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What: Estorian, Bellevue

Who: Gary Tidd, 50, CEO

Mission: Take advantage of opportunities in the burgeoning e-mail-discovery market.

Glass half full: Estorian’s product, LookingGlass, indexes all of the stored e-mail generated in a corporation. Indexing can be installed for future tracking, or can be used to organize archived data. “We are able to provide a loss-prevention service, which gives companies an immediate return on investment,” Tidd said.

Courting disaster: E-mail in corporations facing litigation is open to discovery. These companies need a way to search through and provide needed documents. This can cut legal bills considerably and facilitate the recovery of documents that help provide a defense.

Truth decay: Conversely, if the company determines it is at fault, it can develop its strategy. “If you have actually done something wrong, it helps to get the information quickly,” Tidd said. “Then you can decide to settle it, or defend it.”

Employees: 12

Financials: Estorian evolved from TeraCloud, which developed rescue-management software for IBM mainframes. This product continues to generate enough revenue to keep the company moving, especially since it is in what Tidd calls “break-even” status.

Common sense: E-mail sent and received through a corporate account is company property, and can be searched at any time. For this reason, any communication that is personal or potentially embarrassing should be sent through a personal account or delivered over the phone. This should be obvious.

Virtual padlock: Tidd said employees who want to harm the company will do so one way or another, and can steal data with flash drives. At the same time, search software can act as a deterrent. “Our software is like a lock on the door,” he said. “It keeps honest people honest.”

Public service: “We are excited about this opportunity.” Tidd said of the market potential. “We feel that we can deliver something for everybody.”

— Charles Bermant