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Avoiding Glittering Generalities in Selecting eDiscovery Software – Considering Capability: eDiscovery Best Practices

Editor’s Note: If you read our blog regularly, you know that we frequently reference my friend and CloudNine colleague Rob Robinson’s excellent blog, Complex Discovery for various industry information, including quarterly business confidence surveys, eDiscovery software and service market “mashups” and information about industry mergers and acquisitions (among other things).  We’ve been discussing aspects of on-premise and off-premise eDiscovery offerings quite a bit lately (including this recent webcast conducted by Tom O’Connor and me a few weeks ago) and Rob has written a terrific article on the subject which he has graciously allowed me to publish here.  This is the third part of his multi-part article (parts 1 and 2 here and here) – we will publish it in a series over the next couple of weeks or so.  Enjoy! – Doug

Considering Capability

“Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.” Christian Lous Lange

Once the security of a potential solution has been considered, the next reasonable area of examination and evaluation is that of capability. Assessing capability is just determining whether or not a solution can accomplish the necessary tasks required in an eDiscovery effort. While there are not always discernible differences in the capabilities of on-premise and off-premise offerings, there are some characteristics to consider as they may be indicators of the ability of a solution to meet actual needs as opposed to perceived needs. Some of these characteristics include maturity, integration, and automation.

The maturity of an offering is important as it helps inform one on how long an offering has been in the market and if it might or might not contain the latest and most efficient technology to accomplish eDiscovery tasks. However, maturity becomes a factor only when it contributes to the inability of a solution to perform the task for it is being asked to complete. If a mature solution is incapable of completing a task today based on lack of functionality or in the near-term based on discontinued support, then it might not be the most appropriate solution from a purchase protection perspective. On the other hand, if it works today and will be maintained in the future, it seems reasonable that the mature offering should not be excluded as a potential choice solely based on the time it has been available on the market.

When discussing maturity, many eDiscovery professionals often and wrongly categorize maturity as legacy and equate legacy with insufficiency. This generalization may be true in some cases. However, some of the most mature offerings in the marketplace today are still the most effective at accomplishing specific tasks. Given that some of the most mature offerings are on-premise, there may be situations where the most appropriate choice for a particular task might be accomplished with an on-premise solution. It is easy to react to the glittering generality of considering all mature technology as legacy and therefore not as good as newer offerings. However, make sure that judgment on capability is first and foremost on the ability of the offering to complete required tasks and not on the time an offering has been in the marketplace.

Integration of an offering is also an important selection characteristic as it may indicate the potential for time and cost efficiencies lacking in non-integrated solutions. For example, offerings that have internal or external technology integration points for ingestion, processing, and review tasks might be more desirable than non-integrated offerings. However, integration without appropriate capability is not acceptable as one cannot be successful in eDiscovery if one cannot perform required tasks.

Automation in eDiscovery should be considered in the same way integration is considered. If automation is available, then it may be desirable over non-automated solutions based on time and cost savings delivered in task completion. However, automation ceases to be important if the tasks being automated are unable to complete required tasks. An example of this would be the automation of ingestion and processing in an offering. Automation of these tasks may be beneficial for certain data types, but if the data types that need to be processed cannot be processed due to lack of system capability, then the time efficiencies of automation may be negated by the time required for manual processing.

Additionally, not all offerings are created equal in their capability to accomplish tasks on large volumes of data. This volume limitation on an offering’s capability is not one usually found in a provider’s software marketing materials or user’s guides, but it is usually well known by those who have implemented specific solutions that fall short in this capability. In fact, even some of the newer, cloud-based off-premise offerings fall short in this area, so short that they position their offering for best use in small and medium cases sizes.  This type of data volume capability limitation is becoming increasingly important as the challenge of increasing volumes of data is regularly noted as one of the top concerns of eDiscovery professionals.

Quick Takeaway: In examining the capability of an offering, the first focus should be on its ability to accomplish required tasks. If it can complete required tasks, then it is reasonable to consider its maturity, integration, and automation as selection data points for comparison. Integration, especially external integration points with other offerings, should be a key consideration in offering selection as very few eDiscovery platforms can handle all eDiscovery challenges without the use of complementary platforms.

Next week, we will address the last two areas of evaluation, providing a consideration of complexity and cost.

So, what do you think?  What factors do you consider when evaluating and selecting eDiscovery software?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Also, I’m excited to report that eDiscovery Daily has been nominated to participate in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest in the Legal Tech category!  Thanks to whoever nominated us!  If you enjoy our blog, you can vote for it and help it win a spot in their Best Legal Blogs Hall of Fame.  You can cast a vote for the blog here.  Thanks!

