Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2014-02-09 19:00:00Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

So you didn’t brave the snow to make the big show this year? Guess what, you were not alone. Someday I will understand why a February conference has to be held in NY. I don’t want you to get the impression that the show was deserted, but it definitely did not hit the projected attendance of 13,000 based on my time on the exhibitor floor and conversations with exhibitors. So traffic was down, the third floor of exhibitors converted to a stage and some empty booth slots at the back of the second floor.  On the up side, providers seem to have figured out how to qualify real prospects and route them off the floor to demo suites for serious sales discussions. Indeed, the real action seems to have moved to suites, lounges and other quieter venues. This explains why the Hilton converted so much of our casual meeting zones to private/paid space. For next year, expect to stand through your meeting, leave the hotel or pay for a dedicated space to talk shop. My top impression is that of a widening confidence gap between the market leaders and the mid-tier players who are struggling to adapt their value proposition to an increasingly savvy consumer base. 

Many exhibitors and ‘non-exhibiting’ providers expressed certainty that many of their competitors would be hurting for revenue this year. Most flatly resented aggressive new players with bottom basement pricing (example $20/GB/month all in by DISCO) while they struggled to differentiate themselves from other Relativity/IPRO/NUIX shops. All of this confirms what eDJ heard last quarter, that eDiscovery services continue to become more commoditized as they migrate up the corporate procurement river. This trend benefits the minority of providers with clear go-to-market plans and consumption offerings that see past the $/GB days. These were the bright notes in my meanderings through the booth maze. They did not complain of the lower floor traffic, but bragged about lines at their demo suites or their booked up meetings with channel prospects.

So what was the key booth messaging this year?

  • Simple, Simplify, Keep it Simple, Easy to Understand
    • eDJ says – “If you have to say it, it probably isn’t” – tech usability needs to improve
  • Analytics, Analytics, Analytics
    • eDJ says – Data has outgrown linear review, BUT no predictive coding messaging
  • Visualization, Dashboards, Metrics
    • eDJ says – Bigger, Brighter Monitors EVERYWHERE – LTNY becomes CES
  • Efficiency, Gain Control, Cost Sensitivity(really?)
    • eDJ says – eDiscovery is still too expensive, consumers want cost certainty

Greg’s Take Aways:

  • Heavy focus on Info Governance/Knowledge Management panels this year. Only 23% of 57 panels topics were actually on core discovery process.  Info Governance ranked highest of show topics in our eDJ Short Survey the week before LNTY (n=12).
  • Wholesale discovery processing/hosting aimed at service providers. Oasis Discovery Partners is a good example. Digital Reef was not able to make this fly, but maybe the mid-market players are ready to outsource their processing/hosting.
  • Cloud service consumption models appearing everywhere. HP-Autonomy moves to On-Demand Discovery. Recommind’s Axcelerate 5 focused on Saas customer over longer on-premise sale.
  • Lots of career changes with well known eDiscovery veterans, but companies keeping quiet about reductions.
  • The potential impact of Office 365 was the hot question from providers and consumers alike in meetings. Microsoft’s free eDiscovery Center has CIO’s questioning the need for dedicated eDiscovery preservation and collection software.
  • Relativity ‘Best in Service’ Blue/Orange  is the new ‘powered by Clearwell’ required badge for service provider exhibit booths.

New Tech Announcements:

Providers have always shaped their development schedule around the need to release new major versions or features right before the show. I have summarized a couple that caught my eye.

There were hundreds of other press releases to wade through. Whether you attended LTNY this year or not, the show continues to provide insight on our evolving legal technology market space. Thank you to all of those who shared their perspectives with me this year and everyone who attended our happy hour Tuesday night. I tried to make the rounds, but with so many old friends it was hard to make time for everyone.  As the eDJ Group continues to refine our new research consultant business model, we need your input. So if I missed you at the show or you could not attend, reach out to schedule a call. 


Greg Buckles​

Greg Buckles can be reached at Greg@eDJGroupInc for offline comments or questions. His active research topics include mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s 2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more. 

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