Blog Posts

    ROI and Successful KM Projects in the Legal Sector

    Why do so many knowledge management (KM) IT projects within law firms struggle to show a good ROI? For that matter, how many KM IT projects really succeed?

    The KM community in the legal sector is a varied one with many excellent practitioners who do implement superb and effective projects. But there are also many projects which despite their high value, high effort, and often high cost only see limited success. Some industry statistics show success rates for KM IT system projects as low as 50%. It is all too easy for consultants to advise that a Knowledge system, a CRM or even a document management system is needed, and while they may well be right, it is a fair question to ask if they have really understood the business requirements for that specific law firm or if they are just following best practice from other organisations.

    To really make a difference, the essential guide is to take everything back to the business need; what is the problem to be solved rather than what is theoretically a good thing to implement. All too often a KM project is created as a response to management pressure to do something quick, easy and ideally with minimal cost or disruption; circumstances which immediately make the necessary behavioural change for successful projects hard to achieve.

    As Nick Milton of Knoco states when looking at 7 reasons for success with KM projects: “Make sure your KM implementation is focused on solving real, pressing business issues”.[1]

    The reasons for the failure of knowledge management initiatives are various, and not limited to the structure and culture within legal organisations – there are many good discussions covering these factors.[2] A common theme is not taking sufficient notice of the “people” factor. Not just the intended audience, their behaviour, needs and preferences, but also of ourselves, the KM practitioners. I identify with what Nick Milton says when he talks about people who own KM initiatives being human, and as prone as other human beings to rushing in without “learning before”.[3]

    A frequent KM IT project is that of building or replacing a knowledge system; an effective platform to facilitate the acquisition, storage and dissemination of know-how and expertise throughout the organisation. There is no doubt that these can be a very good thing. The software salesman will always try to persuade you that their system is the best possible solution, but it is important to recognise what the most important requirements are for the business concerned and not to let technology control the design – or the implementation.

    When designing a knowledge system for a law firm or legal department, it can be enticing to set up a complex solution following academic best practice with taxonomy application at a detailed level and with various controls to ensure content can be vetted before publication – review mechanisms that make good sense in an ideal world. However when that system is live, there is seldom a network of dedicated staff within the existing legal environment with sufficient bandwidth to maintain it. It is often assumed (wishfully) that existing staff can handle the load. While increases to headcount may be undesirable, consideration should at least be given to resourcing alternatives, such as legal process outsourcing, to complete the project and ensure staffing levels are adequate. Lacking sufficient resources, the practicalities can become onerous for already busy lawyers and practitioners and as a result the system slowly becomes out of date; not because good know how isn’t being produced, but because it is too time consuming to load it onto the system. A vicious circle will form whereby the content on the system is viewed as generally out of date, lawyers will use the last example they know of as a starting point for the next transaction and then cease to contribute high-value IP to the knowledge system.

    No matter how expensive the KM system, if the content is not filtered, current and maintained, it will fail. The application of theory in a thoughtful way, utilising analysis and experience to address business needs are key. It is simply too easy to assume that a good system is of benefit to the organisation, but sometimes the painful truth is that those using a system just do not work in the manner necessary to ensure a productive and effective utilization. Although on occasion, business efficiencies can be driven by changing working practices, which when scoped well can result in better performance. But it is important to understand when that change is not driving efficiency, but instead driving people to find a way to work around it due to the difficulty of using it. If the business need is ignored, then initiatives will underperform or have the opposite effect.

    One example of how the academic practice of what “should” be good KM can actually ignore aspects of the business need, is the design of taxonomy. It is important to know how the business actually works and how the taxonomy will best perform for whatever function it is applied to.
    Here at Integreon, for instance, we are managing the build of a new knowledge system for a legal client, and the legal topic taxonomy has to be pragmatic. The new KM system utilises SharePoint and the firm’s document management system (DMS), which is HP/Autonomy’s WorkSite. Search has been identified as a priority for the firm, but for browsing content, contextual provision has also proven its worth. Therefore the design of the new system enables the taxonomy to be used not just for effective search results with highly relevant items returned within the top ten results, but also for how the information is displayed in context throughout the system. As a result, there are some groupings within the taxonomy which would make taxonomy experts very uncomfortable, but it serves the purpose for which it was designed and supports the way that fee earners actually work, rather than being a technically correct hierarchical arrangement.

