by Sam Bock
on March 25, 2020
Spotlight: Australia took place on March 18, and it was a whirlwind. What began as an opportunity to connect with the Relativity community in Australia ended up being a totally virtual event. We were disappointed not to meet up in person, but the event was a success—thanks to the flexibility and positivity of everyone involved across both hemispheres.
Kicking off the video conference was Andrew Watts, Relativity’s chief information officer and an Australian native. Andrew introduced several members of the Relativity team, as well as guest speakers, to present our Spotlight: Australia keynote. For anyone who missed it, here’s a quick recap of what they shared with attendees.
Though only four Relativity team members are currently based in Australia, the rapid growth of the region—and the great partnerships we’ve forged there—are driving us to double that footprint this year. Our first office in Australia recently opened in Melbourne, and the users they’re supporting are making themselves known among the larger Relativity community.
Andrew shared during the keynote that there were more than 30 Australians in attendance at Relativity Fest in Chicago last October, and many of them made an appearance on stage. Even more noteworthy, there are now 48 RCAs, 10 Relativity Experts, and 4 Masters in Australia. And you can interact with 325 active Australian users on the Relativity Community right now.
In 2019, we saw almost 60 percent more users start working in Relativity from Australia—and they increased the amount of Australian data coming into the platform by almost 70 percent.
For KordaMentha, it’s been a formative year when it comes to working in RelativityOne. After serving as our launch partner for the opening of our Australian data center in the fall of 2018, the team has made major strides.
Kordamentha has 283 users and 11.3 terabytes of data in the platform today. Andrew Malarkey, partner, and Grant Whiteley, executive director, cited robust, built-in security and the elimination of infrastructure management as key drivers for moving to the cloud. But the transformation promised much more.
“I think the real excitement for us was using the launch of RelativityOne as a catalyst to change the way we offer discovery services to our clients,” Andrew explained to attendees. “There was a significant opportunity to close the gap between out-of-the-box value and the potential value of fully leveraging the platform. And that’s what we wanted to help our clients achieve.”
“In the first 12 months of our RelativityOne journey, we were really focused on implementation with our clients,” Grant continued. “But now we can focus on the ecosystem RelativityOne offers and the ability to build custom apps to solve our clients’ problems.”
As a result, the team has built an app incorporating machine learning that provides insights around language, tone, and emotion in client data. They plan to submit it for the 2020 Relativity Innovation Awards.
Ultimately, the big benefit has been deeper relationships with their clients: “In the same way we’ve partnered with Relativity, we’ve wanted to strengthen partnerships with our clients. To do that, we wanted to move away from offering e-discovery services on an ad hoc basis and move to a true partnership with them,” Andrew said. “By investing in a longer-term relationship, we can provide our clients with the ongoing expertise and support they need to fully integrate Relativity into their business.”
That collaboration is building toward greater empowerment for their clients to work more effectively.
“This approach provides an interesting alternative to our clients’ traditional, binary options of hosting RelativityOne themselves or outsourcing to a service provider,” he went on. “If we can partner with them and provide them with expert support, we can mitigate some of the risks of those options—and offer the best of both worlds.”
Naturally, growth in the Australian market can only continue at this pace with the right tools to support teams like KordaMentha. Ryan Kowalczyk, director of product management at Relativity, also joined the keynote to talk about the ways the platform is evolving to better support the region.
“e-Discovery is at the nexus of some of the most exciting moments in technology of our lifetimes: artificial intelligence, security, mobility and Internet of Things, and the cloud,” Ryan began. “We’re harnessing these transformational tech movements in how we are investing in our products.”
In practice, that comes down to four key areas of focus as we develop the platform this year:
A recent survey showed that, predictably, cloud adoption in Australia has been driven by cost savings, agility, and elasticity. RelativityOne is no exception, offering users a consistent global experience; embedded security; scalability, extensibility, and flexibility; and continuous product improvement.
Easy administration is a benefit spanning all those categories, as RelativityOne users can attest.
For example, Ryan shared that Altlaw—a RelativityOne Certified Partner based in the UK—had seen a significant change in the amount of administrative time spent on their work in RelativityOne. Whereas they previously spent 60 percent of their time with clients and devoted the remaining 40 percent to managing on-premises technology, they’re now spending 80 percent of their time directly on clients.
Emily Williams, senior product manager at Relativity, joined at this juncture of the keynote. She shared the hard truth that Relativity has traditionally had some workflow gaps when it comes to e-discovery requirements in Australia.
But no more.
This year, we’re committed to making improvements to document numbering, supporting stamped and searchable PDFs, tailoring collection workflows for this region, and more.
Stay tuned to see what new features hit the platform in the coming months.
As KordaMentha’s team emphasized, an open platform gives RelativityOne users a leg up in the race to stay ahead of the curve. It’s fertile ground for creative teams to innovate the way they do business.
For example, icourts created an iPad app, GoX, for mobile review. Clayton Utz developed AcquiRE, an app that went beyond review to support their client’s land acquisition projects. Both teams went home with Innovation Awards in 2019.
Of course, the Relativity community around the world is excited about this area of development for the platform. Our new interface, Aero, will debut later this year. Spotlight: Australia attendees got a close look at what’s to come: a modern aesthetic, next-gen viewer, automated workflows, lightspeed page loads, and workflow-based navigation.
It’s simply powerful, and six customers will start testing it next month.
The keynote wrapped with an engaging question-and-answer session before presenters moved into new subject areas.
Overall, takeaways from Spotlight: Australia was two-fold: the e-discovery investments going into this community are huge, and the promise of even greater enablement and innovation lies ahead.
Sam Bock is a member of the marketing team at Relativity, and serves as editor of The Relativity Blog.
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