IBM ‘Spins Off’ eDiscovery Suite to New Company, Breakwater

In an unusual move, technology giant IBM has in effect ‘spun off’ its eDiscovery suite, along with other software related to unstructured data analysis, to a new company called Breakwater.

Breakwater has taken on IBM StoredIQ, IBM StoredIQ for Legal, IBM StoredIQ InstaScan, and the IBM Atlas suite of products. Through a partnership agreement with IBM, Breakwater will now ‘assume the ongoing support, investment, and dedication to the future of these products‘. Breakwater will help current IBM users of these products transition without reimplementing their existing environments, they added.

As to Breakwater, it was formed in late 2020 and is based in Texas. Its CEO is James Schellhase, who used to work at IBM and most recently was Executive Chair of legal tech group McCarthy Finch, until it was sold to Onit last year. The new group has also received private equity funding from JLL Partners.

A spokesperson for Breakwater told Artificial Lawyer that although this is not IBM creating a new company – as this is all led by Schellhase and the investors – that ‘Breakwater is taking over the IP rights to the software, and pairing it with experienced consultants, such as formerly of Navigant. [And] they are in the process of transitioning IBM customers over to Breakwater now’.

Schellhase explained: ‘In addition [to the IBM software and funding], I am pleased to announce that our founding team includes Jim Vint, former Technology Practice Lead at Ankura and Navigant Consulting, to provide leadership to our consulting practice. We are excited about the opportunity to meet customer challenges head-on, and the early feedback from clients and analysts has been very positive.’

And as to the relationship with IBM, Madhu Kochar, Vice President of Product Management for Data and AI at IBM, explained: ‘IBM is working closely with Breakwater Solutions to support our customers and their evolving needs in the file analysis and eDiscovery space.’

It’s an interesting move, and Artificial Lawyer has to say this site didn’t even know IBM had an eDiscovery capability. But…well….now it looks like Breakwater is the company running this software.

And as to the software itself, this is what Big Blue said:

IBM StoredIQ for Legal provides robust electronic discovery (eDiscovery) process management from hold notification to identification, preservation and collection. Legal teams can use one interface to manage all data preservation and collection requirements. The solution incorporates automation, analysis and insight throughout the process to help increase efficiency while reducing the complexity, cost and risk associated with eDiscovery events. StoredIQ for Legal can be deployed both on premises and on cloud.’