What is the seating etiquette if you go to a wedding knowing both parties? Do you have to make an invidious choice between one side of the church and the other? Perhaps you sit in the aisle or hang from the rafters.
I was set musing on this by the announcement that two of the sponsors of the e-Disclosure Information Project, Anacomp and 7Safe, have announced a new strategic alliance. Under the terms of the agreement, 7Safe provide the hosted version of Anacomp’s review application CaseLogistix, and will serve as a preferred provider of data processing and other e-disclosure services in the UK as an Anacomp Connected Partner Program Certified Services Provider. The press releases (7Safe’s here and Anacomp’s here) are necessarily in similar terms.
In fact, of course, relationships like this are not really like marriage or, if they are, it is a somewhat open marriage since, as the late Princess of Wales said of her own marriage, there are three people in it. The third is the client, who may have his own reasons for getting into bed, as it were, with one but not both of the parties to these strategic alliances and preferred-provider relationships.
This offers a best-of-both-worlds set of options for the client. An introduction to either party offers seamless integration of the whole process with 7Safe collecting and processing data and then hosting it in CaseLogistix on their own servers. Many clients, however, have their own preferred provider or solution for one part or another of the exercise. The choice of 7Safe to collect the data may make CaseLogistix the obvious review application, but it is not the only possibility. Similarly, 7Safe will host in CaseLogistix data which has been collected by other hands. 7Safe might take raw data and process it themselves (they use Nuix for this as an increasing number of providers are doing worldwide). Alternatively, data which has been processed elsewhere can go straight into CaseLogistix.
It is quite hard for those new to this market to get their minds round the idea that, for the most part, data is readily transportable between providers and between applications. It is an important point to grasp, not least because of the opportunity it gives to get the best permutation of functionality and pricing. An end-to-end solution has its own attractions, of course, but both the case management rules and common sense make it attractive to defer decisions about document review until the scale of the problem has been assessed and discussed with opponents (as the Practice Direction to Part 31 CPR requires) and the court has had its say in the scope of disclosure.
Preserving and collecting data often has to be done in a hurry. The choice of review tool is not always as urgent and, in any event, the outcome of what is known as early case assessment may be a decision not to litigate anyway.
There are other attractions anyway in the seamless 7Safe-to-CaseLogistix route. 7Safe have just invested £500,000 or so in their server and network infrastructure, creating an environment sufficiently impressive for Dell to produce a paper (Changing the electronic disclosure landscape) about it. The scale and importance of infrastructure investment is often overlooked by those who complain of processing and hosting charges. Making use of a hosted solution relieves you of the need to make your own investment in servers etc. and passes responsibility for 24/7 availability and for security to the hosting company. The aim of the processing, de-duplication and other filtering technology is to give the smallest possible dataset to the lawyers for review. The original data still has to be kept somewhere accessible, and the pure storage cost, quite apart from the security and up-time obligations, is a substantial component of the cost.
You need to see these things to understand their benefits (the processes and applications, I mean, not necessarily the servers, impressive though they are) and you have no idea what the costs are if you do not ask. Contact James Kent at 7Safe or Stephen Davis at Anacomp to find out more about their joint (or separate) services and to arrange a demonstration.