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

ZyLab Places eDiscovery in the Cloud

June 23, 2016

Through their Press Room site, ZyLab announces, “Zylab Introduces eDiscovery as a Service.” Billed as a cost-saving alternative to in-house solutions, the new platform allows users to select and pay for only the services they need through a monthly subscription. The press-release tells us:

“ZyLAB today announces that its eDiscovery solutions are now also delivered via the Internet in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model in EMEA and AP via a managed service provider model. ZyLAB’s eDiscovery as a Service is introduced as the cost-effective alternative for organizations that do not have the time or IT resources to bring an eDiscovery solution in house. …

“With ZyLAB’s eDiscovery as a Service every type of company, in every industry can now easily scope the level of system they require. ZyLAB’s services span the entire Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) so a company can select the precise services that meet the needs of their current matter. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) will outline those selections and guarantee the availability of the data, ZyLAB’s software, and ongoing maintenance from ZyLAB’s Professional Services consultants.”

We are assured ZyLab’s SaaS solutions are of the same caliber as their on-premises solutions.  This approach can save a lot of time and hassle, especially for companies without a dedicated IT department. The write-up notes there are no long-term contracts or volume constraints involved,

and, of course, no new hardware to buy. If a company is willing to trust their data to a third party’s security measures, this could be a cost-effective way to manage eDiscovery.

Of course, if you were to trust anyone with your sensitive data, ZyLab’s record makes them a good choice. In fact, the company has been supplying eDiscovery and Information Government tech to prominent organizations for over three decades now. Large corporations, government organizations, regulatory agencies, and law firms around the world rely on their eDiscovery platform. The company was founded in 1983, with the release of the first full-text retrieval software for the PC. It’s eDiscovery/ Information Management platform was released in 2010.


Cynthia Murrell, June 23, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Axcelerate Focuses on Control and Visibility

June 13, 2016

The article on CMSWire titled Recommind Adds Muscle to Cloud e-Discovery relates the upgrades to the Axcelerate e-Discovery platform from Recommind. The muscle referred to in the article title is the new Efficiency Scoring feature offered to increase e-discovery review process transparency by tracking efficiency and facilitating a consistent assessment. The article explains,

“Axcelerate Cloud is built on Recommind’s interactive business intelligence layer to give legal professionals a depth of insight into the e-discovery process that Recommind says they have previously lacked. Behind all the talk of agility and visibility, there is one goal here: control. The company hopes this release allays the fears of legal firms, who traditionally have been reluctant to use cloud-based software for fear of compromising data.”

Hal Marcus, Director of Product Marketing at Recommind, suggested that in spite of early hesitancy by legal professional to embrace the cloud, current legal teams are more open to the possibilities available through consolidation of discovery requirements in the cloud. According to research, there are no enterprise legal departments without cloud-based legal resources related to contract management, billing, or e-discovery. Axcelerate Cloud aims to promote visibility into discovery practices to address the major concern among legal professionals: insufficient insight and transparency.



Chelsea Kerwin, June 13, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Extensive Cultural Resources Available at Europeana Collections

May 17, 2016

Check out this valuable cultural archive, highlighted by Open Culture in the piece, “Discover Europeana Collections, a Portal of 48 Million Free Artworks, Books, Videos, Artifacts & Sounds from across Europe.” Writer Josh Jones is clearly excited about the Internet’s ability to place information and artifacts at our fingertips, and he cites the Europeana Collections as the most extensive archive he’s discovered yet. He tells us the works are:

“… sourced from well over 100 institutions such as The European Library, Europhoto, the National Library of Finland, University College Dublin, Museo Galileo, and many, many more, including contributions from the public at large. Where does one begin?

“In such an enormous warehouse of cultural history, one could begin anywhere and in an instant come across something of interest, such as the the stunning collection of Art Nouveau posters like that fine example at the top, ‘Cercle Artstique de Schaerbeek,’ by Henri Privat-Livemont (from the Plandiura Collection, courtesy of Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalynya, Barcelona). One might enter any one of the available interactive lessons and courses on the history of World War I or visit some of the many exhibits on the period, with letters, diaries, photographs, films, official documents, and war propaganda. One might stop by the virtual exhibit, ‘Photography on a Silver Plate,’ a fascinating history of the medium from 1839-1860, or ‘Recording and Playing Machines,’ a history of exactly what it sounds like, or a gallery of the work of Swiss painter Jean Antoine Linck. All of the artifacts have source and licensing information clearly indicated.”

Jones mentions the archive might be considered “endless,” since content is being added faster than anyone could hope to keep up with.  While such a wealth of information and images could easily overwhelm a visitor, he advises us to look at it as an opportunity for discovery. We concur.


