eDiscovery Pricing: Are Upfront Processing Fees Worth It?

30 December 2019 by Anith eDiscovery pricing

Takeaway: Some eDiscovery vendors charge a per-GB fee upfront to process your files, and then charge a fixed monthly fee to store your data. However, law firms often prefer the other pricing model: Get your files processed for free and choose a flexible data storage plan that suits your needs. It’s simple and much more cost-effective.

What are upfront processing fees?

When you upload files into your eDiscovery software, there’s a lot of ‘processing’ that goes on in the background. For example, your software has to filter out time-wasting duplicate files and system files (e.g., .EXE files, font files, Windows system files). Then, it needs to convert documents into a standard format so you can open them all in your eDiscovery application. And finally, it extracts embedded files and file metadata. (Learn more about eDiscovery processing.) With upfront processing fees, you’ll pay a per-GB rate to upload data, and then a fixed monthly eDiscovery fee, regardless of how much data is in your case.

Upfront processing fees seem to keep costs predictable

If you have a per-GB rate, and you know how many GBs you’ll be uploading, then you know exactly what your eDiscovery bill will be, right?

But really, the ‘upfront’ model boxes you in

eDiscovery is an art. You’re building a story, so you’re asking questions like ‘What happened? When and how? Who is involved? What did they do? How are they connected to each other?’ This is a complex, partly-intuitive process and you need leeway to explore. With upfront processing, though, you tend to get boxed in. The uploading and processing fees are often so disproportionately high that your first impulse is to upload fewer files. And this distracts you from the story – which is all you really should be thinking about. Also, what if you make a mistake and need to re-upload data? Or if you get a ‘re-production’ request from opposing counsel? You’ll have to pay for uploading and processing again! All this is counter-intuitive to good eDiscovery.

Instead, when processing is free, things are much more flexible.

Imagine being able to just dump all your files into your eDiscovery application! No agonizing over which ones to weed out, because you have the luxury of doing that later.

That’s why law firms prefer paying for storage space, and getting free processing as part of the deal.

Here, storage space is divided into chunks (or ‘plans’)–e.g. 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, etc. And you pay for the amount of space you need. So, if you have 9 GB worth of data, get the 10 GB plan and dump all your files into your software. After working on them, if you realize you don’t need so much space, downgrade your plan and pay for only the few days you were on the older one. Plus, you can delete the files and re-upload them as many times as you want for free. (Learn more about fixed-volume pricing)

The best part is that storage space is so affordable

That’s because of the Cloud. Cloud-hosting has been around for a long time. In fact, if you use Dropbox, Google Drive, or any Apple product, then you’re already in the Cloud. Here, software giants like Amazon and Google let you store your files on their servers. And these thousands of interconnected servers form a public ‘Cloud.’ Since you’re sharing the servers with other people, everyone splits the cost. Also, since the data is on central Cloud servers, you can access it from anywhere. All you need is a laptop and an internet connection. Equally important, Cloud providers keep your data safe. They protect it from physical damage (fires, floods, etc.), have lots of security measures to keep hackers out, have advanced data-recovery tools, and have generators to make sure their servers are always powered up. (Learn more about Cloud security.)

Want free eDiscovery processing? Try GoldFynch

It’s a fresh, adaptable eDiscovery application with all the features that a discerning small-to-medium size law firm needs.

  • It costs just $27 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly 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 (3 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?