Choosing the Right Office 365 eDiscovery Solution: Comparing E1 vs. E3 vs. E5 Plans

Choosing the Right Office 365 eDiscovery Solution: Comparing E1 vs. E3 vs. E5 Plans

Whether you're a large organization with hundreds of employees or a recent start-up, there may come a time when a pressing matter may occur. This may come in the form of an internal dispute about inappropriate communication in the workplace, something someone said to a client or business partner, or perhaps a lawsuit. You never know, but when it happens, you'll need to be able to identify what exactly occurred and what the next steps are. It may seem impossible when most our communication today is done electronically. How can you find the exact information you need, when hundreds of messages and documents are sent and edited daily? If you are doing it manually, it can be incredibly hard, but with Office 365 eDiscovery you can sort through a ton of content in a single search. eDiscovery searches for content throughout Office 365 within Exchange Online mailboxes, Groups, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Skype for Business conversations. You can easily identify, hold, and export relevant content quickly, making it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for. So how do you get started with eDiscovery in Office 365 and what plan do you need for what?

Office 365 E1

The first piece of eDiscovery starts in the Office E1 plan with eDiscovery search. With E1 you can run content searches within the Office 365 Security & Compliance Center to look for relevant emails, documents, and instant messaging conversations throughout your Office 365 Organization. You can search all mailboxes, all Exchange public folders, and all SharePoint Online sites and OneDrive for Business accounts in a single Content Search with no limit. You can run these searches in any number of location wanted and as many times as you need. Where the E1 plan is lacking is for holds and being able to export out the results from the eDiscovery search.

Office 365 E3

Office 365 E3 picks up right where E1 stops by adding the export functionality for content searches and more. On top of the added feature of being able to export these searches, you have access to eDiscovery Case holds which adds In-Place and Litigation hold capability across Office 365. With eDiscovery cases, you can control who can access, create, and manage eDiscovery Cases. These cases are used to contain precisely the information you need for a specific search all in one place. In an eDiscovery case a typical life-cycle looks something like this:

  • You create the eDiscovery case to be able to hold your results for a specific need in one place
  • You then place holds on content to prevent it from modification or deletion. This is so all the material included in your searches remain in their original location
  • Then you will use queries to search for the content, narrowing and refining the search as you go. In this search, you can filter by keywords, dates, authors, and much more
  • From there you can export your findings for delivery to whoever inside or outside of your organization needs the information

Office 365 E5

On top of eDiscovery, Microsoft also offers its Advanced eDiscovery feature, which is available as part of Office 365 E5 and expands on the features from E3. Office 365 Advanced eDiscovery utilizes machine learning, predictive coding, and text analytics to analyze large, unstructured data sets and focus the data that's most relevant. If you are interested in its functionality, make sure to check out our blog post on it here.

Staying Secure with an Office 365 eDiscovery Solution

As you can see, eDiscovery is an incredibly powerful tool within Office 365. If your organization ever needs to be able to find, preserve, analyze, and package content, eDiscovery is the way to go. With E1 you have access to the basic functionality, with E3 you have full access to these features including legal hold and with E5 you have access to a powerful tool that can ease the headache of data searching.

Interested in knowing if you already have eDiscovery as part of your tenant or want to know how to upgrade to unlock this functionality?

Contact us today!


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