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Avoiding Glittering Generalities in Selecting eDiscovery Software – Considering Security: eDiscovery Best Practices

Editor’s Note: If you read our blog regularly, you know that we frequently reference my friend and CloudNine colleague Rob Robinson’s excellent blog, Complex Discovery for various industry information, including quarterly business confidence surveys, eDiscovery software and service market “mashups” and information about industry mergers and acquisitions (among other things).  We’ve been discussing aspects of on-premise and off-premise eDiscovery offerings quite a bit lately (including this recent webcast conducted by Tom O’Connor and me a few weeks ago) and Rob has written a terrific article on the subject which he has graciously allowed me to publish here.  This is the second part of his multi-part article (part 1 here) – we will publish it in a series over the next couple of weeks or so.  Enjoy! – Doug

Considering Security

“Distrust and caution are the parents of security.” Benjamin Franklin

The security of data is fast becoming one of the most prominent and visible areas of concern in the selection of eDiscovery software solutions. With public examples of data security failures increasing in regularity and impact, it behooves any discovery solution decision maker to carefully consider how they manage this important risk factor and make decisions based on facts.

Control of data, applications, servers, storage, and network connectivity behind an organization’s firewall has traditionally been viewed as the most secure of available eDiscovery solution deployment options. In this on-premise security approach, an organization has complete control of data and all the elements that might act on the data in the course of eDiscovery. For organizations that have an established security infrastructure, on-premise offerings appear to be a safe approach to eDiscovery security as they minimize security risk through the exercise of direct control of data.  The on-premise approach also seems highly desirable to many organizations sensitive to data transfer regulations and privacy requirements as it ensures they maintain a direct understanding of the physical location of data and have the ability to act on that data at all times.  From an acceptance standpoint, according to a recent eDiscovery industry report from the Aberdeen Group (covered by us here), organizations are 50% more likely to have an on-premise eDiscovery solution than a cloud-based one.  With these facts in mind, it seems reasonable to conclude that an on-premise approach to security is a safe method that is and should continue to be used by many organizations as part of their eDiscovery solution even in the face of growing acceptance of off-premise alternatives.

With the mainstream acceptance of cloud computing, the off-premise approach to delivering eDiscovery software is experiencing increasing in acceptance. This acceptance is based on many attributes, one being the evidence that off-premise offerings delivered via SaaS may be able to satisfactorily address many of the security requirements previously only achievable in on-premise offerings.  Reasons for this growing acceptance of cloud-centric eDiscovery solutions as secure on-premise alternatives include but are not limited to the following security elements:

  • Sophisticated Encryption: The ability to encrypt data in various states of movement and rest.
  • Security Experts on Staff: The availability of experts to continuously monitor and address security requirements.
  • First Access to Emerging Technologies: The access to emerging technologies based on size and centralization of data.

These elements of security are increasingly available in cloud offerings and are helping make the use off-premise eDiscovery solutions acceptable when viewed through the lens of security.

There are also different types of cloud implementations that may contribute to the overall security of a particular cloud-centric solution. There are pure public clouds that operate exclusively on a public cloud infrastructure and are delivered by companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. There are also private cloud solutions that combine the economic and access benefits of pure public cloud solutions with the added security of provider-owned resources that allow for determination of the exact physical location of data at any time. This ability to reach out and physically locate client data is a desirable security attribute of private clouds, especially in light of increasing regulatory and legal requirements around the disposition and disposal of personally identifiable information.

Given the current state of security of most public and private cloud eDiscovery offerings, it seems reasonable to suggest that there are many appropriate cloud-based offerings from a solely security-centric perspective.

Regardless of on-premise or off-premise approach, there are always some areas of security concern that transcend delivery approach. One example of this type of security concern is the transfer of productions outside of the firewall or cloud-secured environment to requesting parties. However, there are also many ways to mitigate even this risk through the use of secure transfer protocols, encryption, and shared access to secure servers managed with role-based access. In fact, some vendors present this concern of data transfer security argument as a reason not to consider a solution when in fact the real reason the vendor highlights this risk is that getting data out of their system is incredibly time-consuming and they want to direct users to proprietary approaches that mitigate data transfer speed deficiencies. Said differently, when evaluating software provider arguments and objections to differing security concerns, make sure you accurately understand the cause of the concern as it may be more related to performance deficiencies than security deficiencies.

