by Chris Brown on September 21, 2020
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the first step to enduring a crisis is looking past the challenges of the moment and envisioning the solutions that will help us overcome them. Looking forward can set the stage for a better tomorrow.
So, during Relativity Fest this week, we’re focusing on forward.
We began with our opening keynote this morning, shared for 6,400+ registrants from all over the world.
Here’s a bit of what we highlighted.
The Resilience of the Relativity Community
Mike Gamson, CEO of Relativity, began the keynote with his thoughts on the value of Relativity Fest.
“Part of the reason I was so excited about joining Relativity last year was the opportunity to be part of a community that is resilient and innovative,” Mike shared. “Fest is the manifestation of this community.”
And it’s even bigger than that. Fest is about connecting you all with each other to share ideas, learn new things, and confront evolving challenges—together.
Of course, this year there are challenges on everyone’s mind that go beyond e-discovery.
Social Impact at Relativity
In that vein, we are all craving more opportunities to create positive change in the world. So, Mike spent part of this morning’s keynote talking about our community’s efforts in the area of social impact.
He started with an initiative we first announced at Relativity Fest 2019: the Relativity Fellows program, which seeks to expand economic opportunity in the United States by finding, certifying, and placing untapped talent in the e-discovery, technology, or litigation support fields. We’ve worked with partners in the Chicagoland area to recruit candidates from overlooked communities, and our first cohort of 12 individuals came aboard over the summer.
Social impact has long been a priority for us at Relativity—our Wired to Learn grants, for example, have helped us partner with underserved Chicago schools for years to provide students with greater access to technology.
This year, we are expanding our social impact programs to include a focus on racial inequity.
We’re pledging 100 terabytes of RelativityOne to support racial justice initiatives through our new Justice for Change program. Customers or organizations working to promote racial justice are eligible to apply for the program. Those without a RelativityOne license or litigation support experience will be paired with a Relativity partner or law firm who can help.
To get involved, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re also joining thousands of companies who have committed to giving back through the Pledge 1% Movement.
We are proud of these initiatives, as well as our ongoing commitment to making inclusion, diversity, and belonging an integral part of our culture at Relativity—and you should be, too.
Your investment in our software and this community help make this work possible, and your innovation and dedication continue to inspire us. Thank you.
Innovating in a Crisis
During our keynote, Mike also touched on the incredible things that you have accomplished in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For instance, DLA Piper built a solution to help track COVID-related mandates by state and local governments so their clients could understand the impact of these measures on their businesses.
Morae Global partnered with The Stephen James Partnership, a London-based staffing agency, to deliver secure, remote review technology and talent, ensuring legal projects could be conducted as smoothly as possible.
And Deloitte innovated on RelativityOne to help their client track COVID-related medical expenses.
We’ll be sharing more later this week about the customer stories featured during the keynote, so stay tuned.
We have no doubt that many more of these stories are happening around the globe. This year, we had a record number of submissions for the technology categories in the Relativity Innovation Awards (and you can find out who will win during the awards ceremony on Wednesday). Plus, our first-ever Developer Hackathon is taking place this year, and the teams have together some incredible work.
It's truly uplifting to see so much creativity emerging from our community despite the adversity created by the pandemic.
Building a Simply Powerful Platform
This year, we’ve doubled down on three core areas of focus to guide our development for Relativity and help you do your best work: UI, AI, and the cloud.
An intuitive user interface enables your team to confidently search, navigate, analyze, code, and produce documents. Aero UI is now available in RelativityOne, offering a user experience that’s simply powerful—so every user can hit the ground running.
But Aero is more than restyled pages and refreshed navigation. It’s a paradigm shift in the way we think about building experiences for and with our customers. Many of these customers played a hands-on role in testing and helping to improve the new UI long before it became generally available.
Coming soon to the blog, we’ll put a spotlight on those early users and everything they’ve achieved with Aero. But for now, let’s focus on what Kyle Disterheft—our group product manager for Aero—walked us through during the keynote.
A change you’ll see right away is the consistency of the user experience in Aero. Whether you’re using Relativity Trace or creating a production set, you don’t need to relearn how the system works.
You’ll also see that navigation is streamlined across pages. For example, all your workspaces in RelativityOne are now consolidated into a single list, and you can pin your most-visited cases.
Additionally, a customizable side bar of tabs enables your team to group common tabs together, driving workflows for your users in a way that’s more intuitive and efficient.
We worked hard to update the interactions and aesthetics you’ll find on the Documents page, so users can find their way around and get to work faster. We also updated Aero’s color palette, so it’s more accessible for users with color blindness.
Relativity’s new Automated Workflows application simplifies matter administration by automatically running setup operations for you. Your team can use out-of-the-box automations or create your own. For instance, dtSearch indexes and searches are automatically updated when new documents are ingested.
Adding more automated workflows will be an ongoing focus in upcoming releases. Eventually, everything from setting up analytics to imaging responsive documents will be done automatically.
Our customers and developer partners will have the freedom to take it even further, as automated workflows serve as another extensibility point for the platform. We know we’ll be blown away by what you come up with—and by the brilliant ways you’ll use the time you’re saving to focus on more important work.
Another essential workflow in RelativityOne has also gotten a lot smoother with Aero: searching.
In the new UI, you’ll see recent searches listed to help you move faster. Additionally, search term reports feature streamlined setup, cutting out 90 percent of the rework you used to do. Your STRs also carry over from case templates, so new matters can reuse common searches for PII, privilege, and more.
There’s a lot more to come. Over the next few releases, you’ll see our reimagined vision for search emerge—another way we’re trying to make it easier to discover the truth.
