6 Questions to Evaluate Your eDiscovery Vendor for Your Small Law Firm
Takeaway: To evaluate your eDiscovery vendor, ask: (1) Are they clear about what you’ll be paying for, and why? (2) Do they make it easy to sign on? (3) Is their software simple and intuitive? (4) Is their software tailored to small law firms like yours? (5) Do they protect your data? (6) Do they have excellent tech support?
eDiscovery applications have flooded the market, but how many of them are any good?
Some vendors have cutting-edge software that only the largest law firms can afford (or need). Others have affordable software, but it’s slow and hard to use. Only a few have put in the time and effort to design software that’s powerful, but affordable and easy to use.
Here’s a checklist to evaluate your current eDiscovery vendor.
There are 6 things you need to track.
1. Are they clear about what you’ll be paying for, and why?
How does your eDiscovery vendor explain their prices? Do they show you confusing pricing charts? That’s a sign of a bad pricing plan. At best, these annoying charts are necessary, because their pricing system is convoluted. At worst, the charts hide add-on fees that you won’t know about till you get your bill. To avoid this trap, learn what a good eDiscovery pricing system looks like.
2. Do they make it easy to sign on?
With less effective vendors, you’ll spend days negotiating the price – taking calls and sending emails back and forth. You’ll have to discuss things like per-seat licensing costs, processing fees, and overage. With more effective vendors, everything you need is on their website. Choose your case size, pay via credit card, and start working. All in minutes – not hours or days. And the best vendors give you a free case so you can explore the software and see if it’s right for your firm.
3. Is their software simple and intuitive?
Good vendors know you probably aren’t a technology expert. And that you don’t have time to read another software manual. So, they build their software around features you already know and use. For example, how do you usually move files from one folder to another? You drag-and-drop them, right? Well, wouldn’t it make sense to be able to use the same drag-and-drop feature with your eDiscovery software? If your software looks complicated and clunky, change your vendor. And take a look at how an easy-to-use eDiscovery application works.
4. Is their software tailored to small law firms like yours?
With software designed for small law firms:
- There aren’t any unnecessary frills that drive prices up. Software for larger firms is packed with features that your smaller firm won’t need. For example, ‘predictive coding.’ This is where the software looks for patterns in the way you review and label files and then makes suggestions automatically. It’s exciting, cutting-edge stuff. But it’s not something you’ll use often. And certainly not worth paying extra for when you’re trying to grow your firm, find new clients, and keep costs down.
- Your small cases should be able to grow into larger ones. You never want to run out of storage space for your cases. That’s why the best vendors store your data in the Cloud. Which is a vast network of servers belonging to software giants like Google and Amazon. Since the Cloud has hundreds of thousands of these servers, there’s near-unlimited storage space for your cases. And since other customers store their data in the same Cloud, everyone splits the bill. Learn more about the Cloud.
5. Do they protect your data?
Your clients’ data is confidential. So, how do you keep it safe? The best vendors use Cloud security to your advantage. Because Cloud engineers and security experts spend a lot of time and money figuring out how to protect our data:
- They protect your data from physical damage (fires, floods, etc.). And they have generators to make sure their servers are always powered up.
- They protect your data from intruders and hackers. They do rigorous background and security checks for employees and IT professionals that come in contact with their servers. They use technology like encrypted biometric identification to make sure only authorized vendors are connecting to their servers. And they regularly test their software and hardware to make them hack-proof.
- They encrypt your data. And when you want to delete it, they use crypto-shredding to delete the encryption keys. This wipes your data thoroughly. Also, they mask (i.e., hide within random characters) vital information like credit card numbers.
- They have advanced data recovery tools to retrieve your data if it gets lost. And they make sure your data doesn’t get mistakenly corrupted, edited, or mixed up with other users’ Cloud data.
6. Do they have excellent technical support?
The best vendors design, develop, and run their software. This means they respond much faster to technical issues that crop up. Also, they let you monitor their Cloud servers. So, on the rare occasions when the servers go offline (e.g., for maintenance), you’ll be able to track their status.
Need reliable eDiscovery software? Try GoldFynch.
It’s a next-generation eDiscovery application that prioritizes things that matter to small law firms. That’s why:
- It costs just $10 a month for a 1 GB case: That’s $25 less–every month–than the nearest comparable software. And hundreds of dollars less than many others. With GoldFynch, you know what you’re paying for exactly – its pricing is simple and readily available on the website.
- It’s easy to budget for. GoldFynch has a flat, prorated rate. With legacy software, your bill changes depending on how much data you use.
- It takes just minutes to get going. It runs in the Cloud, so you use it through your web browser (Google Chrome recommended). No installation. No sales calls or emails. Plus, you get a free, fully-functional trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
- It can handle even the largest cases. GoldFynch scales from small to large, since it’s in the Cloud. So, choose from a range of case sizes (1 GB to 100 GB, and more) and don’t waste money on space you don’t need.
- You can access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud. And you can monitor its servers here.
- You won’t have to worry about technical stuff. It’s designed, developed and run by the same team. So, its technical support isn’t outsourced. Which means you get prompt and reliable service.
Want to learn more about GoldFynch?
For related posts about eDiscovery, check out the following links.
- 5-Minute eDiscovery: How to Save Time and Money for Your Small Law Firm
- [Uncovered] eDiscovery Myth: Small Law Firms Can’t Handle Large Cases [over 100 GB]
- 16 Have-to-Know Questions to Simplify eDiscovery for Your Small Law Firm
- 8 Common eDiscovery Mistakes Your Small Law Firm May be Making
- eDiscovery Ethics: The One Checklist Every Small Law Firm Needs