Vendor Viability: Comparisons Beyond Technology and Talent
Definition: Viable – capable of success or continuing effectiveness. (The Free Dictionary)
eDiscovery is rife with risk. Multiple parties, multiple jurisdictions, multiple ESI formats, multiple technologies and multiple vendors are all elements that can contribute to potential risk in an eDiscovery matter. With the inherent risk of eDiscovery influenced by these elements, it is important that organizational eDiscovery decision makers both understand the risk of these elements and seek to mitigate as much risk as possible as early as possible.
One of the areas that has the potential to impact the risk of an eDiscovery matter is an organization’s selection of an eDiscovery provider. There are many providers with many technologies and many ways in which they deliver their people, processes and products to clients. In considering vendor selection, much is often shared about the specific capability and cost of technology and people to solve client challenges. This sharing on specific capability and pricing is usually presented in a manner that:
- Speaks to the capability of a vendor’s technology and people to perform specific tasks as needed by the client.
- Specifies the pricing for the delivery of the technology and talent to support the client’s stated need.
This focus on the technology and talent elements of a vendor’s capability is certainly warranted as these elements ultimately provide the cutting edge for the knife of eDiscovery task execution. However, just as there is much more to the utility of a knife than its edge (especially if you want to use it more than once), there are additional areas worthy of consideration in vendor selection if one is considering the long-term strategic utility and viability of a vendor.
Beyond Technology and Talent: Strategically Comparing Vendors
In an effort to help eDiscovery decision makers evaluate and compare both the immediate and long-term success potential of electronic discovery vendors, the following considerations, shared in a formulaic manner to allow for objective comparison of subjective evaluation criteria, are provided for your review. The author is well aware that there are many considerations required to truly evaluate electronic discovery vendors and the following considerations represent one view of how one can evaluate/compare vendors beyond just the “feature and function and pricing” of services and products.