eDiscovery Daily Blog
eDiscovery Trends: Jim McGann of Index Engines
This is the third of the 2012 LegalTech New York (LTNY) Thought Leader Interview series. eDiscoveryDaily interviewed several thought leaders at LTNY this year and generally asked each of them the following questions:
- What do you consider to be the emerging trends in eDiscovery that will have the greatest impact in 2012?
- Which trend(s), if any, haven’t emerged to this point like you thought they would?
- What are your general observations about LTNY this year and how it fits into emerging trends?
- What are you working on that you’d like our readers to know about?
Today’s thought leader is Jim McGann. Jim is Vice President of Information Discovery at Index Engines. Jim has extensive experience with the eDiscovery and Information Management in the Fortune 2000 sector. He has worked for leading software firms, including Information Builders and the French-based engineering software provider Dassault Systemes. In recent years he has worked for technology-based start-ups that provide financial services and information management solutions.
What do you consider to be the emerging trends in eDiscovery that will have the greatest impact in 2012? And which trend(s), if any, haven’t emerged to this point like you thought they would?
I think what we're seeing is a lot of people becoming a bit more proactive. I may combine your questions together because I'm surprised that people haven’t become proactive sooner. LegalTech has included a focus on litigation readiness for how long? Ten years or so? And we're still dealing with how to react to litigation, and you're still seeing fire drills occur. There’s still not enough setting up of environments in the corporate world and in the legal world that would enable customers to respond more quickly. It surprises me how little has been developed in this regard..
I think the reason for the slow start is that there are a lot of regulations that have been evolving and people haven't really understood what they need to prepare and how to react. There’s been ten years of LegalTech and we're still struggling with how to respond to basic litigation requests because the volume has grown, accessibility arguments have changed, Federal rules have been solidified, and so forth.
What we're seeing when we go and talk to customers (and we talk to a lot of end-user customers that are facing litigation) is IT on one end of the table saying, ‘we need to solve this for the long term’, and litigation support teams on the other end of the table saying, ‘I need this today, I’ve been requesting data since July, and I still haven't received it and it's now January’. That's not good.
The evolution is from what we call “litigation support”. Litigation support, which is more on the reactive side to proactive litigation readiness, expects to be able to push a button and put a hold on John Doe's mailbox. Or, specifically find content that’s required at a moment's notice.
So, I think the trend is litigation readiness. Are people really starting to prepare for it? Every meeting that we go into, we see IT organizations, who are in the compliance security groups, rolling up their sleeves and saying I need to solve this for my company long term but we have this litigation. It's a mixed environment. In the past, we would go meet with litigation support teams, and IT wasn't involved. You're seeing buzz words like Information Governance. You're seeing big players like IBM, EMC and Symantec jumping deep into it.
What's strange is that IT organizations are getting involved in formalizing a process that hasn't been formalized in the past. It's been very much, maybe not “ad hoc”, but IT organizations did what they could to meet project needs. Now IT is looking at solving the problem long term, and there’s a struggle. Attorneys are not the best long term planners – they're doing what they need to do. They've got 60 days to do discovery, and IT is thinking five years. We need to balance this out.
What are your general observations about LTNY this year and how it fits into emerging trends?
We're talking to a lot of people that are looking at next generation solutions. The problems have changed, so solutions are evolving to address how you solve those problems.
There's also been a lot of consolidation in the eDiscovery space as well, so people are saying that their relationship has changed with their other vendors. There have been a lot of those conversations.
I'm not sure what the attendance is at this year’s show, but attendees seem to be serious about looking for new solutions. Maybe because the economy was so bad over the past year or maybe because it's a new budget year and budgets are freeing up, but people are looking at making changes, looking at new solutions. We see that a lot with service providers, as well as law firms and other end users.
What are you working on that you’d like our readers to know about?
We’ve announced the release of Octane Version 4.3, which preserves files and emails at a bit level from MS Exchange and IBM Lotus Notes, as well as indexing forensics images and evidence files at speeds reaching 1TB per hour using a single node. Bit-for-bit email processing and forensic image indexing speeds are unprecedented breakthroughs in the industry. Bit-level indexing is not only faster but also more reliable because email is stored in its original format with no need for conversion. Index Engines can also now index terabytes of network data including forensic images in hours, not weeks, like traditional tools. So, we’re excited about the new version of Octane.
We’ve also just announced a partnership with Merrill Corporation, to provide our technology to collect and process ESI from networks, desktops, forensic images and legacy backup tapes, for both reactive litigation and proactive litigation readiness. Merrill has recognized the shift in reactive to proactive litigation readiness that I mentioned earlier and we are excited to be aligned with Merrill in meeting the demands of their customers in this regard.
Thanks, Jim, for participating in the interview!
And to the readers, as always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic!
CloudNine empowers legal, information technology, and business professionals with eDiscovery automation software and professional services that simplify litigation, investigations, and audits for law firms and corporations.