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Choosing the Right eDiscovery Vendor: Unravelling the Many Facets

Published On : June 27, 2024
Man with Magnifying glass and Digital Documents

I was recently reading a discussion thread on Reddit. A user pointed out a scenario where law firms and in-house legal teams seeking an eDiscovery vendor should check the conflicts with the vendor. Yes, you heard it right. Here you go…

Comment
byu/Pedro2380 from discussion
inediscovery

In this situation, law firms or corporate law departments should onboard the eDiscovery vendor, which is either self-funded or with zero conflicts from any of the VCs (venture capitalists) who funded the eDiscovery vendor.

That’s just one point, but there are plenty of other things that you should discuss with an eDiscovery vendor before onboarding.

As eDiscovery projects become more complex and costlier, law firms rely heavily on eDiscovery vendors to execute them cost-effectively from data collection to production.

The eDiscovery vendors provide a robust solution, leveraging advanced processing, analytical, review, and production capabilities to navigate vast quantities of data to extract the ‘relevant’ data.

However, with the changing market dynamics and technology, a sea of eDiscovery vendors has flooded the market. These vendors offer eDiscovery solutions with many new features to showcase their capabilities, but there is more than meets the eye!

These vendors’ boasting about new features does not necessarily translate into tangible benefits for end users.

Based on ground-level requirements, it is imperative to understand the “EPICS” of eDiscovery vendor selection.

Understand "EPICS"

  • Ease of Using Platform
    The product’s intuitive design makes using the product easy, ensuring a great user experience. Poor User Experience (UX) leads to frustrated users and poor user engagement, which can result in an inefficient review process.

    An easy-to-understand eDiscovery product results in quick learning for the end users, which increases document review efficiency and reduces costs. It consequently allows the user to focus on the legal practice side.

  • Pricing
    eDiscovery projects are becoming more complex and costlier; hence, pricing should be transparent. It is necessary to check if the vendor charges extra for advanced features like predictive coding, analytics, and TAR.

    It is essential to check whether the vendors charge for additional user licenses, priority customer support, project management assistance, and data hosting. Pricing for OCR (Optical Character Recognition) per page, production images per page, machine translation of documents, and data processing charges per GB should all be clear before signing the final contract.

    Some vendors charge for additional users after a set limit when offering solutions in a cloud-based SaaS environment. With on-premises deployments, some vendors allow adding users without paying extra, but there may be a cap on creating users.

    They may also limit the number of professional service/customer support hours included with the licenses; then, hourly rates will be applied beyond this limit. eDiscovery vendors with a straightforward pricing structure will avoid questionable expenses during invoicing.

  • Innovation-focused
    Innovation is key to surviving the competition in the eDiscovery market. As technology and market requirements continue to change, eDiscovery vendors must be on their toes by launching new features in their products by having an innovation-centric approach.

    Vendors that can launch features to tackle new data sources/file types or that can enhance already proven capabilities such as PII in PII analytics or expanding redaction facility to video, show that they have the expertise to react to the end user’s requirements and the market trends.

    It is worth assessing whether some of the core capabilities, such as analytics and predictive coding, within the eDiscovery vendor’s solution are dependent on any third-party tools. Dependence on any third-party tools may expose the data to the outside world. Vendors that have the capability to develop effective proprietary tools in house to solve emerging challenges are innovative and open to change.

  • Customer Support
    An eDiscovery vendor’s support mechanism is immensely important to resolve any customer queries associated with the eDiscovery solution successfully and in a timely manner. The vendor’s capability to provide in-house technical, project management, and IT support must be evaluated thoroughly.

    Customers should consider vendors with a support system that responds quickly to inquiries and those with flexible ways of responding, such as phone, chat, and email. This will help quickly resolve any customer issues, complete any customer requests, such as creating vital searches/workflows, and, most importantly, foster customer satisfaction.

  • Security
    Security is vital in eDiscovery as it involves handling clients’ critical and sensitive data. The security of client data must be high on the vendor’s offerings list, with established security infrastructure, security audits, and risk assessment practices to safeguard the data.

    Inefficient security measures can result in a client data breach, which can have financial and legal implications. Some of the aspects that you can consider while assessing the security of the eDiscovery solution include:

    • Pro-activeness of vendors in adopting robust security measures and policies like access control to data servers, encryption methods used to protect data, disaster recovery, penetration testing, and security audits.
    • Compliance with security certifications such as ISO 27001
    • Additional security measures, such as network separation into physical and logical segments, create security zones that separate the data to give an extra layer of protection.

Selecting the eDiscovery vendor based on these factors can make your journey of finding the best eDiscovery solution easy, which can translate into offering better service and value to you.

 

Author

Daniel Knight
Over the course of his 26 years career, Daniel has extensive experience in Project Management including People Management and Customer Relationship Management in the Data/Document Management environment. During his 8 years at Knovos, Daniel has obtained superior knowledge of all aspects of the Document Management spectrum. He consults and creates strategies for clients leveraging our data management applications to address their needs. His responsibilities include managing eDiscovery projects with direct communication with various Law Firms, Corporate Legal Departments, Financial Institutions, and Government Departments.