    There is no denying the importance of aligning KM with the business need. As David Straker says: “Knowledge systems succeed, perhaps unsurprisingly, when they give their customers what they want, meet broader company goals and are reasonably easy to manage and maintain.”[4]

    When organisations are trying to save money, cutting knowledge workers should be the last thing that is considered rather than the first. Equally, KM should not be introduced for its own sake; it should be used because it solves business problems, increases efficiency and improves performance.

    References
    1. Knoco Stories, From the knowledge management front-line, 20.12.2010 www.nickmilton.com
    2. “A Synthesis of Knowledge Management Failure Factors”, Alan Frost M.Sc., January 25, 2014, www.knowledge-management-tools.net
    3. Knoco stories: Why do KMers do often fail to learn from the past? http://www.nickmilton.com/2013/12/why-do-kmers-do-often-fail-to-learn.html#ixzz33NTwOQ3U
    4. How Knowledge Management Systems Fail and Succeed. David Straker, http://syque.co.uk

    Kate Stanfield is Vice President, Knowledge & Research, Integreon

    ILTA 2014: Disruptors and Innovators Take Center Stage

    “Disruption” and “innovation” are hot concepts right now in the legal profession, especially as more than 3000 legal professionals and technologists converge on Nashville for the 2014 ILTA Conference.

    ILTA IMAGINEFittingly, “imagine” is ILTA’s conference theme – the point being to “imagine the possibilities!” Well, to help with visualizing what’s in store for us at ILTA, here is a preview based on an assessment of the ILTA agenda and other sources.

    Less about Predictive Coding, More about the Future of Law

    It seems the usual multitude of sessions on predictive coding, which has dominated so many legal technology shows in recent memory, has given way to a broader discussion around technology’s role in the transformation of the practice and business of law.

    ILTA’s sole predictive coding session (out of 200+) looks like it will be a really good one though. Patrick Oot will be presenting the results of the Electronic Discovery Institute’s predictive coding study for a “non-biased, scientific” view. My colleague Caragh Landry is looking forward to the session. She has been a vocal advocate of the technology.

    (To be fair, there are some sessions on analytics too, but the above seems to be the only session I can find that is squarely focused on predictive coding.)

    Apparent this year are more sessions which look to the bigger picture, with many speakers poised to talk about legal innovation and embracing change within the profession, including these sessions:

    This innovation focus mirrors a plethora of reports in the news media, including for example the August issue of American Lawyer which has a whole section on recognizing innovative legal practitioners.

    It seems likely that “disruption” and “innovation” will be buzz words of many conversations at ILTA. (I recommend reading about Clayton Christensen’s concept of Disruptive Innovation for more background.)

    A Virtual Session on Technology for Contract Management

    If you are dismayed at the lack of sessions about technology for contract management, then you may want to consider joining Integreon for an off-menu virtual session that we’re hosting with our technology partner Seal Software. No registration fee is required.

    Integreon’s Mark Ross and Seal’s Christina Wojcik will talk about How LPO Solves the Mass Contract Review and Abstraction Dilemma on Tuesday, Aug. 19th from 11:00AM to 12:00noon US Central Time. Automation technology for the data abstraction process will be a key area of the discussion. Questions are welcome from viewers. Our thanks to the Global Outsourcing Association of Lawyers for hosting the topic.

    Changes in Profession, Changes in Career

    Industry conferences like ILTA have long been places for networking, including job prospecting. If you’re in the latter category, then be sure to add booth 534 (Integreon) to your ILTA itinerary.

    We’re actively hiring for positions in New York, Washington DC, Fargo and other locations in the US and abroad. If you’re attending ILTA and curious about a career in LPO, we would be glad to talk to you. For a brief overview about Integreon and our focus, watch this two-minute video.

    Cool Swag and Prizes at Booth 534

    It seems everyone loves good swag (aka chotskies) and a chance to win cool prizes from the many drawings held at ILTA. No one wants to go home empty handed.

    At booth 534, Integreon has the swag you need for your take home trophy. And we’re also giving away cool gadgets too, including:

    • A drawing for a Microsoft Surface tablet (with keyboard cover). Look for the fish bowl in our booth.
    • For ILTA’s Vendor Bingo, we’re giving away two Kindle Fire HD tablets. To participate, you will need the ILTA app in order to scan a QR code in our booth. (Interesting to note: In addition to supporting iPhone and Android, newly added this year are apps for Windows Phone and Windows. A web app version is still available as well.)

