Migrated from eDJGroupInc.com. Author: Babs Deacon. Published: 2013-02-06 04:42:27Format, images and links may no longer function correctly. This was my 25th year at LegalTech and I always look at it as a kind of family reunion.  I love seeing old friends, both the human and technical kind.  Yes, there are many applications that I consider “friends” and, this year, I was excited to be able to catch up with many of them as a working analyst, which entails maintaining the dual perspective of industry research analyst and eDiscovery consultant.  Reconnecting with industry veterans and meeting first-timers refreshed my thinking about design trends, and as I carried my iPad around the Hilton, I began to notice the impact the new device was having on our industry.

Many of my old technology friends are undergoing a UI refresh as they strive to compete with more recent arrivals.  FTI’s Ringtail, for example, is throwing off the last vestiges of its Microsoft Outlook-esq interface that was all the rage a few years ago.  It is moving to a cleaner, mobile device look in keeping with its effort to finally, provide administrative maintenance from the browser.  Without question, the current trend in UI design is to simplify in order to port functionality to tablets or at least look like you can.

I’ve scheduled an in-depth demo for February to more fully understand where the platform stands now as far as admin improvements, built-in analytic work flows and, yes, transcript management.  My understanding is that transcripts are still not, shall we say, fully empowered in the current version, and I am interested in Ringtail’s plans related to covering the true spectrum of Discovery tasks by taking on this important subtype of information.

Transcripts don’t seem to get a lot of attention in the eDiscovery world, probably because they don’t require expensive processing and handling, and their mishandling doesn’t create the risk of accusations of spoliation.  But ask any litigator, and he/she will tell you, “transcripts are important.”  A new offering, eDepoze, is leap-frogging right onto the tablet as an interface philosophy – and even here, the transcript, itself, is an afterthought.  But make no mistake, eDepoze, which co-owner Advanced Discovery is about to bring out of beta, is a pretty cool idea.  Its notion is to eliminate paper deposition exhibits.  Court reporters, attorneys and deponents store, mark, display, and testify about deposition exhibits all from an iPad.  This kind of app that is really worth having, even though eDepoze only exports pdfs which makes getting the exhibits into another application a potentially slow process, and will be indispensable when someone integrates exhibits with a transcript handler and trial presentation application.  I know what you’re thinking, “don’t let’s ask for the moon.  We have the stars.”

Symantec is also an old technology friend and I was excited to meet with their people in order to hear what they are doing with Clearwell.  Clearwell grabbed popularity the instant it was released because it was so darn cute.  With its designed-for-the-browser navigation and its right-on-the-dashboard filters you just wanted to get right in and start culling.  But now that Clearwell is part of the Symantec team, we’re all hoping it has a bigger role to play and during my LegalTech Symantec briefing, that is all I could think about.

The Symantec guys gave us a full briefing related to markets and deals and enterprise to consumer product linkage and all I wanted to do was jump on the table like Jerry McGuire and say, “Show me the Enterprise Vault / Clearwell Integration”.

When Symantec acquired Clearwell, I thought one thing:  “O goody!  Now Enterprise Vault users will be able to run iterative searches, sophisticated filters and real-time analytics on their archives.”  That may, in fact, be Symantec’s plan. I haven’t heard anything to the contrary but I haven’t seen it, either.  I’m still willing to wait a while longer to find out.  It may be that the integration is too new to be able to show case studies describing the kind of product interaction that I’m describing or that Symantec just hasn’t publicized these kinds of projects.  I’m hopeful, but also sensitive to the idea that other developers may get a jump on Clearwell with powerful in situ culling tools.

If you want cute on the order of pygmy goats, piglets and hedgehogs, then solely cloud–powered, iPad-delivered applications are for you.  Unconstrained by locally installable architecture and support needs, and designed for the limited real estate and finger driven interface of the tablet, these types of offerings are beginning to pop up like mushrooms all over the eDiscovery and information governance landscape.  Cicayda, founded by Caselogistix founder Roe Frazer, is right out of the starting gate with the first of their musically themed modules, Fermata.  I think that Fermata is a cloud-based legal hold notification service that charges a very competitive fee per hold, but the iPad-displayed interface was so adorable that I may not be describing them correctly.

I too, had an iPad with me at the show for the first time.  I took it along to show everyone some of the features of the eDiscovery Matrix.  The very act of carrying the tablet and noticing how many other attendees were similarly armed enhanced my sensitivity to the number of tablet applications created for legal automation tasks.  Sadly, I was only able to scratch the surface at this year’s show.  Obviously, an eDiscovery “App Watch” is in order.

eDiscoveryJournal Contributor and eDJ Group Director of Strategic Consulting – Babs Deacon

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