First of all, I wanted to thank Joshua Konkle from DCIG for inviting me to participate in the development of this guide. Joshua and I spent hundreds of hours talking with Early Case Assessment (ECA) users to gather input to develop the survey questions and ranking criteria. We then spend on told hours with the product managers from the vendors covered in the guide, processing the results and writing the report. It was a very educational yet rewarding exercise that I look forward to repeating it every12 months for years to come.
Beyond the ECA platform rankings, there is a lot of very valuable information in this guide in regards to the state of the eDiscovery market. However, I can’t comment on all of it at one time,. Therefore, in this initial post, I will talk about some of the thought that went into developing the survey, the ranking criteria and release the list of the ECA tools in order of ranking.
Historically, technology industry reports have taken into consideration vendor size based on revenue and installed based and other criteria that Joshua and I considered very subjective such as feedback from customers. DCIG has historically attempted to be very objective in the development of its other buyers guides. I like to call this the Dragnet approach as they have been steadfast to collect “just the facts”. As such, Joshua and I followed a similar philosophy with the 2012 ECA Buyer’s Guide. We only wanted to collect verify and report on the facts of what these ECA tools could do and didn’t take into consideration what customers thought or how much revenue the vendor generated.
In addition, DCIG has also historically taken a very bold approach of actually ranking the platforms in their guides as opposed to lumping them into conceptual categories that provide little to no value to perspective buyers. Joshua and I followed the same strategy with the 2012 ECA Buyer’s Guide. And, although we did place ECA platforms into categories such as Recommended, Excellent, Good and Basic, we did in fact rank the platforms from 1-29. As a side not, the fact that we actually ranked the ECA tools provided for some interesting and frank discussions with many of the vendors that participated. I plan to comment on some of these rankings in later posts. However, as a teaser, potential buyers need to note that just because a particular ECA tool was ranked very low doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be a perfect for your specific ECA requirements. That’s the beauty of the guide and more specifically the value of the Interactive Buyer’s Guide (IBG) as it enables users to analyze all 29 ECA tools based on any of the 300 data point and choose those ECA tools that meet their specific criteria. Please note that I will be talking about the IBG at length in future Blog posts and will also be demonstrating the IBG in multiple webinars over the next month.
Based on our personal experiences with ECA tools and view of where the ECA is going along with discussions with ECA users and a cross section of the ECA tool vendors, Joshua and I placed a heightened focus on ECA tools with the following features delivered as an integrated holistic platform:
- Data Mapping
- Analysis of enterprise ESI before collections
- Real-time collection of enterprise ESI
- Integration with enterprise archiving systems
- Ability to process social media ESI
- Legal Hold
- Workflow management
- Project management
- Next generation search
- First Pass Review
- Next generation user interface
- Information dashboard
- SaaS delivery option
- Guidance Software EnCase eDiscovery
- Exterro Fusion eDiscovery
- ZyLAB eDiscovery Bundle
- Orcatec Document Decisioning Suite
- GGO DigitalWarRoom
- Symantec Clearwell
- Autonomy Investigator and Early Case Assessment (ECA)
- StoredIQ DiscoveryIQ
- NextPoint Discovery Cloud
- NUIX Nuix Enterprise Discovery
- Kroll Ontrack Ontrack Inview
- EMC SourceOne
- Kroll Ontrack Verve Review
- AccessData Group AD eDiscovery
- Rational Retention Central Retention Server (CRS)
- Kroll Ontrack Ontrack Advanceview
- Digital Reef Advanced ECA 4.0
- Equivalent Data NeddleFinder
- AccessData Group ECA product (AD ECA)
- Orange Legal Technologies OneO
- Kroll Ontrack Verve EDA
- Recommind Axcelerate ECA and Collection
- X1 Discovery X1 Rapid Discovery; X1 Social Discovery
- InterLegis, Inc. Discovery360
- AccessData Group Summation
- kCura Relativity
- Venio Systems Venio FPR
- Orange Legal Technologies Purple Box
- Equivio Equivio Zoom
- These rankings are based upon our view of features that are important in the ECA market which may or may not match your view of what’s important.
- In many cases the difference in the overall points that separate our rankings over 5 to 10 spots may be as few as 5 to 10 points. And, these points could represent connections to data types or support for specific kinds of search technology (e.g. conceptual search vs. keyword) that may not be important to your organization.
- It is also possible that the ECA tools represented in this guide have released major updates that were not reflected in the final rankings. Joshua and I had to set a cut-off date and unfortunately some of these updates occurred after the cut-off. As an example, Kroll Ontrack has made some major enhancements to its ECA product line in the just the last 60 days.
- There are some very impressive ECA tools such as Equivio Zoom, Venio FPR, X1 Rapid Discovery and OneO that are ranked lower in the guide (because they are more focused in their approach to ECA) but in fact may be the perfect solution to your specific requirements. As an example, I just recently ranked Equivio Zoom as one of the Top Five eDiscovery Technologies to watch in the second half of 2012.
In my next post, I will go into more detail regarding the thoughts behind our criteria and rankings.