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Relativity Fest 2020 Recap – What’s New, What’s Hot and What’s Next for eDiscovery

Oct 1, 2020

Relativity Fest 2020, held September 21-23, brought together the global eDiscovery community, with registrants from more than 40 countries who took part in over 100 free live and on-demand sessions across 11 specialized tracks. What everyone missed from attending the in-person event was compensated by the accessibility (free for everyone!) and convenience of joining virtually. 

As a longstanding Relativity partner with one of the largest and highest volume footprints delivering the platform, Relativity Fest is always one of the highlights on CDS’ calendar. It’s a great way to get a birds’ eye view of the latest and greatest in eDiscovery. 

CDS has always had a strong presence and leading voice at Relativity Fest, driving innovation and advocating for cutting-edge technology. As a Gold Sponsor, this year was no different. CDS’ Mark Anderson, Director of UK Operations participated in a discussion about the evolving landscape of chats and messaging platforms and Sue-Deelia Tang, Client Solutions Director spoke on streamlining workflows for compliance monitoring using Trace. 

We asked a few of our CDS colleagues who attended this year’s program to report back on their experience and share their impressions. Here are some of their responses: 

What Relativity technologies, processes, and workflows stuck with you? What can you apply to your work? 

Devon Crosbie, Esq., Senior Consultant, CDS: Relativity is headed toward both more automation and more functionality with fewer clicks, thanks to tools like Automated Workflows and Aero UI in general. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Automated Workflows will be able to push workflows from the Legal Hold phase all the way through processing and search term reports (STRs)! Aero’s ability to let you parse through your recent search history, code fields directly from document lists, and make granular term adjustments in STRs (versus re-running the entire STR) are huge wins for clients and litigation support teams alike! This tool will save us tons of time for more complex projects and/or help keep things moving when we are juggling projects! 

Brad Janssen, Director of Professional Services, CDS: Automation features have such amazing potential and can save so much time, as well as prevent easy-to-make but highly catastrophic errors, like forgetting to index, or updating STR. 

What’s trending in the market for eDiscovery? 

Devon Crosbie, Esq., Senior Consultant, CDS: Non-traditional messaging platforms like Microsoft Teams and mobile applications are being used at an exponentially higher rate, especially as more communications shift to new platforms, in large part due to the increasing number of remote employees in the wake of COVID-19. Custom application development (like CDS Convert) also seems to be gaining traction, especially thanks to Relativity’s new Aero UI. CDS is definitely leading the pack of eDiscovery vendors with innovations like Convert and Trace implementations. The RelativityOne migration tool is also a big win for companies and clients who find the idea of undertaking workspace migrations a bit daunting. Also, it’s a great way to motivate folks to migrate and take advantage of all RelativityOne has to offer!

What innovations stand out as the most significant to the industry, to CDS, or to your own work? 

Devon Crosbie, Esq., Senior Consultant, CDS: CDS Convert for mobile data stood out since traditionally, it’s been a challenging data type to tackle holistically in the world of eDiscovery. The new Aero UI feature set and increased ease of use for developers (for custom applications). Automated Workflows is a potential game-changer for helping keep tasks on track especially when things heat up. I personally loved the session on Analytics for smaller cases and believe many of our partners can benefit greatly from integrating advanced Relativity features like concept clusters, email threading, and even language ID to quickly and efficiently identify the most/least relevant documents for prioritized review/s (like inclusive email-focused review, identifying/removing junk concepts using clusters and setting aside foreign language data for 2ndlevel review, etc.). 

Edward Griffiths, Project Manager, CDS: I think the most interesting addition is the introduction of automated workflows. I also see how the customizable interface will allow for more efficient workspaces going forward. Relativity Collect is also exciting because it allows you to collect data and process it without the need for any additional software. 

Brad Janssen, Director of Professional Services, CDS: In general, the Aero UI redesign and new philosophy (simplicity) will go a long way to convert or win over folks that thought relativity was too complex or had too many buttons. The streamlined, simple, visually pleasing interface will make Relativity a stronger competitor. I found some of the judge’s panel discussion points very interesting from a legal standpoint, especially the discussion on biometrics vs. passcodes/passwords. Can you be forced to use biometrics to unlock a phone? Also, the discussion of self-collections. 

Which sectors, products or services in eDiscovery or legal data management look to have strong growth in the coming year? 

Devon Crosbie, Esq., Senior Consultant, CDS: Mobile/chat/messaging data of all kinds, increased use of Analytics and AI to cull ever-growing datasets. 

Edward Griffiths, Project Manager, CDS: I think active learning will continue to be strong because clients want to reduce their review costs and complete investigations as soon as possible. I also think RelativityOne will take market share from OnPrem because of the convenience of having a cloud-based service. 

Brad Janssen, Director of Professional Services, CDS: I think in general, non-core/pure eDiscovery usage. More compliance-related work, more collections-only work. There definitely will be huge growth in nonstandard data coming out of Teams, Slack, Zoom, calls and technologies that saw increased use as organizations went remote. 

What tactics, tools and best practices did you hear about that can improve efficiencies or deliver better margins? 

Devon Crosbie, Esq., Senior Consultant, CDS: Relativity Trace provides real value for corporate clients, firms and eDiscovery service providers alike, in terms of monitoring and protecting operational integrity. The end of separate charges for Analytics services is a potential game-changer for many clients who previously found Relativity cost-prohibitive for more advanced use cases. 

Edward Griffiths, Project Manager, CDS: I think RSMF will remove most of the mobile review headaches. The Relativity Migration tool also looks like it will save time. 

Brad Janssen, Director of Professional Services, CDS: Without a doubt, automation. It will save so much time, prevent errors, and give clients a more consistent experience. Ability to push STRs from workspace to workspace will be timesaver also. More mobile and collaboration software (Teams/Slack) support will increase efficiency. 

What did or didn’t you like about the virtual event experience? 

Brad Janssen, Director of Professional Services, CDS: Being remote was insanely convenient. Part of me missed being in the huge Hilton ballroom, connecting with clients/former co-workers. But the fact that I didn’t have to fly to Chicago, get behind on work, etc., saved time and money. I was able to wake up 30 mins before the event, make coffee, and then relax in an easy chair watching the opening keynote on my iPad effortlessly! 

Devon Crosbie, Esq., Senior Consultant, CDS: Definitely “ran into” a couple former colleagues and had fun networking with industry peers via Fest activities, which helped garner a heightened sense of community and connectivity, especially during such isolating times. The Cards Against Relativity activity was a pretty fun way of utilizing online tools to create a fun experience around a company like Relativity for everyone who attended.

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<a href="https://cdslegal.com/team/" target="_blank">CDS Staff</a>

CDS Staff

Our leadership team and advisory consultants, project managers, and technical experts assist clients through all phases of the eDiscovery process.