Boston-based intellectual property firm Sunstein LLP transitioned from Relativity Server to RelativityOne in November 2020. Upgrades to their server were becoming increasingly burdensome and posed an ever-greater distraction from fully utilizing the software, depriving the team of the time needed to familiarize themselves with new features and evangelize them throughout their firm.
With Server, Sunstein had to plan for lengthy downtimes during upgrades. This often meant a heavy and stressful burden fraught with risk for the firm’s litigation support manager, Phil Iantosca. “The last upgrade we completed before moving to RelativityOne took 26 consecutive hours. Now instead, on my Fridays I read about the upgrades. Staying ahead of the curve has been so helpful,” he said. He knew the time they would gain by eliminating infrastructure maintenance would afford them greater opportunities to learn and leverage advanced tools, implement more sophisticated workflows, and drive adoption throughout the firm.
It also meant no further delays to onboarding the latest and greatest features of the software: “Previously, when it came down to it, we had to weigh what was included with the upgrade against the time and trouble it took,” Phil added.
They decided enough was enough, and their move to RelativityOne signified a strategic decision to improve client outcomes by adopting a connected, performant, cloud-based solution.
In planning for the move to RelativityOne, Sunstein elected to be cost-minded and proactive in what data would be migrated to the new platform. They wanted to avoid moving and storing unneeded data for the sake of it, and instead implemented a more sophisticated data management, preservation, and retention policy that established guidelines for what data was no longer needed in an active state and what could be archived. As a result, Sunstein was able to archive 80 percent of their case data using ARM, an application that helps easily archive, move, and restore databases in Relativity.
This audit of case data helped Sunstein reduce their annual spend by over 50 percent while still supporting numerous clients who needed to maintain matters and data for the long term.
By auditing for non-active case data and archiving 80 percent of their case data, Sunstein was able to reduce their annual spend by over 50 percent.
Sunstein’s move to RelativityOne also ushered in a transition from capacity-based licensing to a utilization model. In RelativityOne, law firms can pay just for what they use, avoiding over-licensing and eliminating the worry of premiums. And as Sunstein continues to find success with RelativityOne, their license can expand to meet growing needs—with no new servers or hardware required on their end.
With long-term licensing options available, Sunstein has the option of growing into a subscription that’s right-sized for the firm. So if they need to spend more, it’s for the right reason: that business has increased and they need to draw upon greater resources to accommodate it.
The firm has so far migrated eight cases into RelativityOne and seen highly favorable results.
When questions arise, Relativity’s support team can help them handle any issues without anyone having to be onsite. Firms like Sunstein are increasingly aware of just how much they need distributed access to their most essential data and platforms. Today, Sunstein can easily manage their e-discovery projects without having a team collocated onsite. Reviewers and attorneys can securely and reliably access RelativityOne from home or another remote location.
And, thanks to the more intuitive Aero UI in RelativityOne, more hands-on work in the software—such as adding depositions and transcripts—can be offloaded to paralegals and support staff.
No longer preoccupied with maintaining the platform, Litigation Support Manager Phil Iantosca is now able to put a greater focus on implementing new features and helping others take up the software. “I no longer need to be involved with tedious tasks from an admin perspective,” he said.
Sunstein’s team is now enjoying quarterly upgrades that require no effort from their team and has been more than satisfied with the new platform. “We’re saving money each month, and as a result, we’re also getting a better product,” explained Phil. “There’s nothing better than saving money and getting a better product at the end of the day.”
In fact, Phil’s team says, their attorneys are guaranteed to continuously see improvements to the functionality and user experience of RelativityOne.
To make the most of their use of the platform, Sunstein leverages RelativityOne’s Activity Dashboard to monitor spend. The dashboard helps teams easily measure users and data in the system in real time. With it, Sunstein can control their monthly utilization of the software. The tool also reports on items such as system performance, inactive workspaces, and high-growth workspaces, allowing Sunstein to continue to implement their data management, preservation, and retention policies in the interest of handling active and inactive matters in a way that best benefits the firm and their clients’ best interests. “We used to think in terms of fixes. If we solved a problem, we were happy. Now I focus on what’s new and how to roll it out to the firm,” said Phil.
Moving forward, Sunstein seeks to identify new ways to more fully use RelativityOne end to end. All of their analytics and productions are already done in RelativityOne, so they are on the lookout for opportunities to continue reducing the need for data transfers or human intervention. In particular, they look forward to closing the loop at the beginning of the e-discovery process by incorporating Relativity Legal Hold and RelativityOne Collect.
The Benefit to Sunstein Clients
The move to RelativityOne was a strategic decision to prioritize the quality of work for Sunstein clients. As a result of spending less time on software maintenance, the firm has been able to increase adoption of artificial intelligence and analytics features that help case teams understand document sets more quickly and reduce reliance on linear reviews.
“We’re saving money each month, and as a result, we’re also getting a better product. There’s nothing better than saving money and getting a better product at the end of the day.”
PHIL IANTOSCA, Litigation Support Manager
No matter the size of the case, Phil’s team has discovered that these features can streamline their efforts and accelerate strategizing—while becoming a seamless component of their go-to workflows.
“It’s like taking a bazooka to a gun fight,” he explained. “You know you may not ‘need’ to run conceptual analytics on small matters, but the more you get in the habit of doing it, the easier it becomes.”
In particular, the ability to find similar documents on the fly has proven itself incredibly valuable to Sunstein clients. Sunstein is also working to utilize more applications in the RelativityOne ecosystem, including Transcripts, Collect, and Mobile, to improve the firm’s ability to support their clients.
In addition to improved feature adoption and efficiency within the firm, Sunstein has gained confidence working in the most performant and connected version of the platform. Utilizing RelativityOne levels the playing field for Sunstein’s clients in exchanging data—whether that’s with opposing counsel or co-counsel.
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