Cynthia Murrell, May 17, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

Recommind Enables Easier Oversight into E-Discovery for Legal Industry

February 19, 2016

A recent article, entitled Recommind Adds Muscle to Cloud e-Discovery from CMS Wire, highlights an upgrade to Recommind’s Axcelerate e-discovery platform. This information intelligence and governance provider for the legal industry has upped their offering by adding a new efficiency scoring feature to enable “extensive visibility into the overall e-discovery review process.” Recommind make the updated based on polling their clients and finding 80 percent do not have oversight in regards to the technological competency of their outside counsel:

“Citing the same survey, he added that 72 percent of respondents pointed to insufficient visibility into the discovery practices of their outside counsel — legal professionals working with them but outside the firm — as a major concern. Axcelerate Cloud also eliminates the cost unpredictability that arises with traditional hosting charges with cloud-based e-discovery tools providers and the infrastructure maintenance required for on-premises solutions.”

When insights from big data is what a company is after, stronger cloud-based functionality is often the first step. Reminds us of enterprise search firm Autonomy which was eventually sold to HP. What will be next for Recommind?


Megan Feil, February 19, 2016

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


The History of ZyLab

February 10, 2016

Big data was a popular buzzword a few years ago, making it seem that it was a brand new innovation.  The eDiscovery process, however, has been around for several decades, but recent technology advancements have allowed it to take off and be implemented in more industrial fields.  While many big data startups have sprung up, ZyLab-a leading innovator in the eDiscovery and information governance-started in its big data venture in 1983.   ZyLab created a timeline detailing its history called, “ZyLab’s Timeline Of Technical Ingenuity.”

Even though ZyLab was founded in 1983 and introduced the ZyIndex, its big data products did not really take off until the 1990s when personal computers became an indispensable industry tool.  In 1995, ZyLab made history by being used in the OJ Simpson and Uni-bomber investigations.  Three years later it introduced text search in images, which is now a standard search feature for all search engines.

Things really began to take off for ZyLab in the 2000s as technology advanced to the point where it became easier for companies to create and store data as well as beginning the start of masses of unstructured data.  Advanced text analytics were added in 2005 and ZyLab made history again by becoming the standard for United Nations War Crime Tribunals.

During 2008 and later years, ZyLab’s milestones were more technological, such as creating the Zylmage SharePoint connector and Google Web search engine integration, the introduction of the ZyLab Information Management Platform, first to offer integrated machine translation in eDiscovery, adding audio search, and incorporating true native visual search and categorization.

ZyLab continues to make historical as well as market innovations for eDiscovery and big data.


Whitney Grace, February 10, 2016
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

The Google Cultural Institute Is a Digital Museum

December 8, 2015

Museums are the cultural epicenters of the human race, because the house the highest achievements of art, science, history, and more.  The best museums in the world are located in the populous cities and they house price works of art that represent the best of what humanity has to offer.  The only problem about these museums is that they are in a stationary location and unless you have the luck to travel, you can’t see these fabulous works in person.

While books have often served as the gateway museums’ collection, it is not the same as seeing an object or exhibit in real life.  The Internet with continuously evolving photographic and video technology have replicated museums’ collection as life like as possible without having to leave your home.  The only problem with these digital collections are limited to what is within a museums’ archives, but what would happen if an organization collected all these artifacts in one place like a social networking Web site?

Google has done something extraordinary by creating the Google Cultural Institute.  The Google Cultural Institute is part digital archive, part museum, part Pinterest, and part encyclopedia.    It is described as:

“Discover exhibits and collections from museums and archives all around the world. Explore cultural treasures in extraordinary detail, from hidden gems to masterpieces.”

Users can browse collections of art, history, and science ranging from classical works to street art to the Holocaust and World War I.  The Google Cultural Institute presents information via slideshows with captions.  Collections are divided by subject and content as well as by the museum where the collections originate.  Using Google Street View users can also view the very place where the collections are stored.  Users can also make their own collections and share them like on Pinterest.

This is an amazing step towards bringing museums into the next step of their own evolution as well as allowing people who might not have the chance to access them see the collections.  The only recommendation is that it would be nice if they put more advertising into the Google Cultural Institute so that people actually know it exists.

Whitney Grace, December 8, 2015
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


Bar Exam Brouhaha

September 7, 2015

We cannot resist sharing this article with you, though it is only tangentially related to search; perhaps it has implications for the field of eDiscovery. Bloomberg Business asks and answers: “Are Lawyers Getting Dumber? Yes, Says the Woman who Runs the Bar Exam.”

