How Self-Service is Redefining eDiscovery

  • Venio Systems
  • March 29, 2019

Last week, we co-presented a webinar with our partner Ricoh to acquaint the eDiscovery community with our VenioOne OnDemand interface and how self-service eDiscovery is redefining the workflows and technology expectations for legal teams and their eDiscovery software platforms. Chris Jurkiewicz, Co-Founder and EVP of Venio Systems, hosted the webinar with David Greetham, VP of eDiscovery at Ricoh USA, who provided valuable insight into how Ricoh worked with the VenioOne platform to develop Ricoh On Demand and the impact it has had for Ricoh’s business and their law firm and corporate clients. For those who were unable to attend the webinar, we wanted to provide a summary of the content on how OnDemand is changing eDiscovery workflows and approaches.

For more detailed insights and a look at Ricoh OnDemand, access the webinar recording here.

How OnDemand Began

Five years ago, Venio began to think about the issues with transferring data and how to provide a better way to get data into the VenioOne eDiscovery platform. Traditional file transfer protocol (FTP) workflows were inadequate and sometimes difficult to use. Any new solution had to be secure, fast, and extremely reliable. In conversations with Greetham about what Venio was building, he shared that Ricoh was also looking for a way to enable their clients to upload data directly. The pace of litigation was increasing and workflow challenges associated with running to a client’s location to pick up data on a thumb drive or hard drive and then tracking the chain of custody, not to mention the delays in processing data, were frustrating both Ricoh and their clients.

Venio knew they did not want to build something separate from their VenioOne platform as their focus on having one solution for end-to-end eDiscovery needs is the core of their business model. Meanwhile, Ricoh had looked at multiple platforms and validated the capabilities of the VenioOne platform as a good solution for their clients. Therefore, the decision was made to build a user-friendly, web-based, self-service layer to connect to the full VenioOne platform and database on the back end.

With this approach, the attorney, paralegal, or data collector only sees the easy to use OnDemand layer, but it’s robust enough on the back end to handle the largest cases and investigations. This helped provide the consistency, simplicity, and seamless workflow that both Ricoh and Venio wanted for their clients. Venio developed VenioOne OnDemand and then provided custom development support to Ricoh’s team so they could build out the Ricoh OnDemand platform to match their specific workflows and needs. Both products continue to be refined and updated.

How OnDemand is Different

The original intent of Ricoh OnDemand was that it would omit the need to go to client sites to get the data, and give their clients the ability to easily upload and process their data at any time using their own customized templates for Bates numbers, document IDs, etc. Ricoh also believed that this would be used for fairly small datasets, that they would still oversee the processing on the back end, and then the deliverable would be a load file to place in a law firm or corporate client’s in-house eDiscovery platform. The OnDemand solution would simply eliminate steps prior to processing the data. In a very short time, it became obvious that the only real limitation of OnDemand was the bandwidth available for uploads. Clearly, the platform could handle much more and clients were asking for it.

Advances in data compression capabilities and encryption options have made this cloud-based approach even more robust than traditional data transfer approaches. Ricoh had one client with a small case at the outset, but then the data kept expanding until it was up to 900 gigabytes in one database. This scenario is more typical than unique as data volumes increase. Ricoh also had clients who not only wanted to upload data, but also search, review, and produce within the OnDemand platform. Within a very short time, the platform has evolved to include all of those features, while still remaining easy to use.

Ricoh’s law firm and corporation clients were also wanting to do more internally but didn’t want to pay for things they were not using. OnDemand provided the flexibility they needed. One such feature is the ability for in-house litigation support team members to send a secure link to a custodian of data, so that the data can be uploaded directly. This has been a game changer at a time when evidence handling and the responsibility for data collection and information governance is being scrutinized even more closely than before. This functionality is especially critical for corporate clients with multiple locations and custodians of data.

Several years ago, with attention growing on data breaches and security, Ricoh moved to the Microsoft Azure cloud environment, and Venio Systems moved to Amazon Web services for their data storage – both provide the scalability, security, and monitoring that their clients need. With regional data regulations like GDPR, it also allows them to store data in-country as needed. However, the VenioOne platform on the back end can be configured for on-premises storage, if needed.

What OnDemand has Become

From the original idea of a solution to easily upload case and investigation data for processing, VenioOne OnDemand has become a full-featured end-to-end eDiscovery solution that is enabling traditional eDiscovery workflows to be modernized. With the power of the full VenioOne database and platform on the back end, the serious concerns around information governance, access rights, chain of custody, and specific data processing needs are covered, making OnDemand a viable solution for matters both small and large.

Even with the rapid changes in functionality, Venio and Ricoh have remained committed to keeping the OnDemand layer friendly and easy to use. While OnDemand was originally typically used by a paralegal in a law firm without a litigation support department to get data loaded and processed, it is now being used by anyone who touches data throughout the eDiscovery lifecycle of a case or investigation. Many larger entities are now using OnDemand to initiate cases, get data processed quickly, and placed in the hands of those doing initial reviews and culling of data as part of their early case assessment processes. Another use would be a senior partner handing off data in the morning and wanting an expert to review it in the afternoon or evening prior to a hearing or deposition. OnDemand’s secure sharing and collaboration features enable that with ease.

From concept to reality, OnDemand has been an ever-evolving way to simplify and enable modern end-to-end eDiscovery workflows. It’s been an exciting journey so far and one that Ricoh and Venio are looking forward to continuing! Just imagine what your litigation and investigation teams could accomplish with a tool like OnDemand at their disposal. For more information about VenioOne OnDemand, download our brochure here