Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2010-05-14 07:41:58Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. I spent the better part of this past week at the EDRM kickoff meeting in St. Paul, MN.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, EDRM stands for electronic discovery reference model.  The goal of EDRM is to “develop guidelines and standards for e-discovery consumers and providers…helping e-discovery consumers and providers reduce the cost, time and manual work associated with e-discovery.”  A lot of great thought leadership has emerged from EDRM, including the well-accepted reference model that provides insight into all the activities that need to happen during eDiscovery.

One of the knocks I’ve heard from folks regarding EDRM is that the membership is vendor-heavy, and therefore the whole effort is more self-serving than anything else.  While it’s true that there are many vendors participating in EDRM, the vast majority of them are doing it for the good of the industry.  Yes, they do want to make sure their perspectives are heard and recognized, but they also bring valuable customer experience and real expertise to the table.  The vendors are on the ground solving eDiscovery problems on a daily basis; without them, the EDRM would suffer.

I was pleasantly surprised to see many non-vendors at the EDRM meeting.  There were representative from corporations, consultants from large firms like Navigant, and independent folks like Greg Buckles and myself.  This led to constructive conversations and debates, and to what I think is good progress in the working groups.  I spent most of my time with the Information Management Reference Model (IMRM) working group.  The group is close to finalizing a high-level graphic that will depict what information management is and how it can help make eDiscovery a more efficient process.  Information management is a huge topic and creating a simple graphic or framework is challenging, but the group is very close to having something that the industry can build on.

Word from others at the meeting is that many groups made good progress.  It will be nice to see more standardized metrics for the industry to use.  What I like about EDRM is that it’s all about creating common languages and frameworks – it’s not about eliminating differentiation or about over-standardizing.  Instead, it provides some commonality for the rest of the industry to build on.  It gives vendors and consultants the ability to further distinguish themselves by working off a common base of knowledge.  Kudos to George Socha and Tom Gelbmann for creating the EDRM and putting together a great meeting.  I’m looking forward to some great work from the IMRM group and will keep you posted on our progress.

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