I’ve suggested that knowledge management and electronic discovery tools might converge, given that search underlies both. My June 29, 2005 a post mentioned “the possibility that e-discovery semantic analysis tools will be re-purposed for KM.” I got it backwards. 

Recommind, known to many law firms as a sophisticated federated and enterprise search tool to support KM, announced (1/3/06) its “new eDiscovery functionality that enables enterprises to quickly and easily locate electronically stored information (ESI) that must be preserved for ongoing or anticipated litigation.”

There is more money in the EDD market than the legal KM market, so it makes more sense for KM tools to go after EDD than vice versa. In my opinion and speaking from general business principles, Recommind’s move can cut two ways for KM professionals. On the one hand, extending its reach to EDD could give the company both experience and higher revenues that support developing more sophisticated KM features. On the other hand, its focus could shift to the much bigger EDD market and over time, mean less emphasis on KM-specific features. It will be interesting to observe what happens.

Disclosure (just in case readers believe this could influence my view here): I have a consulting relationship with Practice Technologies, developer of RealPractice, which serves the legal KM and work product retrieval market.