Quick Takeaway: Both on-premise and off-premise offerings may be sufficient to meet organizational security requirements. However, some approaches may mitigate security risk more comprehensively than others, so it is important to understand current and potential future security requirements when selecting eDiscovery software.

Thursday, we will address the next area of evaluation, providing a consideration of capability.

So, what do you think?  What factors do you consider when evaluating and selecting eDiscovery software?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Also, I’m excited to report that eDiscovery Daily has been nominated to participate in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest in the Legal Tech category!  Thanks to whoever nominated us!  If you enjoy our blog, you can vote for it and help it win a spot in their Best Legal Blogs Hall of Fame.  You can cast a vote for the blog here.  Thanks!

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

CloudNine Voted as a Leader in Multiple Categories in The Recorder’s Best of 2017 Reader Ranking Survey

Eleventh Annual Issue of The Recorder’s Best Highlights eDiscovery-Centric Recognition of CloudNine

CloudNine, the eDiscovery Company (cloudnine.com) providing eDiscovery automation software and services for litigation, investigations, and audits, today highlighted its recent recognition as a leading eDiscovery provider by voters in the eleventh annual issue of The Recorder’s Best Survey.

The Recorder’s BEST OF 2017 issue was published in September with the top three responses in each of more than 80 categories shared in the annual survey results. CloudNine was voted as a leading provider in the following three reader ranking categories:

  • Best Online Review Platform (3)
  • Best Predictive Coding Solution (2)
  • Best Information Governance Solution (2)

Voting for the survey was conducted online via ballot beginning in April of 2017.

Try CloudNine at No Risk, Immediately

To sign up for a free trial of CloudNine, visit the CloudNine website (cloudnine.com), request your free account, and begin immediately to use the power and precision of simplified eDiscovery automation in your litigation, investigation, and audit efforts.

About CloudNine, The eDiscovery Company

Founded in 2002 and based in Houston, Texas, CloudNine is a legal intelligence technology company with deep expertise in the analysis, processing, and review of electronically stored information (ESI). Currently used by more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms as well as in many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine has been recognized in reports and surveys by Gartner, 451 Research, Blue Hill Research, Corporate Counsel Magazine, the New York Journal, and Texas Lawyer. CloudNine also publishes the eDiscovery Daily Blog, a trusted source of information for the legal industry. A leader in eDiscovery automation, you can learn more about CloudNine at 713.462.3885, info[at]cloudnine.com, or at cloudnine.com.

For more information contact:

Rob Robinson, CloudNine
PR@cloudnine.com
512.934.7531

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Avoiding Glittering Generalities in Selecting eDiscovery Software: eDiscovery Best Practices

Editor’s Note: If you read our blog regularly, you know that we frequently reference my friend and CloudNine colleague Rob Robinson’s excellent blog, Complex Discovery for various industry information, including quarterly business confidence surveys, eDiscovery software and service market “mashups” and information about industry mergers and acquisitions (among other things).  We’ve been discussing aspects of on-premise and off-premise eDiscovery offerings quite a bit lately (including this recent webcast conducted by Tom O’Connor and me a few weeks ago) and Rob has written a terrific article on the subject which he has graciously allowed me to publish here.  This is the first part of his multi-part article – we will publish it in a series over the next couple of weeks or so.  Enjoy! – Doug

Forget the glittering generalities of opinioned providers and professionals trying to champion a particular approach to eDiscovery at the exclusion of others. The reality is that on-premise and off-premise solutions delivered as part of both emerging and mature technology implementations are and will continue to be a fundamental piece of any eDiscovery software portfolio if an organization wants to address the areas of security, capability, complexity, and cost comprehensively.

Considerations for the Selection of eDiscovery Software

One of the ongoing topics in the area of eDiscovery software revolves around assertions and attestations on what is the optimal delivery model for achieving the best balance of security, capability, complexity, and cost in an eDiscovery software offering. On one end of the spectrum, there are champions of the on-premise approach whose argument centers around security and capability and highlights that ability to deal with complex data sets is more important than how long the software has been on the market. On the other end of the spectrum, there are champions of the off-premise approach, also known as the cloud-enabled approach, whose argument centers around the speed and cost benefits of self-service discovery supported by the economics of a public cloud infrastructure. Between the ends of this spectrum reside a variety of offerings that combine attributes of both on-premise and off-premise offerings to deliver unique solutions.

