Why Your eDiscovery Software Should Offer Automatic Case-Upgrades

25 December 2020 by Anith ediscovery cases

Takeaway: eDiscovery cases continually grow and shrink, so optimizing storage space is a challenge. With automatic case upgrades, you outsource the hassle to your eDiscovery provider. Upload as much data as you want and your software recruits extra storage space automatically. It’s another example of how cutting-edge eDiscovery can simplify your life.

Moving from paper discovery to electronic discovery was a massive step forward.

Attorneys of yesterday used ‘discovery’: sharing cardboard boxes full of paper files and folders. Attorneys of today use ‘eDiscovery’: sharing computer files via the internet using niche software. eDiscovery is faster, more efficient, and gives us access to ‘metadata’. I.e. information about the files themselves – like when they were created, who created them, etc.

But technology continues to simplify our lives. And automatic case upgrades are the perfect example.

eDiscovery cases tend to expand and contract. For example, your client hands over a bunch of files on Tuesday, which you immediately upload. But on Thursday they uncover a forgotten data cache sitting on a rarely-used server. You now add these files to your case, and your case size bumps up a few GBs. Then, you start reviewing files on the following Monday and delete a bunch that won’t help with the case. In the course of a week, your case has grown and shrunk repeatedly – a pattern that will likely go on for a while. So, the best eDiscovery applications use an ‘automatic case upgrade’ feature. Here, the software adjusts storage space (and costing) to accommodate your case as it grows and shrinks. This way, you can forget about the technical half of eDiscovery and focus on the legal half.

Automatic case upgrades seem simple enough but they’re actually a big deal.

A decade ago, you’d be storing your data on private servers that would cost a lot to set up and maintain. (They guzzle electricity, are routinely hacked, need extra security and a 24/7 IT servicing team.) With that level of technology, having storage and costing on autopilot would have been an unimaginable luxury.

So, how are automatic upgrades possible? Well, it took three key developments.

The concept of automatic case-upgrades could not have existed without the following pivotal systems evolving first.

1. The ‘Cloud’ made storage space affordable and easy to access.

The Cloud is a global network of computer servers belonging to software giants like Amazon and Google. Instead of storing your data on private servers reserved just for you, the Cloud lets you safely store it on secure, shared servers. And this sharing process cuts costs dramatically. Also, since there are a potentially unlimited number of servers in the Cloud, you can get as much storage space as you need with the simple click of an ‘upgrade’ button. And the bonus is that someone else handles all this technical stuff for you.

2. Storage-based pricing made eDiscovery more flexible.

eDiscovery providers use two types of pricing strategies: (Type 1) The charge for storage space, (Type 2) They charge for data uploads. The thing is – as we saw earlier – eDiscovery cases continually grow and shrink. So, if you pay for uploads, you’re paying to upload data that you’ll probably go on to delete. And this simple fact ends up boxing you in. Remember, eDiscovery is an art: You’re building the story of your case by asking questions like ‘What happened? When and how? Who is involved? What did they do? How are they connected?’ This is a complex, partly-intuitive process and you need leeway to explore. So, keeping track of how much data you upload will stifle your creativity. In contrast, paying for storage space keeps things flexible because your software doesn’t track how much you upload and delete. It only tracks how much storage space you use. (Learn more about ‘storage-based vs. uploads-based’ pricing plans)

3. Fixed-volume pricing simplified monthly eDiscovery bills.

Within the storage-based pricing model, there are two subtypes: (1) ‘Fixed volume’ pricing, where storage space is divided into chunks (or ‘plans’) – e.g. 3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB – etc., with prices set in advance. (2) ‘Per GB’ (or, ‘pay as you go’) pricing, where there aren’t any ‘plans.’ Your bill is calculated using a per-GB rate for the total space you used that month. Per-GB pricing seems simpler because you pay for only what you use. But it isn’t, really. Say you start with 3 GB of data, then delete 1 GB after a couple of weeks. What’s your per-GB bill at the end of the month? Do you pay for the largest size your case got to—3 GB? Or its average size—2.5 GB? By fixing volumes, these distinctions aren’t relevant anymore. If you’re on a 3 GB plan, you’re paying for 3 GB of space. You can do whatever you want with that space. Add and delete as many files as you need to, as often as you need to. Your monthly bill is still predictable. And with prorating prices, you can move between plans and pay only for the time spent on each plan. (Learn more about fixed-volume vs per-GB pricing.)

With these 3 tech advances in place, eDiscovery has become easier than ever before. So, simplify your life by choosing software with this automatic case-upgrade feature.

Why waste time on technical chores that your eDiscovery provider can handle for you instead? Instead, choose software that automatically bumps you up to the next-higher case size when needed. (And that also lets you downgrade your case size at any point.) It’s the perfect solution for in-house counsel and small-to-midsize law firms.

Want eDiscovery software that simplifies storage and pricing? Try GoldFynch.

It’s an easy-to-use eDiscovery service that’s perfect for small- and midsize law firms and companies.

  • It costs just $27 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.