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Reimagining e-Discovery with One Community and One Platform

Kelly Velisek

As Andrew Sieja, our founder and CEO, took the stage during the Relativity Fest keynote this morning, he was greeted by—for the first time ever—over 2,000 attendees. At Relativity, we work hard all year to make the event worthwhile for attendees. Our customers and members of the e-discovery community travel from all over the world to hear about the work we’re putting into the product to simplify and accelerate how they conduct e-discovery.

Our customers are already out there impacting real change in the world using our software, and we are grateful for the growth that our community has helped us drive. Relativity partner Meta-e, for example, is using Relativity Analytics to explore pharma reports, surveys, and communications to analyze the deniability that took form during the Flint water case—helping to uncover the truth behind why 9,000 children and thousands of other residents were exposed to toxic lead poisoning.

At Relativity, our mission has always remained the same: to help users organize data, discover the truth, and act on it. And as the world is evolving and changing, we’ve evolved our platform to meet these needs.

And in case you missed Andrew’s keynote, watch the recording or read the quick recap below.

Momentum with RelativityOne

We brought RelativityOne to market nearly a year and a half ago, and today, we have nearly 30 customers, more than 1,100 active users, more than 10,000 workspaces, and a total data footprint of 1.5 PB. RelativityOne sits at the cornerstone of our vision of simplifying and accelerating how the world conducts e-discovery, and this promise is built around seven key tenants:

  • Continuous improvement: We’ve shifted our releases to a quarterly cadence to enable users to prepare for upcoming enhancements, and these new features and enhancements will be available for early access in preview and sandbox two months prior to production, allowing users more time to get up to speed on what’s new, develop training plans and new workflows, and test and deliver customizations to RelativityOne even faster.
  • Faster innovation cycle: RelativityOne has the same platform experience as on-premises Relativity, but with the ability to innovate even more quickly. Customers can build an application, deploy it to sandbox, test and iterate it, and quickly deploy it to their RelativityOne instances everywhere.
  • Global reach: We’re making it easier for our customers to spin up cases wherever their projects take them, with RelativityOne now available in 5 geographies—US, UK, Hong Kong, Canada, and Brazil. Availability is coming to the EU via the Netherlands, as well as Australia, by the end of the year.
  • Comprehensive security: Our security team, Calder7, investigates logs for threats and vulnerabilities in using analytics and machine learning. Customers have asked for access to these logs to perform their own security analysis, and we’re building a new capability that allows our customers to have a direct connection to those logs. Customers have also asked for control of the encryption keys used to encrypt their data at rest—and they will soon have access to manage their data through customer-managed keys.
  • Flexible data tiers: A new repository workspace gives users the ability to perform basic investigatory work—including searching, filtering, and performing analytics on the data—at a third of the cost of data in review. It means customers can get more for their gigabyte, storing three times the amount of data in RelativityOne than they have licensed—opening up the platform for everything from early case assessment to storing coding decisions tied to documents for future cases.
  • Scale and throughput: We’re ensuring that we consistently provide a good experience to all our end users—across all active workspaces—including smooth performance for your batch operations.
  • System transparency: In the past six weeks, our system ingested over three billion pieces of data. We collect this data and use it to monitor and watch the system—we know when it’s healthy, and when we need to put more resources behind it to keep it smooth. And now users have access to their system performance through a brand new dashboard.

While we are proud of the progress we’ve made in the past 18 months, we couldn’t have gotten there without our customers. So, what kind of experience are our customers having with RelativityOne?

Andrew’s First Ever Talk Show

We heard from a few of our RelativityOne customers during “Late One Morning with Andrew Sieja”—our first ever live talk show.

Take Rio Tinto, for example. With a global footprint, and nearly 50,000 employees throughout the world, they were struggling as a corporation in responding to complex, multi-jurisdictional legal matters with regulatory agencies around the world. Karl Obayi, manager of e-discovery and forensics at Rio Tinto, explained how their previous solution was lacking the capacity and speed to respond to these investigations in a timely matter, so they decided to bring RelativityOne in-house.

Just recently, they processed 2.3 TB in a single weekend and have standardized on a single platform to handle their most complex cases spanning the globe.

Or D4, a longtime partner of Relativity and an early adopter of RelativityOne. In the past two years, they’ve doubled their data, doubled their users, and have more velocity and momentum than ever before.

The Special Counsel, D4, and the Adecco Group brands already have a presence in over 60 countries, and place close to one million people per day. The D4 team realized that to adapt and expand quickly in geographies where they already exist, the cloud would be a more effective way to operate rather than investing time and money in building data centers throughout the world.

