The Case For Prorated eDiscovery Pricing [Hint: It Cuts Costs]

18 May 2021 by Anith eDiscovery prorated pricing

Takeaway: You can cut eDiscovery costs significantly by choosing software with the right pricing scheme. So, you’ll want to find eDiscovery software that charges a flat monthly rate, and which offers prorated pricing to make sure you’re never overcharged.

New technology has made eDiscovery software so much more affordable. Take the Cloud, for example.

Just a decade ago, smaller law firms didn’t have the option of taking on eDiscovery cases. The costs involved were just too high. For example, you’d need to install new hardware and software, do all the maintenance work to keep them running and fix any technical issues that might pop up. But newer Cloud technology changed all this. (Think of the Cloud as a global network of interconnected, high-performance servers belonging to software giants like Amazon and Google.) With the Cloud, you don’t need to run eDiscovery software on your servers. Instead, your eDiscovery provider runs it in the Cloud and you access it via your web browser. And this means there’s no hardware/software to install, which dramatically lowers eDiscovery costs.

But new technology alone isn’t enough to get truly rock-bottom prices. It’s critical that we also streamline eDiscovery workflows.

At its core, eDiscovery is like detective work: What you’re doing is uncovering a story. Yes, you have to process a lot of data. And yes, there’s a technical side to it. But it’s easy to forget that eDiscovery is really about exploring the ‘story’ of a case. That is: What happened? When and how? Who is involved? What did they do? How are they connected to each other? Why did things happen the way they did? What were the motives? And you’ll keep coming back to this story. It’s the ‘flow’ of eDiscovery. As you explore your case and speak to clients and opposing counsel, you’ll get new information that might change and refine the story. All the while, the story guides you and saves you from drowning in data. It’ll tell you which custodians’ data matters, what kind of data you’ll need, how much of it there is, and where to get it. It’ll help you choose keywords to search for, and these search results will give you new keywords and clues to work with. As you do this, you’ll find a ‘flow’ to eDiscovery. And it’s this flow that builds you a solid, defensible case.

A streamlined workflow means that we allow cases to shrink and grow organically.

As cases evolve, you’ll inevitably have to add new files and delete others. For example, your client might have overlooked a custodian or forgotten about a valuable cache sitting on a rarely-used server. You’ll now need to add these files to your original 100 GBs. Then, when you review them, you might learn that they have nothing to do with your case. And so you’ll delete them. This expansion and contraction is part of the pulse of eDiscovery.

To support an organic expansion and contraction of cases, we’ll need more than a tech solution. We’ll need to focus on eDiscovery pricing.

Some types of pricing are better than others at supporting the flow of eDiscovery. For example, one eDiscovery pricing model centers around charging for the data you upload into the software. The problem here, though, is that if you’ll start overthinking uploads to cut costs. You’ll second-guess whether you really need to be uploading a file and might have to pay double if you make a mistake and have to re-upload your case. These sorts of issues stifle creativity, which is why some eDiscovery providers now charge for storage space, not uploads. So, you’ll pay a flat rate for a chunk of storage (3 GB, 5 GB, 10 GB, etc.), which makes your eDiscovery bills so much more predictable. (Learn more about pay-for-storage pricing.)

So, what’s the quickest way to tell if your eDiscovery provider offers the fairest pricing scheme available? Ask if they offer prorated pricing.

A prorated pricing scheme answers two important questions for you. First, it tells you that you’re paying for storage space instead of uploads (because you can’t prorate uploads) – which means your eDiscovery provider really understands eDiscovery workflows. And second, it tells you that they prioritize a fair pricing system over everything else. For example, if you create a 1 GB case at the beginning of the month, and after 29 days, you upgrade the case plan to 5 GB for the last day (i.e., 1 day) of that month, then should you be billed for a month of 5 GB storage? Nope. It’s only fair that you’re billed for 29 days at the 1 GB rate and 1 day at the 5 GB rate. And it should be the same if you delete a case mid-cycle.

Prorated pricing is just one of the many features that GoldFynch offers to simplify eDiscovery.

GoldFynch is 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 a 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.
  • Access it from anywhere. And 24/7. All your files are backed up and secure in the Cloud.

Want to find out more about GoldFynch?