Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Barry Murphy. Published: 2012-09-04 05:28:28Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. The last week of summer was more hectic than usual because I spent Monday and Tuesday at the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) conference.  Unlike other eDiscovery conferences, this had a more casual feel, with lots of attendees in shorts, tee shirts, and flip flops.  I had a chance to meet with several vendors and colleagues and three themes kept coming up:  technology-assisted review (TAR); the role of managed services in the eDiscovery market; and pricing models.

TAR, as is the case lately, is a hot topic.  There were several announcements of “predictive this” and “predictive that”, but they largely fell flat.  Law firms and corporations are showing some signs of maturity and looking for solutions that sell a process and methodology as opposed to a magic bullet.  As a result, there is a lot of heat around managed services.  These providers bring expertise and the ability to arbitrage the high cost of that expertise across multiple clients and matters.  There are some up and coming managed service providers doing interesting things with TAR.  Pricing also came up frequently in conversations.

Consumers are unsatisfied with confusing pricing models and a proliferation of hidden fees.  Providers are frustrated with the need to offer every kind of pricing model under the sun in order to remain competitive.  There seems to be a high level of interest in subscription models that can bring some level of predictability so corporations and law firms can better forecast costs and make decisions based on those forecasts.

Here are some quick snippets on the vendors I had a chance to sit down and chat with (unfortunately, there is not enough time to meet with them all):

Orange Legal Technologies provides eDiscovery in a SaaS offering.  The company’s OneO platform is mainly built on organic technology so as not to be reliant on OEM partners for additional functionality.  When necessary, OLT will partner with other providers, such as OrcaTec for predictive coding.  The company continues build out features and reports solid growth, helped along by simple pricing models that eschew hidden fees.

kCura is certainly seeing customers demand TAR; the company reports that 85% of enterprise customers have purchased all-you-can-eat analytics with Relativity.  The company is working hard to please its channel, opening up an SDK so that partners can extend the platform.  kCura has also invested heavily in a certification program, which gives its channel partners more marketing material and enhances the careers of Relativity users.

Flex Discovery is a national provider of eDiscovery services with a mix of both corporate and law firm customers.  The company is software-agnostic, focused on being a channel for other tools.  Flex hosts data in a variety of review platforms and processes data primarily in iPRO.  The company has data centers in both the US and Canada

RenewData is a hybrid kind of company – it offers eDiscovery services via its own technology, but also is a channel for other tools, such as Relativity.  Renew bought Digital Mandate several years back and is using that tool for TAR, or as they refer to it, “Review Acceleration.”  TAR comes in different flavors from Renew – either Artificial Intelligence-based or through language-based analytics.  Renew delivers TAR as a managed service and is focused on transparency within the process.  There is an anagram process used upfront to identify first what truly cannot be relevant.  Then, there is the Vestigate process that takes reviewers into the system to understand what they think makes a document relevant and, finally, a zero defect test is run at the end.

AccessData continues down the path of providing a platform that supports the full spectrum of the eDiscovery lifecycle.  The company has updated the Summation application to be integrated into the architecture of the full platform and estimates that 75% of customers are on the latest version of Summation.  Summation should have predictive coding by the end of the year and were able to see some of the visual analytics that exist in the FTK platform and will serve as the foundation for the TAR capabilities in Summation.

Kroll Ontrack is still in the process of getting the market to realize that it is more than just a service provider and that it also has software tools.  The company is in the TAR game with its Intelligent Review Technology, which is included in both the Inview and Verve offerings.  Look for Kroll Ontrack to shift its focus to pushing its software offerings, especially the Verve do-it-yourself offering to the corporate market.

Power Search is a relatively new offering in the market from this Canada-based company.  Power Search targets the SMB market with a bit of a different pricing model.  Customers pay for results – there is a per-file fee at the end of the process when the customer has culled down a data set.

First Advantage Litigation Consulting is a company I did not know much about previously.  The company has been spun out of First Advantage and focuses on delivering eDiscovery services based on its own technology – Global RPM is its review platform.  The company also has a heavy focus on international work.

I hope everyone enjoyed the last days of summer and had a great Labor Day holiday!

eDiscoveryJournal Contributor – Barry Murphy

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