Laurie Chamberlin, President of Special Counsel and D4, explained her company’s rationale behind going all in on RelativityOne: “We’ve seen remarkable results so far, we’re reinventing our business for a successful future, and we’re only just beginning.”

Reimagining Critical Processes from Processing through Case Strategy

It’s inspiring to see how customers are transforming their businesses for this new era. And as the industry is changing and business is changing, we are evolving our platform to help enable you for the future. We’re continuously thinking about how to help our customers get their work done easier and faster, and that starts with processing.

Law in Order, for example, put the system to the test on a 7 TB job—with 32 million documents, using Relativity throughout the entire process. They finished the project in just four weeks, and saw a time savings of 25 percent compared to their previous solution and a 75 percent reduction to their data footprint. In just their second week, one teammate texted another, “Wow, this is making my life so much easier.”

Or Foley and Lardner, who is running thousands of jobs in the engine to support the hundreds of matters the firm is running each month—and they've processed nearly 25 TB of data in 2018.

We are working hard to make processing a non-event, and to do that, we’ve updated the product to be easier to use, easier to operate, faster, and more programmable.

  • Simple creation of large processing jobs: Quick-create sets makes it easy to set up a large number of processing sets. All you do is set up your staged data appropriately, point to the folder with all your data, and then Relativity will automatically create the processing sets and data sources. Just like that, you are now ready to kick off your job—saving users a ton of time along the way.
  • Worker management and monitoring: Worker monitoring will allow you to easily understand your active workers and what they are working on, so you can reprioritize jobs or kill stuck processes, all right from the web interface.
  • Programmability: Our customers have invested a lot in automation, and they’ve been asking us to improve the programmability of processing. Now, you can run an entire project—soup to nuts—with our Processing APIs.

We continue to make progress with Case Dynamics—designed to ensure users can perform critical legal processes in the same place where you review and analyze your data, with no need to move between systems. 

Reed Smith is using the transcripts features in Case Dynamics to represent a global pharma company in an enormous multi-district litigation—spanning 30 jurisdictions across the country with over 300 attorneys, 800 transcripts, and nearly 900 depositions. Using Q&A functionality to connect transcripts and normalize the data, they’re able to equip attorneys with a unified defense strategy—and actually be on the offense.

Customers have seen great success so far within Case Dynamics, and after listening to feedback, we’ve evolved the platform to now be able to handle video syncing within transcripts.

Evolving the Platform for the Way People Communicate Today

At the heart of any case are people and their actions, and a critical area of focus for Relativity has been to help you understand the actors in a case, how they’re interacting, and the data they generate along the way. A huge challenge for our customers is managing all of the variations of how people are referred to in emails. To make this easier, we are rolling out a new analytics operation—name normalization—which will consolidate all of a person’s aliases under a new entity object.

What’s really exciting is that we made the entity a first-class citizen in Relativity, and it’s extensible. You can create additional metadata on the entity to make your data set richer and more intelligent. For example, you can add attributes such as company, role, or expertise, to help you develop better insight into who a person is in a case. And then you can connect the entity across the platform—from Legal Hold, all the way to the people and organizations you define in Case Dynamics. This makes previously manual, tedious processes like creating privilege logs a snap.

Name normalization also serves as a critical building block to another new capability: communication analysis, which will allow you to better understand how individuals are interacting with each other using powerful visualizations.

The way people communicate has fundamentally changed. Correspondence goes far beyond email—platforms like Skype, Slack, and Bloomberg Chat have become increasingly prevalent in the business world today. In fact, at Relativity, we send more Slack messages than emails. Chat is also embedded in business process systems like sales CRMs and project management tools. This data is important, and more and more of it is making its way into cases.

But up to this point, e-discovery software hasn’t been built to accommodate that. To address this, Relativity is releasing short message data capabilities. With a focus in enabling review and production, we are ensuring that this data can be loaded easily with a normalized schema to import to. We’re enabling you to review this data in its native form and we’re making it easy to understand long conversations as well as communication across multiple channels by “slicing” the data according to your preferences.

Altogether, this functionality will help shift our industry’s thinking away from just documents and email, and enable people to instead think about people and communication.

Start Transforming Your Business

The purpose of all this is to keep up with the rapidly evolving landscape in e-discovery and the legal world at large. We’re hard at work making Relativity the workhorse you expect, and we’re excited to continue that work alongside our community—some of the most brilliant innovators in this space.

As always, we hope you put Relativity to the test in your daily work, and we hope you share your thoughts with our team. It’s a privilege to support the effort you put in every day to forward and transform your business in these exciting times.

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Kelly Velisek is a member of the marketing team at Relativity, where she specializes in customer advocacy.