    While you’re at our booth, you can learn about legal process outsourcing and our range of award winning services, including electronic discovery, managed document review, contract management and review, compliance, due diligence, legal research, and administrative services.

    In particular, we’ll be showcasing our discovery services for:

    • Forensic Collection and Tape Restoration
      We offer a national forensic collection and analysis team and one of the largest tape libraries in the US capable of restoring or indexing over 400+ tape types.
    • E-Discovery Data Reduction
      Our processing technology includes embedded ECA functionality to streamline discovery and enable our clients to reduce data volumes by up to 90 to 95% prior to full processing and review.
    • Managed Review, including Foreign Language Review
      Managed document review from Integreon features unparalleled team scalability. We also routinely support review exercises in more than 50 languages in the US, UK, India and the Philippines.

    Meet Your ILTA Peers

    Receptions and parties are aplenty at ILTA, but here are three networking soirées I want to highlight:

    • For any ILTA new comers, I cannot stress enough to be sure you attend the Exhibit Hall Opening Reception on Monday from 7:00 to 9:00PM. This one is always a good time.
    • For international ILTA members, there is an ILTA reception sponsored by Integreon just for you on Tuesday from 4:30 to 6:00PM at the Gaylord’s Delta Pavilion. Come on by to meet your international colleagues!
    • Integreon has joined forces with Mindseye and Content Analyst, two of our e-discovery technology partners, to host a private, invitation-only reception for ILTA members on Wednesday. There will be a drawing for a door prize – a Fitbit Flex smart wristband. Space is limited for this special event. Inquire at booth 534.

    Meet with Integreon too!

    If you or your team are interested in meeting with us at ILTA to discuss opportunities for how our firms can work together, let us know. Our team of business consultants will be on hand through-out the conference.

    It’s looking to be another great ILTA conference this year.

    See you in Nashville!

    Eric Feistel is Marketing Director, Legal Services for Integreon.

    IACCM Interview: Microsoft’s Contract Management Transformation

    In this newly published video interview from the International Association of Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM), you will hear from Mark Ross, Senior Vice President of Legal Process Outsourcing at Integreon, who talks about an on-going contract management engagement in which Integreon has delivered year-on-year process improvements, efficiency enhancements and savings to Microsoft. The transformation at Microsoft has been so remarkable that the IACCM recently recognized Integreon as its “Outstanding Service Provider” for 2013 during the association’s annual Innovation Awards.

    Click the play button to watch the interview.
    IACCM Interview with Mark Ross

    For more on how Integreon and Microsoft are working together, read the in-depth case study.

    Compliance Looks to LPO to Avoid the Regulatory Enforcers

    Article originally published in Outsource (July 14, 2014) by Mark Ross and Laurel Lichty.


    Robocop’s ED-209 famously warned us back in 1987…


    Enforcement Droid, Series 209 [ED-209] from Robocop (1987)

    Enforcement Droid, Series 209 [ED-209] from
    Robocop (1987) courtesy of RobocopArchive.com

    You have 15 seconds to

              comply… You are in

                direct violation of
         Penal Code 1.13, Section 9




    Although the consequences of non-compliance for today’s corporate offenders are not quite as severe as those portrayed in the Hollywood cult classic, agencies like the DOJ and SEC in the US, the FCA in the UK, and a plethora of other regulators are policing corporate conduct with ever increasing voracity.

    Given the perilous nature of burgeoning regulation and associated enforcement, it is not surprising that the Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO) industry has been quick to step up to the plate. LPO is leveraging its legal and process expertise, technology and global resources to help their corporate clients meet compliance demands. This shift towards outsourcing portions of corporate compliance has been precipitated by another change. It is somewhat ironic that as compliance has begun its love affair with LPO that the responsibility for compliance within corporations has been steadily moving away from the purview of the legal department. Compliance is increasingly recognized as an independent function, with Chief Compliance Officers routinely now reporting to the CEO as opposed to the General Counsel.

    The development of a sophisticated LPO compliance offering has occurred in tandem with the maturation of the LPO industry itself and its progression from LPO 1.0 to LPO 2.0, or as others have coined it, “next generation” LPO. Consider this recent assessment from Raconteur which estimates the global LPO market at more than £1.5 billion (or approximately $2.5 billion USD) and growth expected to continue, including movement “up the value chain to incorporate more complex, high-value tasks.”

