Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Greg Buckles. Published: 2010-02-09 11:31:26                  I went to New York intending to get my hands on as many new products and releases as possible. I knew that there would be fewer exhibitors and attendees than the 2008 show, so I figured that you could hit most of the booths over two to three days. I did not account for the unexpected positive impact of the recent economic downturn.                “What positive impact?” you ask. It seems that when times get tough, good companies get busy and the others go out of business. Every booth that I visited trotted out new features, licensing options and a better overall understanding of the customer’s needs. The economic pressure cooker seems to have sounded the wake up call to service and technology providers alike. What impressed me the most was that everyone was able to express a consistent value proposition message. Many still have technology flaws and poor usability, but they are becoming aware of the user’s context and can present their offerings within some kind of usage scenario.                So as dark and dismal as 2009 was, Legal Tech 2010 showed me a silver lining. I did not hear providers trying to justify volume pricing as the ‘only way’. Instead, they had alternative licensing or pricing structures available to meet the differing needs of corporate, firm and channel partners. Clustering, threading and dynamic foldering features have shifted from checkbox, bolted-on features to integrated review functionality that have an actual impact on review speeds. I saw actual quality assurance work flow baked into a couple products instead of the saved searches that have dominated past products. Overall, the show demonstrated the first signs that our consumers, providers and technology are maturing.                So what did I see that I liked? Well I did not get to play with nearly enough products, but I did find a couple that showed promise. The early products that leverage ‘iterative profile training’ to autocode or categorize large sets always seemed to be ‘black box’ technology that you had to take on faith. Recommind’s Axcelerate and Equivio’s Relevance both have done a better job of pulling back the curtain and making the system more transparent. They get the fact that courts and counsel are not ready to rely solely on statistical hocus-pocus, despite research studies from the eDiscovery Institute and the Text Retrieval Conference (TREC). So instead to trying to convince counsel to let them make relevance decisions, their predictive, expansion profiling functionality serves to organize, prioritize and otherwise support the review and culling process.                The processing platforms seem to be in a performance war. With Nuix setting the bar at over 1 TB per day and Clearwell’s 5.0 release showing definite performance improvements. The recent surge in search/collection/processing appliances has lowered the effective cost per volume and thus increased the effective volumes handled. This trend plays well for StoredIQ, Kazeon, Recommind and the archiving products designed to manage data ‘in the wild’.

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