At the heart of the review experience in Relativity is the document viewer. In Aero, it’s rearchitected to focus on performance and developer extensibility.
The new viewer loads files up to 30 times faster. It also reduces cognitive load times, tucking away advanced options, consolidating settings, and standardizing the way information is displayed with cards. The unified look makes it easier to quickly understand what you’re seeing and how to take action.
New APIs control all aspects of the viewer, unlocking powerful development and extensibility potential.
Investing in AI, machine learning, and analytics has paid off big for our community over the years. Since 2019, 425 terabytes of data have been run through analytics in RelativityOne. From email threading to clustering, these capabilities make massive data sets less intimidating and reveal patterns quickly.
But there’s more we can do. We firmly believe AI should be used on every matter. It’s on us to make that more achievable for you, so we’re continuing to double down on bringing more sophisticated AI capabilities into Relativity.
Surveillance and Monitoring
Jordan Domash, our general manager of Relativity Trace, joined the keynote to highlight how we’re leveraging AI to help legal and compliance teams detect problems before they escalate.
“We’ve talked to hundreds of compliance leaders and asked the same question: What keeps you up at night? They all said they want to be the ones to catch an issue before it escalates to a regulator,” he explained.
But today, many teams use only very basic technology to monitor for compliance. This can mean a lot of gaps as risk evolves and data stores grow. That’s where Trace comes in.
Twenty unique policies are now built into Trace to monitor for common concerns, like collusion and insider trading, with another 20 scheduled to be delivered in the coming weeks. Trace uses them to comb through communications, looking for sophisticated word combinations and the right circumstances for misconduct, and comparing your team’s coding decisions on previous alerts to discern which data it should flag.
More of these policies are coming: our team plans to add another 40 in 2021.
Accessibility of Analytics
Next, Andrea Beckman, Relativity’s director of product for analytics, took us through how AI has been made more accessible in RelativityOne.
As with everything Aero, analytics has gotten a boost in ease of use this year. Clustering has been updated, email thread visualization has been restyled, and the Similar Documents pane is more prevalent in the viewer. Plus, communication analysis loads twice as fast.
Active learning features more workflow options as well. Fun fact: In just the last year, we’ve seen active learning usage increase more than 200 percent, with predictions made on more than 800 million documents.
Looking ahead, AI will remain a critical component of our product development for years to come. Our ultimate vision for this area of innovation is anchored in four key pillars: algorithm excellence, a world class toolset, a massive focus on data, and AI everywhere.
- Algorithm excellence ensures every capability we deliver will provide API accessibility and enough scalability to work well as data volumes continue to grow at an exponential rate.
- A world class toolset harnesses the capabilities innovated by AI leaders like Microsoft, and introduces new solutions to more challenges—whether they involve multimedia data or a desire to be more proactive in your work.
- Our massive data focus means that, in the future, you’ll have a central hub of intelligence in RelativityOne that is constantly learning about your matters, so you won’t need to start from scratch on every case. What might you accomplish if RelativityOne had more information about the people or court documents in your cases, alongside discovered data?
- AI everywhere is a simple philosophy with huge potential. Often, in e-discovery, we think about AI as a tool to find relevant documents. But it can do more. Over time, we will seamlessly weave AI capabilities throughout the platform in all stages of the discovery process.
A State-of-the-Art Cloud
All this innovation is made possible by our state-of-the-art, extensible cloud platform. It’s where RelativityOne lives because it’s where greater scalability, real-time upgrades, and security live. And it, too, is always improving.
This year, we’ve expanded RelativityOne to new regions—most recently, Switzerland and Germany. We’ve also made it more accessible—delivering value immediately with pay-as-you-go pricing and tiered data storage, where you pay according to the value you get from your data based on where it lives in the e-discovery lifecycle (cold storage, early case assessment, or review).
On the road to optimizing our cloud, we’re committed to delivering unparalleled security and ongoing innovation that has real impact on the really hard work you do every day.
Speaking of unparalleled security, Amanda Fennell—Relativity’s chief security officer—jumped on the keynote to showcase how we’ve further strengthened this critical aspect of RelativityOne in 2020.
We’ve been working toward FedRAMP Authority to Operate status for some time, and we’re pleased to share that, with the help of our sponsoring agency, we’ve achieved it. Check out the keynote recording for more of the details.
Also coming later this year to RelativityOne is Security Center: a feature that will enable your team to track multi-factor authentication usage, monitor user activity, and get insight into Relativity Lockbox usage.
Especially as the global trend toward remote work continues, this level of control is critical. Coming soon, you’ll be able to see where your users are accessing your data from and act on key alerts in a single place.
Finally, in our upcoming Ninebark release—scheduled for early next year—we'll be releasing authenticator app support for two-factor verification and streamlining the enrollment process. Users will be able to use apps like Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator, and Duo to provide encrypted second factors in lieu of email or SMS.
We’re grateful to have you on our team. Our community has made Relativity what it is—and it’s your feedback and excitement that guides our continued innovation on the platform.
You can access a recording of our keynote and the 100+ other educational sessions offered during Relativity Fest by registering for the event, even if you can’t attend live. Content will be available on demand through October 31.
I’d especially encourage you to check out our three product general sessions, during which we’ll share the latest enhancements to processing, Aero, and Migrate, a new product that will help you seamlessly transition to the cloud.
We hope you enjoy all that Fest has to offer, the latest and greatest in Relativity, and an uneventful final quarter in 2020.
Chris Brown is the chief product officer at Relativity. He leads our product and user experience teams and is responsible for the development of Relativity’s product vision, strategy, and product roadmap in collaboration with engineering.