    Compliance LPO solutions are often characterized as enterprise wide endeavors, rather than single-service transactional engagements. Regulatory requirements increasingly demand both quantitative and qualitative reporting and regular testing or auditing. Compliance requires collaboration between the key constituent stakeholders, namely corporate legal, compliance and the internal audit, accounting or finance departments. Global LPO providers are stepping in and facilitating this collaboration. Effective LPO compliance support programs today provide much more than merely labor arbitrage and include process reengineering, multi-lingual support and enabling technologies.

    As corporations struggle to ensure their systems, processes and policies are compliant with the FCPA, UK Bribery Act, Dodd Frank, and Anti-Money Laundering legislation, LPO providers have begun to leverage their global delivery platforms and process reengineering know-how to assist their clients in evaluating current compliance initiatives, implementing new ones or consolidating jurisdiction-specific processes into global compliance programs. In the midst of all the legislative noise, Know Your Supplier (KYS) and Know Your Customer (KYC) support have emerged as perhaps the key LPO compliance offerings. The associated multi-lingual and multi-jurisdictional surveying, fact-checking and research, coupled with legal and technology skills are of course core competencies of the leading LPO providers.

    The financial services industry for example, which has long capitalized on the labor arbitrage and follow-the-sun advantages of outsourcing, is now increasingly looking to LPOs to help meet anti-money laundering requirements. For instance, Integreon supports its clients throughout the customer onboarding process by undertaking due diligence research and analyzing data pertaining to Politically Exposed Persons, high risk jurisdictions or relating to any other red flag issues. The output from this process can range from basic red flag indicator reports demonstrating the searches completed to much more detailed reports where high risks have been identified, including in-depth profiling of the corporation, directors, shareholders or other relevant entities. Once again, the true value-add is in gaining access to resources with the legal know-how to understand the driving forces behind the legislation responsible for triggering the demand for these compliance programs. The combined research, analytics and legal capabilities of top tier LPO firms make them the logical port of call for providing this type of extensive support.

    The greater vigilance of anti-corruption regulators is also increasing the liability associated with third party suppliers, which in turn is driving the outsourcing of compliance work. In connection with FCPA or other anti-corruption legislation, outsourced compliance support can include the design, distribution, assistance in completion, and collection of surveys or questionnaires for a company’s global supply chain. This can be supplemented by supplier response fact-checking and red flag analysis. The skillset required by these LPO resources engaging with third party suppliers calls for not only an understanding of the anti-corruption laws in play, but also the interpersonal skills necessary to facilitate successful interaction with third parties – who may be wondering why they’re being asked to jump through hoops over and above the normal supplier selection process. When all the information is finally obtained, it then needs to be organized, categorized, hosted and maintained in an easily accessible platform or repository.

    At the end of Robocop a reporter asks, “Robo, excuse me… any special message for all the kids watching at home?” RoboCop responds simply with a message for our time, “Stay out of trouble.” In the world of corporate compliance, this is easier said than done! As the corporate regulatory landscape becomes an ever more treacherous minefield and legal and compliance departments are increasingly tasked with achieving more for less, then as sure as night follows day, the demand for LPO compliance solutions appears set to soar.

    Mark Ross is the Senior Vice President of Legal Process Outsourcing at Integreon and
    Laurel Lichty is the Vice President of Compliance Solutions at Integreon.

    Integreon Summer Party at Sky Lounge, Hilton Rooftop in London

    What do Londoners do at the first sign of summer? Throw a rooftop party, of course. Last week, our CEO, Bob Gogel, welcomed many of our esteemed clients and Integreon associates to a Mexican themed summer party. There were frozen margaritas on tap, tequila shooters, and a Mexican BBQ to line the stomachs of the more sensible among us. All in all a great night out in great company, and at least one guest whose parting shot was “You Integreon sure know how to throw a party!” Agreed.

    Below are some pictures from the party.

    Party Pic_1

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    Party Pic_7

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    Groundbreaking Ceremony Heralds New, Larger Integreon Facility in Fargo

    Penny Retzer (me) speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony in Fargo, April 14, 2014.

    Penny Retzer (me) speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony in Fargo, April 14, 2014.

