sets of data and quickly find what is relevant. It uses advanced text analytics to perform multi-dimensional analyses of data collections, intelligently sorting documents into themes, grouping near-duplicates, isolating unique data, and helping users quickly identify the documents they need. As part of this process, users train the system to identify documents relevant to a particular subject, such as a legal case or investigation. This iterative process is more accurate and cost effective than keyword searches and manual review of vast quantities of documents. The technology has achieved broad acceptance in the legal community as a valuable eDiscovery tool. Equivio customers include U.S. federal agencies and hundreds of law firms, corporations and other organizations.

Microsoft is serious about providing customers with tools to manage the legal and compliance requirements that are key to responsible business practices. Office 365 includes robust eDiscovery and information governance capabilities today, and we’ll use Equivio’s machine learning technology to make these vital tools even more intelligent and easy to use in the months ahead. I am extremely excited about the innovative technologies and experienced team we’re bringing to Microsoft as we advance this important work.