So, how does one go about determining what might be the best offering to help them solve their on-going eDiscovery challenges? That is a great question and one without a single definitive answer. However, the following considerations may be helpful to eDiscovery professionals as they examine on-premise, off-premise, and combination software approaches with the goal of determining what the best-balanced solution might be for their needs.

Four Areas of Evaluation

Regardless of the type of delivery approach selected for the conduct of eDiscovery, there at least four attributes that should be considered in every solution selection. These attributes are:

  • Security: Does the solution provide the level of data protection needed for your eDiscovery effort?
  • Capability: Does the solution allow you to complete the basic tasks required for your eDiscovery effort?
  • Complexity: Does the solution allow you to complete advanced tasks required for your eDiscovery effort?
  • Cost: Does the solution address security, capability, and complexity in a cost-effective manner?

The ability to approach these attributes individually and collectively to find a solution that meets requirements, preferences, and budgets, ultimately determines whether an organization is successful from a legal, technological, and business perspective in the accomplishment of eDiscovery.  Next week, we will begin to touch on each of these areas of evaluation, beginning with a consideration of security.

So, what do you think?  What factors do you consider when evaluating and selecting eDiscovery software?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Also, I’m excited to report that eDiscovery Daily has been nominated to participate in The Expert Institute’s Best Legal Blog Contest in the Legal Tech category!  Thanks to whoever nominated us!  If you enjoy our blog, you can vote for it and help it win a spot in their Best Legal Blogs Hall of Fame.  You can cast a vote for the blog here.  Thanks!

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscovery Daily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Daily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

Customer Snapshot: An Immediate International Compliance Challenge Met by CloudNine

An Immediate International Compliance Challenge Met by CloudNine

CloudNine, the eDiscovery Company (cloudnine.com) providing eDiscovery automation software and services for litigation, investigations, and audits, today highlighted a recent international law firm’s selection of CloudNine to provide simplified eDiscovery automation in support of its corporate compliance practice. This highlighting provides one example of how CloudNine is simplifying eDiscovery for law firms, corporations, and governmental organizations.

Customer Challenge

Our customer, a Latin America-based international law firm that advises local, regional, and international companies on country-specific corporate compliance, provides counsel and services in support of extraterritorial matters. These matters routinely range from white-collar Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) investigations to civil cross-border and multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration. With a law firm of more than 65 attorneys and 20 tax advisors and a sporadic but intense workflow requiring advanced legal discovery technology to support time-sensitive audits, investigations, and litigation, our customer was interested in evaluating an alternative eDiscovery platform to replace their current technology. Given the nature of the support and the irregular intervals of intensive discovery, our customer not only required advanced eDiscovery technology but also needed a pricing model that allowed for periodic usage without penalizing them for episodical engagements. The hope of the firm’s corporate compliance practice lead attorney was that the alternative eDiscovery technology could be utilized as an immediate replacement and serve as a permanent part of the firm’s discovery resources.

Needs Snapshot

+ Proven Provider with Compliance Expertise
+ Advanced eDiscovery Technology
+ Flexible Pricing Model
+ Immediate Implementation

CloudNine Solution

Upon being notified of the customer’s technology and business requirements for an advanced, cloud-based, SaaS-deployed eDiscovery platform that could support investigation and litigation needs while meeting business requirements, CloudNine’s customer support team immediately began working directly with the compliance practice’s lead attorney to provide a familiarization of CloudNine’s eDiscovery Platform to the firm’s multinational-focused multilingual associates. Key areas of interest to the customer highlighted during technology demonstrations included:

+ Ability of Any User to Immediately Upload, Process, Analyze, Review and Produce Electronically Stored Information (Speed)
+ Intuitive Interface for Comprehensive Capability (Simplicity)
+ Security of the Platform Based on its Private and Protected Cloud-Environment (Security)
+ Availability of A Full Suite of Professional Services to Support a Wide Range of Audit, Investigation, and Litigation Requirements (Services)

The CloudNine customer support team also developed a complete pricing strategy and model to support the customer’s business need of economical and predictable pricing without the requirement for long-term, subscription pricing commitments.  

In a time frame of fewer than two weeks from initial conversation to an agreement to go forward, CloudNine listened to the customer’s needs, developed a technology and business offering to meet the customer’s needs, and informed, educated, and instructed the customer on the use of the CloudNine eDiscovery Platform.

Results

Upon successful demonstration of the eDiscovery platform and presentation of a simplified pricing model that would meet the customer’s needs and provide cost savings over the customer’s previous eDiscovery offering, the law firm selected CloudNine in early 2017 to replace its previous technology and provide eDiscovery support for its international corporate compliance practice.