    It’s an exciting time to be with Integreon. Business is booming and the company is expanding from all corners of the world to meet growing client demand for our award-winning legal, document, research and business outsourcing solutions.

    Location of the future Integreon facility at 3247 47 St. S. Opening November 2014.

    Location of the future Integreon facility at 3247 47 St. S. Opening November 2014.

    What started in 1998 with a handful of Associates supporting an investment banking client – with business services delivered from what was then a very humble office in New York – has today become a global organization with more than 2,000 Associates spanning five continents and 12 delivery centers, serving many of the world’s leading law firms, corporate law departments, financial
    Integreon breaking ground at its new location in Fargo.

    Integreon breaking ground at its new location in Fargo.

    institutions and professional services firms.

    As we’ve grown over the years, we’ve also expanded our operations to ensure we continue to support our clients with the highest quality services. This includes recently moving to new facilities in New York City and Noida, India, and opening an additional facility in Manila, Philippines. This week, we led the groundbreaking ceremony for yet another new facility, a building under construction in Fargo, North Dakota. We’ve out-grown our two existing Fargo buildings, so the plan is to open a larger one in November 2014. The new spacerfacility will enable us to consolidate operations into a single building, with room to spacergrow even more.

    Our Fargo Heritage

    We’ve been in Fargo for more than 13 years, and our growing presence has been one of the area’s best-kept secrets. The roots of our operation began in 2001, with University of North Dakota grad Peter Pantaleo. Peter, who was with a law firm in Washington, D.C. at the time, saw a need for specialized support services for law firms. He set out to start a business and was attracted to North Dakota because of its skilled workforce and the support offered to him by the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation.

    Born as CBF Group in 2000, the business began operating with just two Associates. It was acquired in 2007 by Integreon, and now the team in Fargo has grown to more than 300 Associates. Along the way, we’ve expanded from our original 5,000 square feet of offices, to the 26,500 square feet we have today across two buildings. By the end of this year we’ll have 34,000 square feet in one new facility. This move further emphasizes Integreon’s commitment as a company to provide clients with a variety of 24/7 services from the US and abroad. Our ability to service customers from these different locations allows all locations to thrive, and gives our customers the choices they need for their own demanding businesses and clients.

    A Positive Impact to the Fargo Community

    Although I’ve described us as Fargo’s best-kept secret, we’ve made a strong impact on the lives of many of the people who live here. We’re a primary service sector business, which means that substantially all of our revenue is earned from outside of Fargo. And, as our business has steadily grown, we are almost always on the lookout for new hires. In fact, we anticipate 30 additional hires through the end of this year alone! In addition, we contribute regularly to our community through Integreon’s corporate social responsibility program. Not only do we take pride in how we add value to our clients, but we also strive to make a difference in the locales where our Associates work and live. It is an important part of our company DNA, and we encourage our Associates to live it every day.

    Our Award-Winning Fargo Team

    When it comes to business, the Integreon team in Fargo provides 24/7 service and support to more than 100 of the 250+ clients Integreon serves around the world. Services delivered from our Fargo facility include document processing; presentation services; marketing support; transcription; proofreading; workflow coordination; HR, administrative and secretarial support; legal document review and contract management. The team also collaborates almost daily with other Integreon colleagues around the world, including those in Mumbai, India; Manila, Philippines; Arlington, Virginia; and London and Bristol in the United Kingdom.

    An example of this collaboration is our contract management and review support for Microsoft Corporation. The Fargo team works closely with our colleagues in Bristol, who have considerable foreign language expertise, to support Microsoft’s 20,000 contracts per year in 14 languages across 125 countries. The quality of our work for Microsoft was recently recognized by the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM), which presented Integreon with their 2013 Innovation Award for our delivery of “outstanding” service and support. A detailed case study of this program is available here. As a key delivery center for this work, I could not be more proud of my Fargo teammates for this great accomplishment!

    Our Microsoft account is only one example of the great work we do in Fargo. We strive to always provide exceptional service to every one of our clients, whether they are a small regional law firm or multi-national corporation. Other case study examples of Integreon’s work, and not just that of the Fargo team, can be found here.

