Broken budgets, missed dark data, sanctions, security breaches… These events might sound quite alarming, but they’re all potential consequences of choosing the wrong vendor for your eDiscovery needs.
While reliance on external vendors used to be the norm, today more and more legal teams are getting empowered with DIY discovery software that helps them avoid the long wait times, inconsistent management, and hefty markups of traditional eDiscovery vendors.
When choosing the best eDiscovery vendor or tool for your team, you should consider several key factors and follow some essential steps to avoid missing important information.
Read on for some tips to help you choose the right option for you and avoid common traps that can break your discovery process.
Key Factors to Consider When Evaluating eDiscovery Vendors
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting an eDiscovery vendor.
Are you a law firm dealing with multi-terabyte matters on a weekly basis? Is your in-house legal team looking for speed, scalability, and cost savings? Or perhaps you are a solo practitioner who deals with eDiscovery once in a blue moon...
In any case, the right solution for you is not the same, so you need to consider your specific use case and requirements before making a decision.
1. Assess Your Needs: Before you begin the process of selecting a vendor, it is important to assess your eDiscovery needs and determine what you are looking for in a vendor.
Some key questions to consider include:
- What types of data are you primarily dealing with (e.g., emails, audio-visual content, social media posts, Slack messages, etc.)?
- What data volumes do you manage (e.g., gigabytes vs. terabytes)?
- What are the specific challenges you need the vendor to address (e.g., data privacy, data security, speed, reduce overall costs)?
2. Look for Experience and Expertise: Assess vendors that have a track record of success in the eDiscovery industry and are up to date with the latest trends and technologies. It is also helpful to look for vendors that are working with other companies in your industry, as they will be familiar with the data types and issues that are relevant to your cases.
3. Evaluate Scalability: If you are a large organization with a high volume of data, you need a vendor that can scale to meet your eDiscovery needs as they change over time. Easy-to-use cloud services that can be accessed from anywhere and that offer unlimited users and flexible pricing are your best choice here.
4. Prioritize Data Security and Defensibility: Data security and privacy are critical concerns when it comes to discovery — which is not surprising, considering that 25% of law firms have experienced data breaches. Make sure to choose a vendor that has strong security measures in place to protect your data, including encryption, secure data centers, and robust access controls.
Additionally, look for tools or vendors that guarantee the highest levels of defensibility for your discovery projects. This includes successfully uncovering any dark data that might be part of your collection.
5. Compare Pricing and Value: Nickel-and-dime fees, such as ingestion or data processing charges, are quite common among traditional eDiscovery vendors. That explains why eDiscovery costs usually reach seven or eight digits — especially in data-intensive cases. That’s why modern legal teams are shifting away from that approach and bringing discovery in-house using sophisticated but intuitive software to reduce the costs, timelines, and inconsistencies of their discovery process.
Look for a vendor that offers competitive and transparent pricing, but also consider the value they offer in terms of experience, functionality, and security
6. Check Integration Capabilities: If you’re like any other American organization, you probably use between 73 and 200 external applications on a daily basis. That’s why it is key to find an eDiscovery vendor or software that can easily integrate with your main systems or that allows you to ingest exported data with a simple drag-and-drop. This will allow you to speed up your workflow and avoid the need for tedious manual transfers.
7. Assess the Quality of Customer Support: Choose a vendor that offers comprehensive customer service and support, including training and 24/7 expert assistance with any issues that may arise.
Steps to Evaluate eDiscovery Vendors
Once you have a clear understanding of your needs and priorities, you can start the process of evaluating potential vendors that match your criteria.
Some key steps to follow include:
1. Research the Vendors: Once you have identified a list of potential vendors, it's time to start evaluating them in more detail. Look at their websites, read reviews and testimonials, and ask for a demo to see the product in action, ask questions, and gather more information.
2. Request Quotes and Proposals: After you have narrowed down your list of potential vendors, request quotes and proposals from each company. Be sure to provide them with detailed information about your needs and requirements, so they can provide accurate pricing estimates.
And don’t forget to look out for potential fees that can turn your discovery process into a costly burden, such as hosting fees, irrelevant add-ons, and managed services. Modern eDiscovery software eliminates the need to pay for those.
3. Request a Test Run: Before making a final decision, it's a good idea to request a trial from the vendors you are considering (if they offer it.) This will allow you to test the technology with your own data and get a better sense of how it can meet your needs in the long term.
4. Make your Selection: After evaluating all of the available options, it's time to make up your mind. Consider all of the factors you have analyzed and choose the vendor or technology that best meets your needs and budget.
While selecting an eDiscovery vendor can be a complex process, following these tips will help ensure you make an informed and well-reasoned decision. With the right tool by your side, you can streamline your eDiscovery process, reduce costs, and more effectively and securely manage data in your legal matters.
If your goal is to handle discovery in a fast, affordable and secure manner while gaining control over your matters, Logikcull is the best option for you. Request a quick demo to see it in action.