Business  ·  Spotlight

Celebrating 20 Years

In today’s startup era, you don’t see “Tech Company Turns 20” in the headlines very often. But this month, that’s exactly what ZL’s doing. Read on to find out about the journey that we took to become an industry leader in information governance.

Beginnings: Stopping Snoops

ZL was founded in 1999 as an email security company. Our original name, ZipLip, was in reference to our reputation as a provider of secure mail that only the sender and receiver could read. The service provided several ahead-of-the-time features like password protection with hints and read receipts, and was provided for free for individual users.

Our home page looked very different.

A screencap of the original ZL website from 1999.

Evolution: Unified Data Management

ZL switched its focus to enterprise information governance in 2001. As the years went on, we developed new solutions for the pressing issues of the time:

  • After the passing of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, compliance was front-of-mind for every company. ZL released compliance software the very next year.
  • When the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended to include electronically-stored information as a type of discoverable format in 2006, ZL greatly expanded its records management functions.
  • In 2011, ZL updated its eDiscovery module to improve user quality-of-life with better notifications, preservation workflow, and advanced analysis.

All of these modules were developed in-house—making them truly unified rather than simply integrated and enabling them to be used together seamlessly. While other products and companies were purchased and integrated into existing systems that created conflict between organizational goals, ZL consistently retained 100% of our product and code.

ZL’s scalable and holistic approach to data management became widely recognized, and in 2005 ZL was inducted into the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving, where it has stayed until the present day.

Future: New Challenges, New Opportunities

Information governance has always been an unpredictable field, and the future looks just as tumultuous as the past. As companies move to more cloud-based architectures and privacy legislation forces PII management to be a top priority for companies that process user data, what organizations require – and what ZL can provide – will change significantly over the next few years.

Fortunately, as problems change, so do ZL’s solutions. Our values of scalable, GRID-architectured, unified technology will be able to keep up with demands from organizations of any size for any information governance need. We may not know exactly what upcoming years will demand, but ZL will continue to be on the forefront of information governance solutions.

I'm a Bay Area native who enjoys writing about the endlessly fascinating field of information governance. In my spare time, I enjoy making board games, baking, and attempting to convince everyone I know to watch The Genius.