    Watch the TV News Coverage

    Our groundbreaking ceremony earlier this week received some great TV news coverage across all of the local Fargo broadcast networks. Some of the reports I found online follow:

    Looking Ahead

    Fargo is an important location for our global company. We’ve had great success in growing our skilled workforce here and in serving our clients from this facility, which is why we’re continuing to invest here. The modern design and employee-friendly environment of our new facility will represent the Integreon brand, value and excellence that Integreon has built throughout the years. As I stood at our new site on Monday and as I look at the plan for our impressive new building, I am amazed at how far we have come, both in Fargo and as a global company. We look forward to the continuing success and growth of our business and to making a difference in Fargo and all the other local communities where we operate.

    Penny Retzer is the general manager of Integreon’s Fargo facility. She also serves as the global head of document services at Integreon.


    For a brief overview of Integreon and our global operations and business, watch our new video. My thanks to the Integreon marketing team for putting this together.

    Integreon Security Audit Comes Up Clean for Heartbleed

    If you’ve been reading or watching the news in the last week, you have likely heard about the Heartbleed bug. This bug exposes usernames, passwords and other similarly sensitive information on the network – allowing unauthorized users to potentially access online identities and exacerbating the risk of faux websites posing as real ones (i.e. phishing) or “Man in the Middle” attacks (often leading to data theft). The vulnerability in question has been present in OpenSSL code for almost two years. Only just identified last week, companies are now obligated to review their own infrastructure and identify potential areas of weakness or concern for their customers.

    At Integreon, we performed this internal audit last week and have verified that our systems do not utilize the technologies or configurations which would make them susceptible to the Heartbleed security flaw. More specifically, since we do not use Apache on our servers (i.e. Apache web servers use OpenSSL, the vulnerable component), we were not effected, but as a precaution scans were run on all our external facing servers. No evidence was found that any of our client systems have been impacted as a result of the Heartbleed vulnerability.

    In general, as part of our ISO certification, we have external penetration testing performed at least once a year by a third party vendor. To further ensure the compliance of external facing sites, we utilize various industry standard security applications – SSLdigger, Digicert and nMap are the ones we employed to scan for the Heartbleed issue.

    SSLDigger helps Integreon to comply with regulatory and industry encryption standards, including for example HIPAA and VISA’s Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP). It also provides limited support for Server Gated Cryptography (SGC), which is particularly helpful for financial services institutions with customers across the globe. This tool provides additional information to us as well while interpreting the results and letter grade.

    We also use Digicert, the provider of our SSL certificates, to check for issues. Digicert not only checks for the Heartbleed vulnerability, but it checks for other weaknesses too.

    Finally, our web servers are scanned utilizing nMap which probes computer networks in a number of ways, including for host discovery and service and operating system detection.

    All of our servers scored Grade “A” with the Digicert and SSLdigger utilities and passed the varied scans of nMap too. In addition to the aforementioned scans, we ran Cisco phone scans as well and verified that any company issued Android phones are not using the impacted OS version (4.1.1). Our company issued iPhones and Windows phones have not been impacted.

    As the news regarding Heartbleed is still developing, we will continue to stay informed, investigate and remain proactive in our response and preparedness. Securing our client’s data has always been a top priority for us and we will continue to look for areas of concern and update our clients as and if more information becomes available.

    Caragh Landry is the senior vice president of operations at Integreon.

    Early Case Assessment: The Practical Way of Saving Significant Time and Cost on E-Discovery

    When I joined the litigation support industry in 2004, clients most often processed and imaged their entire data collections without first getting a clear picture of what the data contained. Today this type of practice is not viewed as acceptable, not to mention it is potentially expensive since the average data volume is now so much larger. More devices than ever are connected to the internet and social media usage is pervasive. Instead of Gigabytes, clients are collecting Terabytes of data and I expect the amount of data will only continue to grow in the years ahead. The challenge is how to defensibly reduce all of this data without breaking the bank. This is where Early Case assessment (ECA) comes into play.

    ECA has long been a part of the litigation process, historically being associated with fact-finding research. It has been a case management approach that seeks to find the facts and other information relevant to a dispute – its objective being to facilitate the evaluation of the matter, litigation strategy, budgeting, preparation for discovery conferences, and as appropriate the formulation of a settlement plan.

    ECA Process

    Click on diagram to open larger view.

    With the rise of electronic discovery, ECA came into the spotlight as an important step in assessing electronically stored information, which often required the use of technology to analyze the data. If you’ve been in the e-discovery field for any length of time, you may recall five years ago when ECA was quite the hot topic. Everyone was talking about it and it seemed that every e-discovery provider also had an ECA solution. Fast forward to today and predictive coding is now all the rage, while ECA seems long forgotten, hanging in the back of the proverbial closet. Or is it?

