Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2015-04-06 20:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

I had almost thought that the venerable Yahoo LitSupport list had finally died when a classic question arrived this morning seeking replacement options for LexisNexis’s LAW.  Although the poor poster will now undoubtedly get a wave of sales rep responses, they were probably prepared to deal with the spam. The good news is that there are LOTS of processing/EDA/ECA tools on the market, but most are server based platforms instead of desktop apps. The main difference is the sticker shock you will get looking at ‘modern’ Processing/ECA tools compared to the old school LAW flat purchase price. LAW’s low cost and lack of volume caps/costs is why it is still around. Responding to the request (yes, I still answer posts on the list and direct questions) got me thinking about how the classic small firm or private company solo lit support power user has been caught in the market transition.

The big, dominant software providers target their eDiscovery offerings for enterprise level customers (typical eDJ consulting clients). Enterprise platforms such as Relativity, Nuix, Exterro, Clearwell and more bring a $50k+ entry fee when you look at license and infrastructure options. But wait! A SMB consumer can eliminate the initial investment with a SaaS/Cloud processing solution, right? Hmm. Logikcull’s CEO Andy Wilson recently highlighted the ingestion challenges that his competitors face when trying to offer true ‘self-service’ SaaS processing in the Cloud. Most Cloud processing platforms still seem to be web-fronted service providers (i.e. receiving hard drives and requiring manual steps to load/produce). Andy thinks that the key to bringing eDiscovery SaaS to SMB customers includes practical self-service automation for the discovery lifecycle. That means no techs behind the firewall loading hard drives, queuing processing batches, running QA or otherwise touching the uploaded collection.

Nice concept for a full review lifecycle, but SaaS cloud processing does not actually replace the classic litsupport desktop process/cull/search usage scenario in my world. Many old school LAW customers still remember buying their initial workstation for <$2,000 with no $/GB fees that have to be estimated and approved for every case. Instead, they accepted the fact that it might take days to crunch through stacks of PST files for an all-you-can-eat 24/7 lifestyle. So are there any true ‘LAW replacements’ on the market for the solo litsupport desktop buyer? Not really, but you can step up a notch in functionality if you can raise your budget a bit. I would start by getting pricing and feature lists on these desktop/appliance versions:

  • AD Summation
  • Nuix eDiscovery
  • TunnelVision
  • Digital WarRoom Express
  • Discovery360 Datamapper

This is an admittedly off the cuff list because I have not had a strong reason to dig into this buying category for our enterprise clients. Shoot me any candidates that I have managed to ignore due to out of date profile information or new offerings. My closing thought is that this is a good example of a transition gap in the market that will be closed by an innovative SaaS offering that solves the challenges posed by upload/download bandwidth, consumption models and true self-service automation.

Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s 2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more.

Blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment. eDJ consultants are not journalists and perspectives are based on public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted. Do you want to share your own perspective? eDJ Group is looking for practical, professional informative perspectives free of marketing fluff, hidden agendas or personal/product bias. Outside blogs will clearly indicate the author, company and any relevant affiliations. 

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