eDiscovery Software for Beginners [Zero Commitment, Low Risk]
Takeaway: The SaaS (Software as a Service) business model lets you subscribe to an eDiscovery service instead of buying any software. So, you can pay low monthly rates and switch services at any point without losing an upfront investment.
eDiscovery used to be about software you’d download and install.
It started with CDs you’d buy and then moved on to software you could download via the internet. But either way, you’d be installing eDiscovery software on your office computers. And often, this cost a LOT of money – because the more advanced, custom software needed special hardware to go along with it. And even if you found a less-advanced option, you’d have to sort out any technical issues that popped up. Plus, you’d be running updates (to fix bugs in the system) and worrying about viruses crashing your software. At one point, this used to be worth the effort. But not anymore.
Nowadays, you can subscribe to an eDiscovery ‘service.’ And this is a game-changer.
Instead of buying software, you’re subscribing to a service. And this ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS) business model simplifies eDiscovery. Your software and data sit in the loose network of high-performance servers that we call the Cloud. So, your eDiscovery provider runs the software for you, and you access it by logging in to their website. You’re outsourcing all the hassle of updates, security, and troubleshooting.
If you’re used to ‘owning’ your software, welcome to a new world of flexibility and convenience!
You might be used to paying upfront and owning your software. But ‘renting’ it (by subscribing to a service) is so much better. And here’s why:
1. You don’t commit time to learn new skills [there’s no steep learning curve]
Buying software (as with buying anything) means you have to spend time setting it up and learning how to use it. But with an eDiscovery service, you bypass all of that. Everything is set up already, and as simple to use as any of the other apps you depend on. For example, you’ll:
- Log in like you do with email. Just open your web browser, go to your eDiscovery provider’s website and sign in.
- Move files around like in Windows. To upload files, you’ll drag-and-drop them into your browser. Your software will handle all the complicated processing that follows.
- Search as you do with Google. You’ll have an easy-to-use search engine to find the files you’re looking for.
2. You don’t commit to a geographic location [Your data is with you everywhere you go]
Since your files are in the Cloud, you can access them anywhere. All you’ll need is a laptop and an internet connection – perfect for when you’re on-the-go or stuck at an airport waiting for a delayed flight. This makes it really easy to collaborate (internationally, too), even if your team can’t be physically in the same location. And unlike carrying around software installed on your laptop, high-performance Cloud servers are very secure. Your data is encrypted both when it’s being transmitted and when it’s stored on their servers. And since the data is on multiple servers in different locations, no one event can destroy it.
3. You don’t commit to a particular case volume [Cloud storage can expand almost indefinitely]
Most of your cases are probably only a few GBs in size but what if some of them start growing? With the traditional in-house eDiscovery setup, you’d be scrambling to free up space for them. But, with an eDiscovery service, you don’t have that problem because the Cloud gives you near-limitless storage space. So, start with a small 1 GB case and let it grow to 100 GB and beyond. You’ll be able to upgrade and downgrade your case almost instantaneously, so won’t have to pay for space you’re not using anymore. And because Cloud-users share the same servers, they split the bill. So, the storage space you do pay for is extremely affordable! Much cheaper than any in-house option.
4. You don’t even commit to your software [You lose no money if you switch applications]
If you don’t handle much eDiscovery, it doesn’t make sense to go all-in on your software. So, an eDiscovery service is a perfect alternative. At any given point, you’ve paid only for one month of service. So, you can walk away, losing next to nothing. And most of the best eDiscovery services offer a free ‘starter’ case for you to test out their features. So, go ahead and try out a bunch of different services before putting down a single cent.
All you need to keep an eye on is the pricing system.
Once you’ve chosen software with the features you’ll need (things like advanced searches, tags, redaction, production options, etc.), you’ll need to assess the pricing system. Many services price themselves using a ‘per-GB’ rate – i.e., the cost of uploading each gigabyte of data into your software. But this isn’t the best pricing system, because cases grow and shrink. So, you’ll end up uploading more data than you think over the lifespan of a case. Instead of paying for uploads, choose a pricing plan that charges for storage space instead. It’ll work out much better in the long run. (Learn more about eDiscovery pricing.)
Looking for an affordable eDiscovery service? Try GoldFynch.
It’s perfect for small- and midsize law firms and companies.
- It costs just $25 a month for a 3 GB case: That’s significantly less than most comparable software. 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 charges only for storage (processing is free). So, choose from a range of plans (3 GB to 150+ GB) and know up front how much you’ll be paying. It takes just a few clicks to move from one plan to another, and billing is prorated – so you’ll pay only for the time you spend on any given plan. With legacy software, pricing is much less predictable.
- It takes just minutes to get going. GoldFynch 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 trial case (0.5 GB of data and processing cap of 1 GB), without adding a credit card.
- It’s simple to use. Many eDiscovery applications take hours to master. GoldFynch takes minutes. It handles a lot of complex processing in the background, but what you see is minimal and intuitive. Just drag-and-drop your files into GoldFynch and you’re good to go. Plus, it’s designed, developed, and run by the same team. So you get prompt and reliable tech support.
- It keeps you flexible. To build a defensible case, you need to be able to add and delete files freely. Many applications charge to process each file you upload, so you’ll be reluctant to let your case organically shrink and grow. And this stifles you. With GoldFynch, you get unlimited processing for free. So, on a 3 GB plan, you could add and delete 5 GB of data at no extra cost – as long as there’s only 3 GB in your case at any point. And if you do cross 3 GB, your plan upgrades automatically and you’ll be charged for only the time spent on each plan. That’s the beauty of prorated pricing.
- Access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.
For related posts about eDiscovery, check out the following links.
- eDiscovery Overload: What to Do When Your Small Law Firm Has Too Much to Handle
- 5 eDiscovery Trends Your Small Law Firm Can’t Afford to Miss
- Have You Optimized eDiscovery to Retain Clients for Your Small Law Firm?
- 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