    Parallel to this whole predictive coding trend, ECA technologies and workflows have been quietly getting refined in the background. While predictive coding still to this day struggles with mainstream adoption, ECA has become more widely understood and embraced. It has made the transition as an accepted, standard best practice.

    But before I go further, let me define more specifically what I mean by ECA. I am talking about a solution that allows litigation support staff to analyze an initial data set, cull it down and enable more informed project decisions in advance of the processing and review stages. Most litigation software today offers ECA capabilities, such as culling, filtering and data analytics. At Integreon, we support a variety of ECA tools, with the two most commonly used being IPRO’s Allegro and Mindseye’s TunnelVision. Both allow data to be culled by various domains, email addresses, specific senders and recipients, file extensions and specific metadata fields, while also providing data visualization to make defensible reduction easier for our clients to understand.

    Data Analytics in particular is one of the most powerful features in modern ECA tools, including all of the leading hosting platforms. With this functionality at their fingertips, litigation support staff can quickly make sense of the data by organizing documents according to message threads, near duplicates and conceptually similar documents. This kind of information can be crucial to realizing significant cost and time savings during e-discovery. At Integreon, the use of ECA technology has resulted in an average cull rate of 90 percent for our clients and, subsequently, a reduction in cost too.

    Larger data collections are becoming the norm, mainly fueled by smart phones and social media. Culling down data at the ECA stage can have a major effect on the cost of e-discovery by greatly reducing the amount of data being sent into full processing, hosting and review. By using ECA, clients have a well-established means of assessing data and making smart decisions earlier in the litigation process, in order to drive down inefficiency and cost. Ultimately, good ECA can lead to improved strategic decision making (i.e. settle or fight the case), better budget management when proceeding into full e-discovery, and even more successful outcomes for clients. For your next e-discovery project, keep in mind there are some great tools out there that can really make a positive impact. Your preferred e-discovery provider should take the time to explain these options and to recommend what will best meet your requirements.

    Elton Vaz is the manager of data processing at Integreon.

    LegalTech New York: Integreon’s Joe Pirrotta Talks E-Discovery, Plus Other Highlights from the Show

    My colleague Joe Pirrotta, Director, Legal Services at Integreon, recently met up with Dave Gardy of TV Worldwide to talk about e-discovery and Content Analyst’s CAAT technology during the LegalTech New York conference.

    Watch the video interview:



    You can learn more about eView (with integrated CAAT) here. Joe also mentioned to me separately that he was quite impressed with the strong level of interest in managed services at this year’s LegalTech. We had many visitors asking us about our managed services for everything from document support, to contract management and mass review, to end-to-end electronic discovery.

    If you missed Integreon at LegalTech this year, we were in the East Grand Ballroom offering complimentary headshot photos at our booth. The photos were among the most popular “swag” at the show – we frequently had a line of people waiting.


    Complimentary Photos at the Integreon Booth

    Largest Technology Announcement in Integreon History

    We had a lot of great conversations too, especially about our press announcement of the largest technology upgrade to our e-discovery infrastructure and services in company history, including:

    • New State-of-the-Art Co-Location for Processing and Application Hosting, including a powerful new processing engine capable of scaling well beyond today’s largest project sizes and achieving data processing rates in excess of five terabytes or more per day
    • Streamlined Workflow for Processing and Early Case Assessment (ECA), including web-based applications that enable clients to reduce their data volumes by as much as 95 percent prior to full processing and review
    • Latest Versions of Best-of-Breed Applications for Review, including kCura’s Relativity 8 for an improved document review experience, from data loading through production. One Relativity 8 addition in particular is Binders – an exciting new option to review and redact documents offline using an iTunes app for iPad tablets
    • Expanded National Forensic Collection and Analysis Team, including resources to support a variety of project types such as one of the largest tape libraries in the US capable of restoring or indexing over 400+ tape formats

    Integreon Now in New York’s Times Square

    In addition. visitors were stopping by to ask us about our move into New York’s Times Square. Despite all the snow in New York, we experienced the highest level of booth traffic we’ve ever had at LegalTech at this year’s show. Just look at all these great conversations going on.


