Wrapping up my quick takeaways, I want to say that I really enjoyed the upbeat attitude at LTNY 2012. It was a great show for us and the follow up demos, proposals and new development work has kept us hopping. So here are the last of my briefs, with apologies to all of the providers who did not manage to get time with us or who could not deliver a memorable message to pass on.
kCura – The latest release (version 7.3) may feel a bit retro to any of us who remember having to install 20+ applications to every Discovery Cracker workstation in order to TIFF collections. As it was explained to eDJ, the new Relativity Native Imaging feature is optional, only requires 16 applications for full support and is intended to improve the quality and performance of productions. My own take away is that this is the foundation for processing native collections, which is the next logical step in growing Relativity from a review point solution to a broader eDiscovery platform. We followed up with several major Relativity service partners who confirmed our theory. So the real question is whether this will blunt the meteoric rise of kCura’s channel or simply launch them into broader corporate sales. We have seen other market leaders stumble and lose momentum when making this transition, so kCura should be watched closely over the next year.
Planet Data – The eDJ team got an early look at the forthcoming ExegoReview™ product that will sit on Planet Data’s Exego 3/Cerulean processing engine. The Planet Data development team always seems to march to their own drummer (CTO Mike Wade) while tackling the ugly details of eDiscovery that many prefer to just sweep under the rug. They seem to have deliberately turned away from an easy, lightweight assisted review checkbox (yes, they do have a CA integration). They have created workflow engines that use issue descriptions, searches, sample items and other input to organize, group and prioritize the review process through a blended similarity builder. The interesting part is that it handles the reality of dynamic collections and iterative loads without relying on the categorization engine, which means that you do not have to reprocess and retrain when another five custodians pop out of the corporate wood pile at the last second.
X1 Discovery – Although our briefing schedule did not give us time to meet with the X1 team this show, John Patzakis (CEO) proudly told me that they actually made 5 spontaneous show floor sales of X1 Social Discovery. To pull the trigger on a $900 purchase, that tells me that there were at least 5 folks struggling with Facebook discovery nightmares that needed a lifeline fast. Good thing that eDJ is hearing a lot of development buzz around social media collection/preservation from the more traditional players as well. X1 Discovery has jumped out front with a solution, but they are being chased hard.
Palantir Technologies – No less than four people whose opinions I trust told me that I had to go see this new investigation tool. Over the years, I have seen a number of interesting products hit the market that were originally funded through government contracts. Palantir seems to be an information analysis platform that connects to all kinds of structured and unstructured data streams to support investigations, data modeling and other information analysis. The visualizations and output was definitely serious eye candy. It is build on an open Java platform and leverages XML mapping for it’s connections (a familiar methodology). Definitely worth watching, but I am betting that most corporations lack the personnel resources and expertise to really get value out of this yet.
Equivio – After many years of being quietly OEM’d as an analytical component by review platforms, Equivio has finally released a stand alone application that can process, assess, analyze and export for review. The Equivio Zoom platform adds front end processing and workflow to the combined threading, near-duplication and relevance coding point products. Every providers flavor of technology assisted review(TAR) has strengths and weaknesses. I like Equivio’s new focus on defensibility, transparency and more mature quality assurance model. They are asking good questions about false negatives, false positives, separated control collections and more. Nice to see a provider willing to dig into the ugly realities of ‘accuracy’ statistics. These new systems still need to be translated and put into context for most counsel. The consequences of propagated decisions are tricky to extrapolate and harder to justify after the fact. Equivio keeps making progress and I look forward to digging into all of the new TAR offerings this year.