Muscatine Power and Water Boosts eDiscovery Efficiency by 75% with Altitude IG

Client: Muscatine Power and Water
Industry: Utilities
Business Challenge
With the sheer volume of network data and the time it took to manually search network drives, Muscatine’s processes for eDiscovery had become inefficient and impractical. They needed a robust, automated solution that could perform eDiscovery search and collection activities across 15 network drives.
Business Solution
Muscatine Power and Water adopted successfully automating their recurring eDiscovery processes. Now, MP&W can search data across all network drives with minimal staff intervention, drastically simplifying a once labor-intensive process.
Business Results
With Altitude IG, Muscatine can fulfill additional eDiscovery requests on-demand and take a more proactive approach to managing compliance and risk.
"The Sherpa team has been great! They are very responsive and willing to do whatever is required to address my issues or concerns."
- Michael Ohl, MP&W

Facing the Challenge of Increasing Data Volume and Complexity

A Sherpa Software customer since 2012, Muscatine Power and Water (MP&W) has long used and trusted Sherpa’s products—including Mail Attender, Compliance Attender, and Discovery Attender—for eDiscovery and Information Governance retention policy enforcement in their business. However, as their data increased in volume, so did their demand for advanced software capabilities. Eventually, MP&W reached a point where the need for a more robust and comprehensive eDiscovery tool that could reach beyond email became apparent.

Driving the hunt for new software was MP&W’s requirement to run weekly eDiscovery searches across their 15 network drives. The goal of these searches was to identify all files that contained particular keywords and phrases and save them for review by their legal team. For MP&W’s already busy employees, finding the time to manually conduct this weekly search was near impossible, bringing to the forefront the need for eDiscovery scheduling and automation.

Finding a Complete Solution with Altitude IG

When looking for an eDiscovery solution, MP&W had three key requirements: ease of use, deep file searching and process scheduling. Knowing Sherpa had helped them before with dependable, high-quality products and customer service, MP&W reached out to Sherpa to discuss their business needs.

As the company began learning about Altitude IG’s capabilities for locating, analyzing and managing data, they quickly saw the ways in which it met their purchasing criteria-from intuitive dashboards and interactive elements, to the ability to quickly find network files using set criteria, to the simplicity of scheduling recurring searches. Even better, Sherpa could support them now on IBM Domino and seamlessly continue to do so when MP&W moves forward with their upcoming migration to Microsoft 365.

Implementing Altitude IG for eDiscovery

For MP&W, one benefit of Altitude IG was the non-invasiveness of the software. To get up and running, they only had to install one virtual machine. “There are many solutions that require much greater infrastructure change. Only needing to create one VM was a simple process,” said Michael Ohl, Network Supervisor at Muscatine Power and Water.

As MP&W installed Altitude IG, Sherpa’s team was on-call to answer any questions and keep the process moving smoothly. Now, Altitude IG is in regular use at MP&W, with weekly eDiscovery searches running with minimal attention from the team.

According to Ohl, “Having the ability to fulfill any request I receive about files that contain the specified keywords not only serves our business need, but also reduces a workload that otherwise would be extremely labor intensive.”

Realizing Results and Business Impact

With Altitude IG, MP&W can allow their weekly searches to run on schedule or initiate them manually as needed. On average, MP&W users now spend around half an hour on their weekly searches. This means that the original two-hour process has been cut by 75%, with Altitude IG saving them 90 minutes each and every week and practically eliminating the risk of manual errors.

Shortly after starting the searches, the team has in-hand a list of modified files that contain the targeted keywords. With the time savings from Altitude IG, MP&W’s team has been freed up to focus on other critical work, including performing other ad-hoc searches for compliance reasons. Using Altitude IG, they can easily conduct such searches with a range of extensive criteria and complex search expressions.

“Not only are we now able to perform our weekly searches, but I can quickly react to any other eDiscovery requests that involve the searching of our network-based data,” say Ohl.

Planning for the Future

As MP&W looks forward, they anticipate a growing value for Altitude IG inside their company. As they switch from using IBM Domino to Microsoft 365, they plan to leverage the power of Altitude IG, which will allow them to search both on-premises and cloud-based Microsoft mail. Soon, MP&W will be leveraging Altitude IG to perform eDiscovery searches on Exchanged mailboxes and journals in addition to their recurring searches across network drives.

As MP&W ramps up for their migration to Microsoft 365, they continue to conduct email retention management with Sherpa’s Mail Attender product. As they prepare for the switch to Exchange, they will look to Altitude IG’s Policy Enforcement module for ensuring that their email system is managed in accordance with corporate, legal and regulatory compliance policies and requirements. Doing so will mean both eDiscovery and Information Governance retention policy enforcement will be managed all within one platform. Until then, MP&W is very happy with the benefits Altitude IG offers their company. “We’ve been very happy with what Altitude provides,” says Ohl. “It is a great solution and delivers the results we need.”