    Record Traffic at the Integreon Booth

    Legal Operations Track

    Beyond the booth, you could find us in the legal operations educational track which we supported as an underwriter of the Institute for Law Department Excellence (ILDE). Integreon’s Mark Ross was a speaker on one of the panels addressing contract manement. The sessions in our track had a nice turn out from LegalTech’s law department community.


    Legal Operations Track at LegalTech

    Our thanks to all the panelists in the legal operations track, including Tom Fuchs (IMS Health), Shari Wilkozek (Motorola Mobility), Daniel Katz (ReInvent Law), Josh Becker (Lex Machina), both T. Jason Smith and James Partridge (Duff and Phelps), and of course our own Mark Ross.

    b-Discovery All-chapter Party

    Once again this year, we sponsored the annual b-Discovery All-chapter Party benefiting the Hardwood Center in support of children with autism. This is really a great cause and an effort that aligns well with our overall corporate social responsibility program. Special thanks to Integreon’s Ginny Gonzalez who heads up b-Discovery’s Atlanta Chapter.


    b-Discovery All-chapter Party

    It is always wonderful networking with our peers, colleagues, and friends at LegalTech. Our thanks to the good folks at ALM for hosting this great annual gathering of the legal community.

    Integreon’s Project Edu-Lync: At the Intersection of Technology and Corporate Social Responsibility

    Watching the keynote address at the opening of Microsoft’s Lync 2014 Conference in Las Vegas was a proud and humbling moment for me as Integreon’s Chief Information Officer.

    Accompanied by hundreds of other attendees from around the world, we sat together listening as Gurdeep Sing Pal, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Skype and Lync, discussed the evolution of Lync from its original concept to its current role as a global unified communications platform.

    He discussed how businesses are starting to realize that they can use Lync to reduce their operational costs and help their workforces become more efficient and productive. I unconsciously was nodding along to all of this, as we’ve done exactly this ourselves at Integreon. The session went on, walking through Lync’s future roadmap, feature sets, and some of the wish lists that have been submitted to Microsoft by customers and system integrators.

    As Mr. Pal finished up detailing the planned technical advancements, he made a statement that Microsoft’s goal for Lync is to move from the unified communications platform that we know today to a universal communications platform. There was a brief pause after he said this, and then he added there was something he would like everyone to see.

    The stage’s giant presentation screen then lit up with a three-minute video highlighting how Integreon has used Lync as a part of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. The video featured Integreon CEO Bob Gogel narrating about Project Edu-Lync, which first started last year on the eve of International Literacy Day. Bob explained that, through Edu-Lync, Integreon’s Associates in collaboration with school educators have been using Lync to pass on their skills and knowledge to children in need, with the goal of helping them realize a brighter future.

    The video showed a specific example of what we’ve been doing in one of our local communities in Mumbai, India, where we’ve been working with Rotary Sanskardham Academy (School for the Hearing Impaired) to provide their students with new opportunities for vocational training and learning.

    Watch “Lync in the Classroom”

    Sitting there at Lync 2014 and watching this video play was humbling – a technology we had implemented was not only being used to support our business but also to help improve the quality of life for Integreon’s broader family and the local communities where we operate.

    As the video played on, I felt as if you could hear a pin drop, it was so quiet. And when it ended, the crowd’s applause was immediate and deafeningly loud. The response I received was immense, particularly the supportive feedback from the Microsoft Lync team.

    They were excited to see us pushing the boundaries of Lync and using it beyond our business and in ways that no else seems to have thought of doing before. Many of our peers and colleagues commented on how they want replicate this experience in their own organizations, including how they too can use Lync to support their communities and outreach programs. A number of them even asked us for our insights to help them get started.

    And we will help them, because we believe corporate social responsibility requires reaching out to our communities, not by building walls, but by breaking through them. This mentality is instilled in our company’s cultural DNA.

    It is this same DNA that drives our commitment to seeking new and innovative ways of working and accomplishing our goals – not only for our CSR program, but also in how we serve and support our clients every day.

    Edu-Lync was truly a team effort and I just want to conclude by acknowledging the contributions from everyone at Integreon, from Benjamin Romualdez, who heads our CSR program, to our many Associates from all around the world who regularly give back to local communities. The support for this effort has been tremendous, including from our technology partners at Microsoft and BT.

    To learn more about Integreon’s CSR program and the range of community outreach efforts we are involved in, I encourage you to read our Corporate Social Responsibility reports.

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