Sandra E. Serkes, President & CEO of Valora Technologies Inc.
Ms. Serkes is a dynamic leader with an extensive background spanning over 20 years in software marketing, product management and corporate strategy, particularly in document processing, computer telephony and speech recognition. One of Valora's original founders, Ms. Serkes has been actively involved in Valora since its inception in 2000. Today, Ms. Serkes oversees Sales & Marketing, Finance & Administration, Operations, Engineering and Corporate Strategy.
A graduate of both Harvard Business School and MIT, Ms. Serkes is a frequent industry speaker and panelist. She is an active participant in the Women Presidents' Org., The Commonwealth Institute, the MIT Enterprise Forum, the Massachusetts Software Council and the Network of Harvard Alumnae. Ms. Serkes serves on the boards of several technology and service start-ups. Ms. Serkes was named a 2006 "Woman to Watch" by Women's Business Magazine.
Join industry experts Karen Frazier and Sandra Serkes for part two of the 4-part webinar series.
Part 2 in our AutoClassification webinar series focused on the details of creating structure from unstructured data.
In this session, we explored:
View the PowerPoint featured in this video here.
The long awaited book by numerous industry luminaries features Sandra Serkes’ chapter on “Predictive Analytics for Information Governance.” Order your copy here.
Featuring Sandra Serkes and Nick Inglis, Information Coalition President
Valora Technologies CEO
Global eDiscovery and Legal Services Market Leader Invests in AutoClassification Information Governance Pioneer
Atlanta, GA and Bedford, MA – March 29, 2017 – DTI, a global legal process outsourcing (LPO) company providing eDiscovery, management services, litigation support, and court reporting, and Valora Technologies, Inc., the leading innovator in AutoClassification, Predictive Analytics and Document Data Mining Technologies for Information Governance, eDiscovery, and Records Management, today announced that DTI has successfully completed a strategic, minority investment in Valora Technologies, Inc. The investment marks the beginning of the coming-of-age of AutoClassification and the clear commitment of DTI to invest in leading-edge Information Governance solutions. Learn more.
The investment allows Valora to focus on technology development over services, while DTI’s clients get access to data classification technology.
E-discovery is a buyer’s market, defined by large companies like LDiscovery and OpenText buying up industry players to enhance their own service delivery. But the biggest purchase monetarily in 2016 was made by DTI, which bought Epiq in a deal valued at $1 billion that merged the two companies.
The company’s investment aspirations, though, did not stop there. Today, DTI announced a minority investment in Valora, a Bedford, Massachusetts-based technology and services company focusing on a variety of legal document management tasks.
As part of investment round in which Valora accrued $1.75 million in equity funding, the investment allows DTI and Epiq clients access to Valora technology for automated data classification and data mining. For Valora, the investment allows the company to shift resources toward technology development, part of an existing plan to focus more on technology than services. Neither company would comment on the financial specifics of the investment.
Valora will remain an independent company, and it had a relationship with DTI prior to the investment, auto-coding documents for in-house company and e-discovery projects, Kevin Jacobs, vice president of mergers and acquisitions at DTI, told Legaltech News. He noted that DTI was currently working on “active proposals” to provide Valora, and that the technology was already available to some clients.
“The purpose of the investment is to help advance the development in [Valora’s] categorization engine” to make it more product-focused, Jacobs added. Primarily a technology-enabled services company, “they kind of eat their own cooking if you will, and so we wanted to expand the product. We needed the product to be more market facing, and to streamline some of the processes to make sure it’s super effective for us to provide the services for our clients.”
In terms of DTI’s investment strategy, the company wants the technology to make the company “part of the day to day process of data management and compliance,” for clients, Jacobs said. He added that the company is “certainly looking” at other technologies but not discussing them at this time.
Valora’s “auto-classification” technology automates different tasks on the legal workflow, applicable to e-discovery, records management, litigation and information governance, for which it was chosen as a finalist for different categories at the annual InfoGovCon event in 2015 and 2016. Prior to the investment, the company was primarily “provisioning services on [its] technology core,” Valora CEO Sandra Serkes told LTN.
“What’s starting to happen is there’s more and more demand for the technology itself,” she said.
Among Valora’s services are document coding, review, intake and visualization; analytics; and hosting. DTI’s services include litigation support, court reporting, and managed services.
ATLANTA and BEDFORD, Mass., March 29, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — DTI, a global legal process outsourcing (LPO) company providing eDiscovery, management services, litigation support, and court reporting, announced that it has completed a strategic, minority investment in Valora Technologies, Inc. Valora is a leading innovator in AutoClassification, predictive analytics and document data mining technologies for information governance, eDiscovery, and records management. The investment underscores the commitment DTI has made to investing in leading-edge information governance solutions.
ATLANTA, GA and BEDFORD, MA – March 29, 2017 – DTI, a global legal process outsourcing (LPO) company providing eDiscovery, management services, litigation support, and court reporting, announced that it has completed a strategic, minority investment in Valora Technologies, Inc. Valora is a leading innovator in AutoClassification, predictive analytics and document data mining technologies for information governance, eDiscovery, and records management. The investment underscores the commitment DTI has made to investing in leading-edge information governance solutions.
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.
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.