X1 Hits a Familiar Marketing Chord

July 27, 2016

I had the job of reviewing some of the 100 eDiscovery systems on offer today. I noted an interesting semantic thrust in “Recent Court Decisions, Key Industry Report Reveal Broken eDiscovery Collection Processes.”

X1 states:

What is needed is an effective, scalable and systemized ESI collection process that makes enterprise eDiscovery collection much more feasible. More advanced enterprise class technology, such as X1 Distributed Discovery, can accomplish system-wide searches that are narrowly tailored to collect only potentially relevant information in a legally defensible manner. This process is better, faster and dramatically less expensive than other methods currently employed.

I highlighted the point that targeted search and collection  can reduce the costs of certain legal processes. Recommind made, prior to its acquisition  by OpenText, similar statements about cost reduction.

It strikes me that the number of 90 percent cost reduction begs for some hard data. Also, with so many eDiscovery firms  competing for law firms’ business, is this once lucrative niche in a race toward Amazon- and Walmart-type pricing?

Perhaps there are several issues involved with the problem lawyers have when using eDiscovery systems? These may be:

  • Unrealistic expectations for an eDiscovery system. Google does one thing; eDiscovery does another.
  • Sticker shock. Despite the low cost of a license fee for a cloud service, there are other costs. These range from customer and engineering support to the need to pay for resources that cost money without doing much to alert the customer that a threshold has been crossed. Taxi meter and old school AT&T network pricing may dampen some eDiscovery licensees’ enthusiasm
  • Federating content from multiple sources sounds wonderful. In my experience, what does one do about exception documents? What do eDiscovery systems “miss”?

As the financial pressure mounts on many law firms, cost controls are likely to rework how these companies do business. The impact on “search” vendors now in the eDiscovery sector may find themselves facing the type of financial realities which caused Recommind to reinvent its future as a company.

Stephen E Arnold, July 27, 2016


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