Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2015-11-01 19:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

There is no denying that kCura’s Relativity leads the online review technology market. Too many of our corporate RFP engagements start with, “Besides Relativity, is there anyone else we should consider?” eDiscovery consumers are incredibly risk adverse. They want a sure thing. In the software industry, I call that the IBM syndrome based on the old FUD sales strategy, “No one ever got fired for buying IBM.” Once a brand is perceived at ‘market leading’ it’s purchase becomes defensible. Clearwell rode this wave to dominate the service provider channel market until the Symantec acquisition in 2011. Knowing that Relativity is at the peak of brand dominance puts immense pressure on Andrew Sieja and his team to use the $125M round of funding to make that market perception of security a technological reality. Every startup has a tendency to ‘check the boxes’, i.e. put in bare bones features to meet RFP requirements. They are so busy trying to be everything to everyone that development cycles are robbed of usability and functional depth. Clearwell definitely fell prey to this syndrome during their time on the eDiscovery wave. The kCura team is very aware of the potential pitfalls of being the market leader and they seem determined to avoid them. Here are my take aways from my briefing with kCura last week:

  • Focused on unglamorous development required to make a seamless end-to-end eDiscovery platform a reality. Lots of providers talk about ‘complete’ eDiscovery coverage, but most stick to processing-review-production.

  • 75% of revenue is from service provider channel. The migration of enterprise content to the Cloud makes dependency on channel partners less of a concern. kCura does not have to invest in direct enterprise sales if they can make purchasing through a partner a win-win for customers.
  • Breaking down the $/GB roadblock for analytics should accelerate adoption of new visualizations and RAR by customers. Analytics without upcharge.
  • Automated workflows in processing and live access to collections during processing.
  • It will be interesting to see if kCura can get customers to use remote collection functionality. Clearwell, BIA and others have struggled to get customer’s to abandon manual collections.
  • Processing adoption shows steady growth since launch, reaching 44% of the customer base. The real question is whether the service channel partners will abandon their existing processing tools to use the improved processing and NoSQL Data Grid. According to kCura 28% of processing customers are service providers.
  • Usability and navigation improvements that include dynamic chart widgets-dashboards, more intuitive search criteria builder and more mobile friendly interface. This is the kind of unglamorous development investment that will keep new customers who bought based on the brand dominance.
  • Cut the average time to create and run a production from 40 minutes down to 5 minutes (9.2 vs. 9.3 workflow).

I hope that my take-away list gives you a glimpse into how the kCura team is using their round of funding to move Relativity towards ideal of a true eDiscovery Platform, one step at a time. 


Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. Contact him directly for a ‘Good Karma’ call. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s Office 365/2013 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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