The Collaborative Platform Graveyard: Preserving Old Content

| August 10 2017

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It’s inevitable: the platforms we love eventually get replaced by better, more efficient technology. While this is a normal aspect of an evolving business, it’s easy to forget that these platforms hold important data that needs to be preserved, even after you’ve stopped using that tool.

For example, say your business has decided to transition from Skype to Slack. If you, like a lot of businesses, have been using Skype for a while, the platform probably holds valuable information from previous team collaboration. As a result, for record keeping purposes, you’ll probably want to preserve this content in some shape or form.

How do you preserve Skype?

You probably don’t want to spend a week or more taking screenshots of Skype conversations. It may seem like a good idea at first, since you’ll be able to view the previous interactions. However, screenshots can be altered, and they don’t contain metadata to show how or when they were captured. While you may not need this information right now, it can be extremely valuable it in the event of an IP litigation or HR case.

So, how do you gather that data? It’s best to use a native format archiving tool that allows you to export the data in various formats. With a SaaS archiving tool like Hanzo, you can view your data in its native format, easily export it as a PDF, or as a complete load file with metadata that can be uploaded into most document review software.

What about platforms like Confluence or Sharepoint?

Even if you’re no longer going to use these platforms, it’s important to archive those, too. Any of the collaborative platforms that your team uses to communicate can contain your customers’ PII or personally identifiable information and when regulations like GDPR go into effect, you’ll need to know where that data is. If you’re making the move from Sharepoint to Google Drive, or another document sharing platform, archiving is the best way to preserve your content for historical purposes and protection for potential litigation.

Slack didn’t fit my company’s needs. Can I archive it?

You absolutely can, and you definitely should. Even if you’ve decided to move away from newer platforms like Slack, preserving those interactions can be key in an IP litigation. Even if you’ve only used a new platform for a couple of months, it’s important to archive that information in a legally defensible manner for your company’s protection. It’s better to have the data and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

How do I get started?

First, make sure the archiving tool you’re using can capture all types of content. You’ll want to be able to collect comprehensive archives of all of the platforms you’ve used, both new and old. Some archiving software may only capture newer platforms like Slack, while others may be limited to email and older forms of communication.

You’ll also want to make sure your archiving software produces legally defensible archives. It’s important to be able to export the data you collect in a variety of formats, including native format, PDF and a load file with metadata for litigation purposes. Of course, features like searchable archives are also valuable when preserving team messaging platforms. If you’d like to see how Hanzo can help with preserving all of your collaborative platforms, set up a demo with one of our experts today.

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