Integrating BlueBear’s LACE carver into the Griffeye Analyze platform puts a great solution in the hands of users. It also shows the value of working together to solve problems and being guided all the way by what our users tell us. Here, Johann Hofmann, CEO of Griffeye, talks about this and more as he describes how the partnership came about.Over the past couple of years at Griffeye we’ve received many requests for a solution within the Griffeye Analyze platform to extract and carve data from digital media devices. And because everything we do is very much based on input from our users, it became a priority for us.
Our users were asking for a one-stop-shop solution to extract, process and investigate media, and that took out the labor-intensive steps of importing and exporting data through a series of standalone tools. But why develop our own carver solution when a great solution like BlueBear’s LACE carver already exists? After all, a driving concept behind Analyze has always been to gather the best tools in one place to give a full solution for investigators in their work.
When we met BlueBear, it quickly became obvious that we were already on the same page. We identified immediately with BlueBear’s commitment towards its users and focus on their real, day-to-day challenges. In fact, it’s how LACE carver came to life. In 2007, a police force in Canada asked them to develop an investigation tool. But when developing that tool, they realized one of the biggest problems in investigations was actually finding and securing the images and videos that were going into the investigation tool. So, they began to develop the LACE carver solution.
But that’s not as easy as it sounds. Antoine Normand, the CEO of BlueBear, explains,“We realized that the forensic carving process is about as technical as it gets, and the challenge was to create a solution that was powerful and effective yet simple to configure and apply.”
Over the years, LACE carver has gone from strength to strength, constantly developed with most of the features coming from users telling them what they wanted and needed. “We are constantly trying to find new ways to do things to resolve the problems that our users are facing, to make their work easier,” says Antoine. “It is about enhancing performance: increasing coverage of file and drive types, reducing the time taken to carve, and adding new innovative features.” And they’ve succeeded with that, which makes Antoine very proud: “Our aim has been to consistently work to simplify the naturally complicated carving process to lighten the burden of police investigators in the analysis and prosecution of child exploitation cases. The carver has always been a favorite part of our solution, often praised by the users.”
BlueBear has a great carver solution and at Griffeye we know we have a great platform that’s designed to put such tools in the hands of users. So, it was probably natural we’d meet. But our partnership and the integration became inevitable because of where we met – working together on Project VIC. Within this environment, there’s great encouragement to standardize communication between tools and for the industry to work together to solve real problems that investigators are facing in their line of work. The VICS data model that has enabled various levels of tool integration is a great example of this – and so is the partnership between BlueBear and Griffeye. Ultimately, this integration is also the goal of everything we do. Working together with others to provide the best solution around so investigators can do their job more effectively, leading to reduced workload and exposure for them and cases being solved quicker.
I also see this integration as the first step of many. Both Griffeye and BlueBear are dedicated to developing products that will have the greatest impact possible on our customers’ work. So, I am excited to see the response from our users and to take their input to develop things further – including both the actual carver and the user experience of the integration in Griffeye Analyze. Here, I’ll leave the final word to Antoine who says exactly how important it is for our users to be fully involved in this partnership: “I see big opportunities in closer collaboration between solution providers, like this partnership between BlueBear and Griffeye, and our common users, the investigators. Working together is how we will help guarantee that future innovations solve fresh technical issues, improve efficiency, and enhance collaboration to the benefit of all involved.”