Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2012-03-20 07:43:13Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. 

One of the bright points of designing the new eDJ Matrix has been our analyst sessions over what functionality is required for software and services to qualify for our market categories. It may sound geeky to you, but I have grumbled over ‘waves’ and ‘squares’ that were real apple-orange comparisons too many times. I want to get this right in our next big release. The ‘eDiscovery Platform’ was a prominent theme at LTNY 2012, but what do providers mean when they call their software a ‘platform’. They want to give buyers the impression that they cover the entire eDiscovery lifecycle, generally by showing the EDRM diagram covered by their software logo. As nice as that sounds, no one covers document creation through trial presentation in one program, NO ONE. But a more realistic corporate eDiscovery platform seems to be attainable. We spoke with the litigation and compliance team at Autodesk about their selection of Symantec’s Clearwell software.

With over 7,000 employees, Autodesk definitely represents the global enterprise market. Their litigation and compliance team did a broad survey of solutions over a two year period. They definitely wanted a comprehensive software solution versus an aggregation of point solution products that they would have to weld together with workflow. Like the majority of corporations, Autodesk is focused ‘upstream’ on preservation, collection and culling over large scale review. They estimate that in-house culling and selective collections should enable a one year ROI on the purchase. However, eDJ feels that ‘platform’ needs to deliver downstream as well with basic ECA/review and production capabilities.

After experiencing remote collection challenges in dynamic enterprise environments, I was pleased to hear that Autodesk conducted successful overseas collections in their POC. They have some lessons learned to share:

  • Coordinate in advance with your collection target to minimize frustrations
  • Test security and access rights across internal domains
  • Manage bandwidth issues where possible by knowing peak and lull times
  • Build a little extra time into the process to deal with real deadlines
  • Expect connectivity issues during collections – Clearwell is able to resume collections
  • Have an onsite collection fallback plan – Clearwell’s onsite collector and LEF ingestion made that easier

So what makes up an ‘eDiscovery Platform’? Every providers seems to think that it is something different. So we came up with an overall functional description and a set of required features to support that functionality.

“A technology solution that enables the discovery team to meet civil legal procedural requirements from event through production within a common user interface and architectural platform.”

You will note that this definition does not specify:

  • Who – Corporation vs Law Firm discovery teams
  • Where – enterprise server, appliance, provider hosted or cloud
  • How Purchased – volume, enterprise seats, concurrent seats, subscription, matters or other

The eDiscovery Platform could be any combination of these as long as it delivers the minimum features from a single portal to manage basic eDiscovery across your matters without having to leave the platform. That means it does have to reach into the live custodial environment to investigate and collect ESI. It must be able to process, review and produce that ESI once it is identified. There are LOTS of advanced features, architectures and other offering aspects that will differentiate platforms, but here is our first run at the minimal required features to be considered an eDiscovery Platform.

The screen shot is from the new eDJ Matrix engine under development and we are incorporating feedback from our early alpha users, but I think that this cuts through some of hype and confusion around how to classify an offering as an eDiscovery Platform. There are not many on the market that can check all the boxes from within one portal. Most still require load files and moving between actual programs to deliver all the pieces. Autodesk told us that a comprehensive platform was one of their top purchasing criteria. What are your top requirements? We hope that you will explore the new eDJ Matrix when we open it to the public and give us your feedback.

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