It always fascinates me to see service companies dare to transform themselves into technology sales. So many of the earliest eDiscovery companies started in firms or scan shops who hired developers to meet client’s requirements when there was no acceptable Off-The-Shelf (OTS) software available. I was one of those corporate clients writing functional product requirement documents for my providers when regulators made the first demands for native email productions. Doing a briefing with Sandra Serkes about the evolution of Valora Tech was a trip down memory lane. Valora was founded as a typical service provider with an emphasis on records management. They developed custom automated document data mining, categorization and analytics software to meet client demands. The trick for any small custom development shop is to rise above the individual client requirements to create a solution platform that meets the pain points of the broader market. In Valora’s case, they went from automatic BIB coding to create their PowerHouse data mining platform to process and categorize live enterprise data. This is a lofty goal and I am the last person to hype something that I have not seen function in a client’s environment. Too many technology giants have overpromised and underdelivered on enterprise automated categorization over the last decade. So take my briefing notes with my usual ‘trust but verify’ advice.
- Process in place and extraction of 600+ metadata fields to create a rich/enhanced metadata database
- On-premise or cloud implementation with remote connection without client side processing
- Centralized management of data siloes – Exchange, archives, scanned paper, file shares, desktops, OneDrive, Boxx, DropBox, etc.
- Recent partnerships with Alfresco ECM and iManage
- Hosted visualization of enterprise and matter data collections
- Taking PowerHouse metadata and making it multifaceted presentation
- User window into PowerHouse database
- Ability to dive into subsets
So why has eDiscovery driven much of the recent advancement in Artificial Intelligence, analytics and Predictive Coding (categorization)? Because we have real world problems with significant budgets and tight time frames driving our innovation. In my opinion, this is why many successful start-ups wither and die once acquired by global technology giants. They have no appetite for the blend of service-technology required to customers living in the trenches, so they lose the innovation edge. Always refreshing to talk shop with another eDiscovery Veteran of the Psychic Wars.
Greg Buckles wants your feedback, questions or project inquiries at Greg@eDJGroupInc.com. He solves problems and creates eDiscovery solutions for enterprise and law firm clients. His active research topics include analytics, mobile device discovery, the discovery impact of the cloud, Microsoft’s Office 365/2013 eDiscovery Center and multi-matter discovery. Recent consulting engagements include managing preservation during enterprise migrations, legacy tape eliminations, retention enablement and many more.
Greg’s blog perspectives are personal opinions and should not be interpreted as a professional judgment. Greg is no longer a journalists and all perspectives are based on best public information. Blog content is neither approved nor reviewed by any providers prior to being posted.