CloudNine then coordinated and deployed access to the CloudNine eDiscovery Platform to the customer’s Latin America-based associates. This seamless deployment consisted of the set-up, training, and the availability of professional services and technical support to meet the eDiscovery requirements. 

Ongoing Benefits

+ Associate Acceptance and Use of CloudNine as Primary eDiscovery Platform
+ Increased Flexibility Based on Platform Ease-of-Use
+ Decreased Costs Based on Appropriate Pricing Model

“CloudNine’s sensitivity to our compliance practice’s specific needs and ability to immediately deliver a comprehensive discovery offering has helped us better serve our international clientele who rely on us for timely advice and support on both white-collar and civil matters,” shared the Compliance Practice Lead Attorney. “They have saved us time, decreased our costs, and increased our ability to quickly and decisively to respond to critical information requirements.”

Try CloudNine at No Risk, Immediately

To sign up for a free trial of CloudNine, visit the CloudNine website (cloudnine.com), request your free account, and begin immediately to use the power and precision of simplified eDiscovery automation in your litigation, investigation, and audit efforts.

About CloudNine, The eDiscovery Company

Founded in 2002 and based in Houston, Texas, CloudNine is a legal intelligence technology company with deep expertise in the analysis, processing, and review of electronically stored information (ESI). Currently used by more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms as well as in many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine has been recognized in reports and surveys by Gartner, 451 Research, Blue Hill Research, Corporate Counsel Magazine, the New York Journal, and Texas Lawyer. CloudNine also publishes the eDiscovery Daily Blog, a trusted source of information for the legal industry. A leader in eDiscovery automation, you can learn more about CloudNine at 713.462.3885, info[at]cloudnine.com, or at cloudnine.com.

 

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CloudNine Voted as a Leading Provider in Ten Categories in National Law Journal’s Best of the Midwest Reader Ranking Survey

Second Annual Best of the Midwest Survey Highlights Lawyer and Legal Professional Recognition of CloudNine

CloudNine, the eDiscovery Company (cloudnine.com) providing eDiscovery automation software and services for litigation, investigations, and audits, today announced its recognition as a leading eDiscovery provider by voters in second annual Best of the Midwest Reader Rankings from The National Law Journal.

The Best of the Midwest Survey was published in August with the top three responses in each of more than 90 categories shared in the annual survey results. CloudNine was voted as a leading provider in the following ten reader ranking categories:

  • Best End-to-End Litigation Consulting Firm (2)
  • Best Technology Assisted Review eDiscovery Solution (3)
  • Best Data & Technology Management E-Discovery Provider (1)
  • Best Managed E-Discovery & Litigation Support Service Provider (3)
  • Best Legal Hold Solution Provider (2)
  • Best Online Review Platform (3)
  • Best Managed Document Review Services (2)
  • Best Information Governance Solution (1)
  • Best Predictive Coding E-Discovery Solution (1)
  • Best Corporate Investigations Provider (1)

Voting for the survey was conducted online via ballot and, in total, over 1,000 votes were cast in this extensive survey.

“CloudNine is excited and grateful to be recognized by Midwestern lawyers and legal professionals as a leader in the delivery of data and legal discovery software and services,” shared Brad Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer of CloudNine. “We highly value this vote of confidence and are committed to increasing that confidence through a continued and diligent focus on simplifying discovery.”

Try CloudNine at No Risk, Immediately

To sign up for a free trial of CloudNine, visit the CloudNine website (cloudnine.com), request your free account, and begin immediately to use the power and precision of simplified eDiscovery automation in your litigation, investigation, and audit efforts.

About CloudNine, The eDiscovery Company

Founded in 2002 and based in Houston, Texas, CloudNine is a legal intelligence technology company with deep expertise in the analysis, processing, and review of electronically stored information (ESI). Currently used by more than 50 of the top 250 Am Law firms as well as in many of the world’s leading corporations, CloudNine has been recognized in reports and surveys by Gartner, 451 Research, Blue Hill Research, Corporate Counsel Magazine, the New York Journal, and Texas Lawyer. CloudNine also publishes the eDiscovery Daily Blog, a trusted source of information for the legal industry. A leader in eDiscovery automation, you can learn more about CloudNine at 713.462.3885, info[at]cloudnine.com, or at cloudnine.com.

For more information contact:

Rob Robinson, CMO, CloudNine
PR@cloudnine.com
512.934.7531

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