Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: . Published: 2013-05-20 10:55:06  I just got off the plane from NYC (Newark actually) to Austin and I’m glad it’s a Friday.  I had an exciting week in “The City” and was able to catch up with some wonderful people while I was in town.  The weather was perfect and I stayed at this cool new hotel called the Pod near 39th and Lex, which has an element of if Ikea ran a hotel (the rooms were tiny, but perfectly efficient with a great price) with a rooftop bar.I was in the city primarily because we were doing our eDiscoveryJournal Bootcamp on Selecting eDiscovery Technology and Service Providers. The program was held at the Hilton of LTNY infamy and it was weird being there without all the eDiscovery people walking around…it was almost ghostly. I kept looking around for all my LTNY colleagues, but they weren’t anywhere to be found.We had a great mix of about 35 corporate and law firm attendees and they didn’t really hold anything back.  Our lunch sponsor, FTI Consulting, had Jessica Block from their DC office start the program off by giving the audience some context on the issues facing corporations, law firms, and providers when dealing with Requests for Information (RFI) and Requests for Proposals (RFP) which we learned later are two completely different processes.

Babs Deacon and Gina Trimarco at NYC eDJ Boocamp (and Paul Rodgers)

eDiscoveryJournal’s Babs Deacon led the discussion with our other excellent facilitator, Gina Trimarco from DLA Piper.   We first covered the foundations of the RFI and RFP process and discussed the general workflow and successful communication approaches in order to prepare an organization for selecting a provider.  We ended that section with a hands-on session where different groups were put into a role playing situation where we split the participants into either a corporate OR law firm shoes evaluating their needs to determine whether they should outsource or in-source.  The discussion at the tables was lively and continued into the break as well as afterwards.We jumped into the next session and discussed the process of crafting an RFI/RFP.  There was a great deal of experience in the room among the attendees and the conversation gave me some new insight on how law firms are selecting providers in the ultra-competitive New York marketplace.  Overall I think there was a consensus that organizations have to maintain some ability to collection and initial processing of data, but the service providers have the resources to jump in on bigger projects more efficiently.We wrapped up the content portion of the day with a discussion on taking all the data captured from the RFI/RFP process and generating your shortlist

Ogletree Deacon's Mark Reichenbach sharing his extensive experience at NYC eDJ Bootcamp

of potential providers.  It was nice to see Babs showing the audience how they can utilize our own eDiscoveryMatrix to help create that shortlist.  The biggest challenge of this part of the process is trying to get to an “apples to apples” comparison especially with pricing.  It was interesting to hear that the attendees were more interested in quality and capabilities as compared to the lowest price.  We heard some experiences on how the lowest cost providers typically fail simply because they don’t have the project management resources or ability to ramp up to keep up with the large volume projects.This is something that I have seen many times over the years when a provider wins a large project or large contract, but fail to deliver in a consistent manner.  Then the corporation or law firm have to scramble to prop up the provider in order to meet the needs of the case.  This is a no win situation for any of the parties (let’s call it the Kobayashi Maru for eDiscovery in celebration for the latest ST movie coming out last week) and the provider has to recover their reputation as eDiscovery is still a pretty small community and word does get around when things go bad.Much like all successful relationships, the overall process must have open and frank communication with appropriate level setting.  The provider, corporation, and law firm lit support teams have to be in lock step as a team in order for the whole thing to work.After we finished up the content for the day, most of the attendees headed up to the Bridges Bar to have a few drinks and network.  Thank you to our sponsors AlphaLit, FTI Consulting, UBIC, and Recommind for kicking in to make sure our guests were well taken care of in the evening.  I also wanted to thank the Glenmont Group (Michael Potters), Phil Leon, Women in eDiscovery (WiE), and Association of Litigation Support Professionals (ALSP) for their assistance promoting the program.One of our sponsors had some exciting news at the end of the day.  UBIC (North America) was listed on the Nasdaq on Thursday, so congratulations to the UBIC team.  It will be interesting to see another public company in our space (that’s not the big boys) and how the financial community will view our space in the coming years.It was difficult leaving early Friday morning as I love my adopted city, but I have to head to LA next week for LegalTech West where I’ll be moderating ARMA’s Big Data track on Tuesday.  I will have a report on that show next week, but don’t hesitate to say hi if you see me wandering around the Bonaventure.Have a great weekend!!! Jason Velasco can be reached at jason@edjgroupinc.com for offline comments or questions. His active research topics include International eDiscovery and Data Privacy Issues, Evaluating eDiscovery Service Providers and eDiscovery Special Masters.Find Jason at the following future events (please feel free to email to see if any passes or discounts are available):

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