Apparently, scores from the 2014 bar exam dropped significantly across the country compared to those of the previous year. Officials at the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), which administers the test, insist they carefully checked their procedures and found no problems on their end. They insist the fault lies squarely with that year’s crop of law school graduates, not with testing methods. Erica Moeser, head of the NCBE, penned a letter to law school officials informing them of the poor results, and advising they take steps to improve their students’ outcomes. To put it mildly, this did not go well with college administrators, who point out Moeser herself never passed the bar because she practices in Wisconsin, the only state in which the exam is not required to practice law.

So, who is right? Writer Natalie Kitroeff points out this salient information:

“Whether or not the profession is in crisis—a perennial lament—there’s no question that American legal education is in the midst of an unprecedented slump. In 2015 fewer people applied to law school than at any point in the last 30 years. Law schools are seeing enrollments plummet and have tried to keep their campuses alive by admitting students with worse credentials. That may force some law firms and consumers to rely on lawyers of a lower caliber, industry watchers say, but the fight will ultimately be most painful for the middling students, who are promised a shot at a legal career but in reality face long odds of becoming lawyers.”

The 2015 bar exam results could provide some clarification, but those won’t start coming out until sometime in September. See the article for much more information on Moeser, the NCBE, the bar exam itself, and the state of legal education today. Makers of eDiscovery software may want to beef up their idiot-proofing measures as much as possible, just to be safe.

Cynthia Murrell, September 7, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph


ZyLAB and Azure: A Cloud Marriage for a Cost Controlled Relationship

September 5, 2015

I read “ZyLAB eerste eDiscovery leverancier op Microsoft Azure Platform.” The Dutch company has been certified to process data stored in the Azure cloud computing platform. ZyLAB is one of the vendors serving the legal eDiscovery market.

The idea is that ZyLAB can be scaled more easily when using Azure. The objective is to reduce the cost of eDiscovery and related text processing costs.

Johannes Scholtes, Founder of ZyLAB, said:

As companies increasingly content stored in the cloud, it is important that, in the case of an eDiscovery or other legal investigations, attorneys can search these data. Migrating large amounts of content to and from the cloud provides all kinds of problems for the bandwidth and does only after processing and evaluating a small amount of data to be submitted to a third party. It is much more practical to carry out the whole process in the cloud, and only to meet the final data set for production from the cloud.

Some attorneys may be uncomfortable if information germane to a legal matter is not stored within the firm on the law firm’s servers. However, costs are a key concern in many law firms. Lower cost solutions are of interest. One assumes that security is not a concern. Will the Ashley Madison litigation make use of Microsoft Azure and cloud based eDiscovery? Interesting question in my opinion.

Stephen E Arnold, September 5, 2015

Stroz Friedberg Snaps Up Elysium Digital

August 20, 2015

Cybersecurity, investigation, and risk-management firm Stroz Friedberg has a made a new acquisition, we learn from their announcement, “Stroz Friedberg Acquires Technology Litigation Consulting Firm Elysium Digital” (PDF). Though details of the deal are not revealed, the write-up tells us why Elysium Digital is such a welcome addition to the company:

“Founded in 1997, Elysium Digital has worked with law firms, in-house counsel, and government agencies nationally. The firm has provided a broad range of services, including expert testimony, IP litigation consulting, eDiscovery, digital forensics investigations, and security and privacy investigations. Elysium played a role in the key technology/legal issues of its time and established itself as a premier firm providing advice and quality technical analysis in high-stakes legal matters. The firm specialized in deciphering complex technology and effectively communicating findings to clients, witnesses, judges, and juries.

“‘The people of Elysium Digital possess highly sought after technical skills that have allowed them to tackle some of the most complex IP matters in recent history. Bringing this expertise into Stroz Friedberg will allow us to more fully address the needs of our clients around the world, not just in IP litigation and digital forensics, but across our cyber practices as well,’ said Michael Patsalos-Fox, CEO of Stroz Friedberg.”

The workers of Elysium Digital will be moving into Stroz Friedberg’s Boston office, and its co-founders will continue to play an important role, we’re told. Stroz Friedberg expects the acquisition to bolster their capabilities in the areas of digital forensics, intellectual-property litigation consulting, eDiscovery, and data security.

Founded in 2000, Stroz Friedberg says their guiding principle is to “seek truth” for their clients. Headquartered in New York City, the company maintains offices throughout the U.S. as well as in London, Hong Kong, and Zurich.

Cynthia Murrell, August 20, 2015

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, publisher of the CyberOSINT monograph

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