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September 29, 2009

Stratify sweeps left [of EDRM] with eVantage

Stratify, a subsidiary of Iron Mountain, introduced eVantage, an on-premises, early case assessment tool for e-discovery. Did you catch the word: "early." This may become one of Monica Bay’s stop words. But it’s too early (sic) to tell. Of course, "left" might too. It all depends on if the EDRM migrates with all this leftness.

For Stratify, the news is that they will deliver a box on site that can: process data (over 300 file and archival formats, including Encase, FTK, Exchange); remove system files and detect duplicate and near-duplicate data; search multilingual data (Chinese, Japanes, Korean, etc.) using complex Boolean and faceted search strategies where facets equal domains, custodians, e-mail senders and receivers, etc.; and offers intelligent ways to conduct first-level review and data analysis by e-mail threads and identified concepts and groups.

Now, if you can tell the difference between this left-of-center, early-case assessment tool from others, without more, my hat is off to you. But if you add the fact that eVantage scales up to Stratify Legal Discovery Service for hosted review for matter management and support for distributed review teams and disaster recover, then I will keep my hat.

The real distinguishing factors for early case assessment tools are licensing costs and services and support in the event that your early case assessment spells big trouble. It appears that Stratify is ready to go the distance with your data. Make sure your vendor can either go that length and/or provide you some assurance that you can take your data down the street in a heart beat if you need to.


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The eVantage box sounds like the right solution for those conducting early case assessment for litigation or investigation compliance. Because it is automated a great deal of work can be accomplished at a lower cost than what traditional professional services have offered. When multilingual data enters the equation it is good to know that Stratify's proven effectiveness is in the mix, however, there always comes the moment when the "rubber hits the road" and human services are necessary in addressing non-English language data. To this end the user needs to employ the proper linguistic intelligence to make the technology work. Trained linguists with litigation support experience working iteratively with corporate counsel and case teams can identify trends in the data using Stratify text analytics tools and attorney-provided search terms. The importance cannot be overstated of accurate and comprehensive translation of these search terms. Language conversion is both art and science and permutations of terminology are the rule rather than the exception. Circumstances "in-country" affecting dialect, law and best practices will dictate which of many possible translations is correct for the search term in question. A trained linguist with legal search and review experience will help the case team by determining multiple possible translations that will garner precision hits. Reviewers with the right mix of legal, linguistic and technical experience can really make this technology hum. It is unfortunate that language technology cannot keep pace with that of data processing however when a trained linguist is put at the helm of a powerful tool like eVantage the results can be fantastic.

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