What Do GC’s Really Want in an eDiscovery Vendor?

From this weeks Advanced Discovery blog:

For those of you who haven’t seen it, earlier this week Matthew Verga, the VP of Marketing Content here at Advanced Discovery, posted the third part of an ongoing series discussing insourcing and outsourcing of eDiscovery functions.  This week’s post is called ‘Models, Benefits and Challenges of Outsourcing’ and can be found here.  Part 1 is available here andpart 2 is available here.

Matthew and I also did a webcast, just over a week ago, on the same subject.  Called “eDiscovery Insourcing vs. OutsourcingFiguring Out What’s Best for Your Organization,” a recording of the program can be viewed by registering here:https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2825368125753789186.

But meanwhile, I thought it would be interesting to get an unbiased view of the topic and see if our perspective matched up with comments from other observers:

Ari Kaplan is a leading independent legal industry analyst and is the principal researcher for a variety of highly respected benchmarking reports.  He is also widely in demand as a speaker for events in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and throughout the U.S.   Ari is an inaugural Fastcase 50 honoree and a finalist for ILTA’s Thought Leader of the Year award and, like both Matthew and Tom, regularly competes in Ironman triathlons.

OK, Tom and Matthew don’t compete in triathlons.  I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

What we DO have in common with Ari is monitoring the eDiscovery space for trends and performance statistics.  To that end, every year, Ari Kaplan Advisors produces a market research report called E-Discovery Unfiltered: A Survey of Current Trends and Candid Perspectives.  It is based on independent, anonymous interviews with 25-30 professionals responsible for eDiscovery decision-making, and in 2016, Ari personally spoke with 9 in-house lawyers, 9 in-house legal administrators, and 8 AmLaw 200 law firm partners about vendor management trends and recorded their direct impressions of 20 companies, including Advanced Discovery.

Of the 18 respondents from corporations: 5 were in financial services, including banking and insurance; 4 were in life sciences; 3 were in retail; 2 were in technology; 2 were in manufacturing; 1 was in energy; and, 1 was in entertainment.  Of those 18, 65% worked for companies with revenues that exceed $10 billion, and 69% worked for companies with over 10,000 employees.

Among other topics, the report addressed where in-house legal teams are investing, the issues that e-discovery leaders are most concerned about, and the qualities that matter most to them when working with a vendor.  You can read more, including how to order a copy of the report, at http://e-discoveryunfiltered.com/.

But what I found most interesting is the chart below, which was reproduced on the AKA web site. It shows some trends that Matthew and I have been discussing, and that the ACC has also reported in their surveys, namely that pricing is not the most important factor to either GC’s or litigation support personnel at corporations.

What IS important to them are things like technical skills, project management, communication, security, and service.  Price is important but not as important as performance.  Just as Matthew and I have been pointing out.

So read Matthew’s postlisten to our webinar, and look at Ari’s site.  I think you will find them most informative, especially regarding the skills that GC’s want from their ED vendors.  Performance not prices.


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