Picking up on the theme of my last posting concerning compliance and Sarbanes-Oxley, I’ve been struck over the last few weeks by the number of vendors offering “compliance solutions.” More interestingly, I wonder if this suggests a trend toward “preventive litigation support.”

One announcement that strikes me particularly is the launch of Aungate by Autonomy. Autonomy came to the attention of many law firm knowledge management, litigation support, and technology professionals for its sophisticated full-text searching capabilities. A June 16th press release by Autonomy announces the launch of Aungate, “a division of Autonomy offering the world’s first automated, solution for enterprise compliance and litigation support.”

Aungate offers real-time monitoring of employee communications, including e-mail, instant messaging, voice, and even SMS (cell phone short messages – bigger in overseas than in the US). One of the web pages shows some very interesting visual displays to help analyze communications.

The release also states that “Aungate provides an integrated solution to automate the analysis of these unstructured information sources in real time, enabling executives to spot trends in communications and easily pinpoint potential information misuse.” It is interesting that vendors – and perhaps their customers – are moving in the direction of “preventive litigation support,” that is systems that analyze vast volumes of data prior to litigation in an effort to prevent litigation in the first instance.