Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2016-04-06 20:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

It has been a busy week of RFP demos and meetings. Yes, I will try to write up my impressions on the finalist demos, but only after the client has a decision. Two things happened yesterday that got me thinking about how easy it is to get technology tunnel vision while dealing with critical cases or clients. A very sharp exec told me something along the lines of, “I don’t know how you keep up with the latest tech. A RFP is outdated before it is filled out.” Classic fox hole syndrome for eDiscovery professionals who are constantly under assault in high pressure cases. They literally do not have the bandwidth to poke their heads out of their safe place and evaluate new offerings on a regular basis. I lived in that same fox hole during my days in the corporate hot seat. As a consultant I have to devote serious time to reading press releases, briefing with providers and conducting my own market research to keep up with the changes. This kind of time is not practical for most lit support managers in Fortune 1000 corporations or AmLaw 200 firms. They are just too busy. This syndrome afflicts providers as well. Sales reps MUST believe in their offerings to be effective. Providers have limited direct contact with competitor products and generally only hear about competitor services when something has gone wrong.

A good example of this popped up in a demo yesterday when I innocently asked about a feature that is valuable for corporate customers, but less so for law firm siloed matters. The provider handled the question well and followed up with a work around. All good so far. Then he asked if I knew of other products that already had this feature. It was a smart question and got me thinking about how consumers and providers alike can suffer from this ‘fox hole syndrome’ or ‘technology tunnel vision’.

So how do you keep up without trying to be a full time market analyst (don’t do it)? The eDiscovery lifecycle covers a lot of ground. More than most practitioners need to be up to date on their role. Define your role and the kinds of tools/services that are relevant. Create some saved Google searches with criteria specific to these categories. Fight for training/education budget and do at least one open conference annually. This means one conference that is not product specific (example is Ipro Innovations later this month vs. Legal Tech). There is valuable training and content in user conferences, but everyone needs broader exposure on a consistent basis. For many of our clients, Mikki and I deliver periodic market updates and ‘health checks’ so that they understand how they compare in the eDiscovery/IG maturity curve. Make time to read, socialize and ask questions. Get out of your fox hole and the illusion of safety.

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, SMB eDiscovery, 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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