What Ediscovery Software Should I Buy? Ask These 4 Questions to Save Your Small Law Firm Time and Money.

07 June 2017 by Anith Mathai ediscovery

Ediscovery is becoming affordable. But deciding which software to use is still tough. Ask yourself these 4 questions and save your small law firm time and money:

— Will I be able to start working immediately? — Will it take long to learn how to use it? — Are there more features than I need? — What am I really going to be paying every month?

Read on to find out more.

You gather all the files to do with a case. You review, tag, and redact them. And then you hand them over to opposing counsel.

Ediscovery (i.e. electronic discovery or e-discovery) is the same thing. Except, instead of paper documents, you’re dealing with electronic files like Word documents, PDFs, images, and emails.

But, designing ediscovery software isn’t straightforward

Ediscovery providers need to know a lot about their clients. Like, how much storage space they’ll need. Or what features the software must have. They’ll then use this information to create customized software and a customized quote.

If you need customized software, it’s expensive. And it’s hard to figure out who can give you the best deal

You contact an ediscovery provider and describe what you need. After many back-and-forths, you get a quote. But it’s not always clear what you’re paying for. And if you want the best deal, you have to go through the whole thing again with another provider. This is a huge problem, especially if you are working on a deadline. In the worst case, you wind up having to pay extra because you need the software fast and lost so much time gathering quotes!

In the past, small and solo law firms couldn’t afford this custom ediscovery.

This became clear in 2009 when ediscovery expert Craig Ball issued his EDna Challenge. He described an imaginary small-firm attorney called Edna, who had a budget of $1000 for ediscovery. And he challenged the ediscovery community to provide software that Edna could afford.

Some said it was impossible. Some had solutions, but they were too expensive. And others tried to combine different pieces of existing software. But no-one could meet Edna’s budget.

Nowadays, ediscovery is more affordable

Ball updated his EDna challenge in 2016. He increased Edna’s budget to $5000. He added that she would need 90 days to review the files. The case would be active for 2 years. And the software would need more features.

This time, providers had more affordable software—but it was still expensive. Most came in at around $4000-5000. One provider got much lower, at $2205. But that price was based on complex math and opaque pricing. Not user-friendly.

GoldFynch was by far the cheapest at $1200. Nearly 50% lower than the prevailing lowest price. And just $200 above the initial challenge limit laid down 7 years earlier.

Cloud computing and SaaS make this possible

The ‘cloud’ is a bunch of servers (i.e. high-end computers) connected to each other via high speed networks. And a new generation of ediscovery providers is using the cloud’s computing power and storage to run their software and securely store your data.

This means you get ‘on-demand’ software (‘software as a service’, or SaaS) for which you don’t need to download and install anything or buy any new equipment. It’s run off the cloud, maintained by your ediscovery provider, and you access it through your web browser. From wherever you are. All you need is a computer, smartphone, or tablet. And an internet connection.

It’s easier now to figure out what you’re paying for

Ediscovery has been around for a while, and providers have a good idea of what small law firms need. So, they offer ready-to-use software and list prices on their websites. It’s much easier to shop around for the best service.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just dump all your data somewhere and get started immediately?

Nowadays you can just ‘sign up and go’ with most software. No sales calls, no credit card, no back-and-forth with sales reps. But most ediscovery providers haven’t caught up with this new reality. They still make you go through a long, drawn-out and annoying sales process. (Note: GoldFynch is an exception. You can sign up and get going in less than a minute). And things like this matter when you’re drowning in deadlines, emails, and administrative tasks.

So, here are 4 questions to ask when choosing your ediscovery provider.

  1. ”Will I be able to start working immediately?” You should be able to sign up and start uploading files in less than 10 minutes. And if you need to upgrade your case, that should be quick too. Is the provider showing you complex pricing tables with many caveats? Run for the hills. (GoldFynch takes less than 30 seconds)

  2. ”How long will it take to learn how to use the software?” The best software is intuitive. You should know what to do without having to study a manual.
    For example, if you want to copy files from one folder to another on your computer, what do you do? You select all the files with your mouse and then drag-and-drop them into the other folder. Uploading files into your ediscovery software should be the same. If you have to learn a new way of doing it, the software is wasting your time.

  3. ”Are there more features than I need?” Quality ediscovery doesn’t have to be expensive. The mistake many providers make is to lose sight of what matters. They start adding features that aren’t necessary, which clutters the interface. And you have to pay for the excess.

  4. ”What am I really going to be paying every month?” Many services have hidden costs built in. For example, you have to upgrade just to get the features you need. Keep this in mind when you’re going through prices on your provider’s website.

GoldFynch makes ediscovery simple

It’s designed for small firms like yours. So, it’s quick, easy, and affordable.

  • Sign up in minutes. You’ll get a free case to try out, and you can start using it immediately. You won’t need a credit card. You won’t have to answer an annoying sales call.
  • Pay just $10 per month for a basic case (1 GB in size). That’s $25 less, per month, than the second-most-affordable provider. And hundreds of dollars cheaper than the others.
  • Choose your case plan easily. Need more storage space? Just decide how much more you’ll need and pick the plan that matches. Some ediscovery providers don’t offer all their features with smaller case plans. For example, they’ll limit the number of people you can share your case with. So you have to decipher complex pricing charts to figure out how much you have to pay to ‘unlock’ certain features. With GoldFynch, all features (e.g. unlimited case sharing) are unlocked for even the smallest case.
  • Know exactly how much you’re spending. The price of each case is fixed and is per month. The price on the website is the price you pay. No fine print. No hidden costs.
  • Start working, fast. If you’ve learned to use the internet, you’ll be able to figure out GoldFynch in minutes. And there’s nothing to install or update. You use GoldFynch through your web browser.

Visit GoldFynch.com to learn more about how GoldFynch works

Watch a short video overview of GoldFynch’s features