Greg Buckles comments on the sunsetting, or perhaps execution, of Thompson Reuters’ eDiscovery Point and some of the key considerations and pitfalls associated with both market consolidation and large-scale matter migration.
Lost in all the hype around market consolidation and IPOs is the sad truth that the vast majority of legal technology is destined to end up in the digital dust bin. Thompson Reuters announced the retirement of eDiscovery Point by June 2022. Launched in 2016 and fueled by the CaseLogistix IP/talent TR acquired in 2010, eDiscovery Point never seemed to gain market traction against Relativity’s dominance. CaseLogistix was founded in 1999 as one of the earliest web/cloud based eDiscovery review platforms. I was still working with the Summation team to develop their eDocs & Email module to support the Enron investigation reviews at that point, which tells you far back the eDiscovery Point DNA goes back. Market consolidation means that many or most familiar products and company brands will eventually disappear.
Although eDiscovery Point is officially slated to retire in 11 months, they are already directing customers to Lighthouse to support migration. Lighthouse benefits from the large customers with multiple matters. Frank Ready points out that “some small and midsized firms worry that the change won’t be practical.” Their concern is well founded. The pricing and support teams of most global eDiscovery managed service providers are generally not geared for the SMB market and small matters. Why burn the same PM hours on a 100 GB PI case when that same PM could be managing a 10 TB shareholder lawsuit? I have worked with the Lighthouse team on large client matters and have faith that their engineering team will have the matter migration automated to avoid the worst migration headaches. I wish them luck with the eDiscovery Point redaction and analytic work product. That is always the hardest part of migrations.
I am reminding peers to look behind the M&A hype and ask yourselves about the long term impact of consolidation on matters, customers, products and most of all employees. This morning I received a note from a very well-connected peer asking if I had heard that TR fired the entire eDiscovery Point team yesterday without notice. I could not find any verification of this in news feeds or my favorite layoff sites. If the TR management has passed all eDiscovery Point customer support to Lighthouse, it is reasonable to believe that Lighthouse took SME’s with that contract and will meet those obligations. If I had clients on eDiscovery Point I would be highly concerned and reaching out to both companies for confirmation. In the meanwhile, those providers hunting for experienced PMs and techs should be making LinkedIn searches. There has to be a better way to manage change.
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