Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2016-04-17 20:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

I was glad to see my friend Craig Ball update his EDna Challenge on Friday. For faithful readers that missed the original small scale eDiscovery for Everybody scenario published almost seven years ago, it consisted of 50,000 mixed native electronic documents, scanned images and a $1,000 budget. Craig has raised the bar to 100,000 files occupying 12 GB for $5,000. The renewed challenge coincides with a recent RFP engagement that started as a small volume proactive ECA usage case that I shopped to 19 providers. You might say that I have a good viewpoint on small matter eDiscovery solution options, whether on-premise, hosted or SaaS. The primary difference between the new EDna scenario and my client’s requirements is the potential duration. The mythical Edna only has 90 days to review and produce, whereas my typical clients expect to need live access to collections for at least three years. In my opinion, it is the outdated and unreasonable monthly hosting charges that put eDiscovery out of reach for the majority of the SMB market. We (Mikki and myself) have always considered RFP pricing and specific bids to be confidential, so without explicit permission from my recent bidders I will keep my analysis more general. So what portion of RFP respondents could have met the EDna Challenge? The answer may surprise you.

For this fast analysis, I plugging in Edna’s 12 GB, 2 users for 3 months into my RFI and RFP analysis workbooks. Now pricing was optional in my RFI phase and we were asking for fixed fee AFE options, so I hesitate to read too much into the numbers. Sufficient to say that none of the on-premise options were suitable for Edna. Most of the Relativity hosted providers came in under Edna’s budget, though I am not sure that they would have broken even on such a small zip file. 7 out of 10 hosted RFI’s with pricing fell under $5,000 for her 90 day review and production cycle, but she would have had to shut it down immediately or park the collection offline at that point. 5 of 10 SaaS RFI’s with pricing came in under $5,000 with the other half consisting of fixed fee bids that were not representative of Edna’s 90 day cycle.

My take-away from plugging the revised EDna scenario parameters into a real world set of RFI/RFP responses is that eDiscovery IS accessible to the little guys, but it is not profitable for most providers. Only the completely self-service SaaS platforms can meet the low volume, short time cycle scenario.

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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