Xerox acquires Smart Data to boost its eDiscovery services

Xerox has acquired eDiscovery service provider Smart Data to extend the reach of the Xerox Litigation Services eDiscovery software and managed services.

As with Xerox’s acquisition of Lateral Data two years ago, the move comes in response to client demand. That acquisition brought Lateral Data’s Viewpoint into the Xerox Litigation Services stable to complement Xerox’s cloud-based review platform OmniX and its technology assisted review tool CategoriX. Xerox found that its clients – law firms, corporations and service providers – wanted the option of bringing Xerox technology and services to cases which, for whatever reason, were not appropriate for external hosting – reasons may include scale, cost, security, and the availability of in-house staff.

The result of that acquisition is that Xerox clients can choose between managing eDiscovery in-house, or having Xerox host and manage it, or a hybrid approach which uses Xerox technology resources and the customer’s own lawyers and support staff. One of the many attractions of this is the ability to move a case from one set-up to another as cases develop and as resources change. The end-to-end software and services are described here.

The acquisition of Smart Data reflects the success of this approach. Smart Data has long been in partnership with Lateral Data and has a good client list of its own. As the Xerox announcement says, the acquisition brings Smart Data’s experienced leadership team and professionals while also expanding Xerox’s managed review and collection capabilities.

Amongst the many benefits of this range of tools is that clients can pay a fixed price for an annual licence for unlimited concurrent users of Viewpoint. This brings more than certainty of cost – it means that clients can put any case, of whatever size, into Viewpoint without incurring additional costs. The analytic tools and other functions are all developed by Xerox and no extra cost is incurred by the decision to use them. If this is attractive to corporations, it is even more so to law firms and service providers running multiple matters for multiple clients.

Although much of the attraction of the combined offering is that clients can manage every aspect of eDiscovery – collection, processing, early case assessment, analytics, assisted review, review and production – in one solution, users are not committed to the full end-to-end package – they can choose to use Xerox / Lateral Data for collection and processing and review in some other application for which they may have licences; alternatively, data which has been processed elsewhere can be reviewed in Omnix or Viewpoint.

Lateral Data prides itself on making the complex simple, that is, providing sophisticated tools in a way which is easily understood. Lateral Data’s Charles Lavallée gave me a demonstration last week which bore out this claim. I repeat a point which I make often – these demos can be given over the web without anyone having to travel. At a time when lawyers ought, at the least, to know what tools are available and what they do, the investment of time in a web demo is trivially easy.

About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
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