Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2011-01-25 03:55:02Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. Legal Tech NY 2011 is less than a week away. It just so happens that we launched eDJ at LTNY 2010, so we have been working hard on some new tools. We have completely rewritten my old eDiscovery Application Matrix and transformed it into the eDJ Tech Matrix. The most noticeable immediate change is our new capability to compare individual applications or features across entire company offerings. The eDiscovery market is still relatively young and it is dominated by start-ups with a single software offering. However, we have seen acquisitions by global technology companies such as Autonomy, EMC, Iron Mountain and IBM. That means you might want to see how an individual product compares AND then see all the features offered by a company. Up until this point, the roughly 100 applications in the Tech Matrix had been submitted exclusively by users and the providers.

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After my September blog on LTNY 2008-2011 sponsorship, I have watched the LTNY exhibitor list closely. There were only 159 confirmed exhibitors last September, but this hit 230 as of last Friday! That is an indicator that providers are nervous, but there is enough real business that they do not want to be left out of the party. Overall, that is good news for all of us. Interestingly enough, there are only 38 actual premier sponsors for this year. Although this is much better than the 20 we saw in September, it is actually less than 2008 and 2009.

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One of the most common questions I receive on the eDJ Tech Matrix is where the listings come from and are they up to date. Back in 2008, I seeded the original database with 30-40 primary applications that I had extensive hands on consulting experience with. The initial announcement motivated competitors to get their applications in the system, especially when buyers started asking about it during RFPs. Nothing like having a VP call me from the taxi to demand that their application be listed IMMEDIATELY. We had good coverage of the review platforms, processing packages and discovery search products, mainly based around the foundation products that everyone knew well. The system grew organically until we migrated it over to the eDJ website and broke 100 applications. I looked at the LTNY 2011 exhibitor list and decided to just create listings for all the remaining software exhibitors based on everything publically available. We have now hit 189 applications with 119 distinct eDiscovery features that can be filtered and compared by Category/EDRM Phase. We are now marking listings where Barry or myself has done a full product demo to review the features against their listing with eDJ-Reviewed so that you know that the listing is up to date.

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Many provider websites were big on marketing pitch and value proposition, while being frustratingly vague about their actual product. Made me want to scream, “WHAT DO YOU DO????” I decided that I would rather keep a listing incomplete that make an assumption about a feature or licensing method. We are still sending emails to all the new providers so that they can update their listings for any features that they left out of their website or documentation. It is interesting to me that for an industry based on ‘discovery’, so many providers seem to abhor transparency. All we are doing is listing simple, clean functionality so that you can do apple-to-apple comparisons without any kind of subjective rankings or mysterious diagrams. It seems to me that only providers with weak feature coverage should be afraid.

Roughly 60-70% of exhibitors represent actual eDiscovery technology such as appliances, software or SaaS offerings. I decided not to include practice management offerings that did not include actual case/project management features that could be used to run discovery. We still have copy services, travel services and other ancillary firm support exhibitors, but the numbers seem down from prior years. The good news is that LTNY 2011 looks to be the bigger than ever. But bad news is that it will continue to be a confusing mob scene on the three exhibitor floors. The promised LegalTech Mobile app just went live today, so if you use the eDJ Tech Matrix to find all the current applications that offered Predictive Review functionality, you could Browse by Features and pull up a list of exhibitors. From that list, you could plan your time on the floor with the Mobile app, or at least build a list of booth numbers.

So I hope that everyone’s conference is fun and productive. If you see myself or Barry Murphy on the floor, please stop us for an introduction, opinion or question. I look forward to meeting lots of new folks this year and seeing new toys!

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