The Hidden ROI in eDiscovery . . . Faster, Better, Cheaper!

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Part I: Understand the Business Problem

Faster, better, cheaper was the mantra at NASA as it set goals to improve quality and efficiency and better manage costs after several setbacks. It was a way to set goals and measure success from a “top down” approach of looking at it from all perspectives and seeking to better quantify risks and rewards in various programs . . . expect quality, but demand efficiency!!!

Faster, better, cheaper was the clear theme at LegalTech 2015 . . . good Information Governance makes good business sense!

The term “Information Governance” may be refreshed or a new name may evolve, but the desire to better manage unstructured data and business information will be as strong as ever.

As pressure mounts to control legal spends, better governance is the opportunity to defensibly delete ROT (redundant, outdated or trivial data) once it has outlived its useful life.

The hidden Return on Investment in eDiscovery lies in understanding the entire spend—not just the obvious third party costs—and understanding and quantifying risks in the current process.

I have been working with several clients in developing business cases and ROI models to frame their various challenges and drive strategic initiatives. The key to success is having developed a “base-line” understanding of the current process and identifying all key players. The nature of eDiscovery tends to affect IT, RM, the Business and of course, Legal.

As “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” all parts of the organization affected by the process see this from a different perspective and should be included in the dialogue.

Key drivers in these initiatives are cost take-out and optimization of eDiscovery and regulatory compliance processes. Understanding the current state of the process, people involved, key processes and technology in order to get visibility and control of the process . . . this is typically an evolution over time and requires a continued commitment to total quality management.

Best Practices that cut across the broad theme of Faster, Better, Cheaper:
  • Identify all the “stakeholders” and process ownerDigital-Man-300
  • Identify all “Consumers” of ESI
  • Define cost of current process
  • Understand the organization’s “Legal Profile”
  • Form cross-functional team to drive change

Understanding all the different elements of the People, Process and Technology in your eDiscovery process is the key to controlling costs and mitigating risks.


We have become Digital Hoarders

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Why do we keep everything?  We’ve become Digital Hoarders.  

This has happened not by choice but by proxy, while we’re trying to be competitive in our industries, “Run Our Businesses,” and make a good faith effort to stay compliant with the thousands of rules, regulations and laws. Just like with hoarders, if someone dropped off a dumpster for our digital trash it would be so overwhelming we wouldn’t know where to begin. Many of our customers have made significant investments in technology, but they feel like they have a Ferrari that just sits in the garage. In this age, technology is fantastic, but it is never the complete answer to a problem, it usually just helps us solve a problem faster and more efficiently.

mobile-travel-map[1]Is there a way to Take Controle and Govern Information for Compliance?  Most of our customers do not have a path forward. Our customers are in different industries and at different maturity levels regarding Governance and Compliance. Our approach with our Advisory Services starts by identifying your current location (or current state) and simply helping you get you to your future state of Compliance. Just like the mapping technology on your smart phone, we plug in your current state through a quick assessment, then we easily plug in your future state and requirements. Next we give you routes to choose from based on time and cost, and finally, easily help you with turn-by-turn directions. For example if you wanted to walk, drive or fly from your home in Chicago to Detroit it’s pretty easy to quickly find the route and execute on getting there. We believe Governance and Compliance should be the same way.

What are some of the tools and techniques? At Controle we have a proven methodology that we use in conjunction with a variety of technologies to analyze your environment, help you identify your biggest pain points, and show you the step-by-step directions for how to get to where you want to go. You can learn more here

These are the questions or problems that we can help you solve: Where does my company begin? How does our company lower our risk level and achieve compliance?

We profess that we are not the Regulatory Experts, but we have tools and partners that are. At Controle we are the experts in helping you manage your Regulatory Burden.

Controle Recognized In CRN Next-Gen 250 List

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Oak Brook, IL — August 20, 2015 — Controle announced today it has been recognized in The Channel Company’s exclusive 2015 CRN® Next-Gen 250 list. The annual list honors forward-thinking technology solution providers who have transformed their business by breaking into emerging technologies such as cloud computing, unified communications, virtualization, mobility, business analytics and business intelligence. These solution providers, each in business for less than 20 years, have adapted to an evolving marketplace with precision, clearly identifying themselves as the leaders of the future. Read More

Getting Off The "Reliance Train" For More Cost-Effective eDiscovery

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While recently attending the Georgetown Advanced eDiscovery Institute conference, I came across a number of wonderful discussions about how the recent changes to the FRCP—ones meant to encourage cooperation between the parties and reduce the cost and time of discovery—may not be effective, given the incentives continue to be stacked against them.

So long as plaintiff’s attorneys are paid to win, and defense attorneys are paid by the hour, it’s more likely that, rather than cooperation, the new rules will just result in more motion practice over whether the other party is sufficiently cooperating.

I could write a whole blog on that point, but I’ll leave that for others. I simply raise this example because as long as attorneys and service providers continue to have the same incentives, the advice they give their client may not necessarily be the best with regards to reducing cost, mitigating risk and improving quality. Read More

Work-from-home Website Interviews Controle CEO Kevin Barnicle About Telecommuting

By | Notes | No Comments recently interviewed Controle CEO Kevin Barnicle as part of an article “How Do Employers Feel About Telecommuting?”

kevin barnicle portrait website - 600Here’s what Kevin shared in response to the question, Do you plan on continuing to allow employees to telecommute?

Absolutely. In business, what everyone should be focused on is results. And if someone will achieve better results from working from home, why wouldn’t you let them do that? Plus, from a merely operational perspective, there are many financial benefits for the business on not having to provide additional office space, etc. to accommodate employees. Finally, we have found that us trusting our employees to work from home instills a lot of loyalty in them to our company. We wouldn’t change that for anything.

“If someone will achieve better results from working from home, why wouldn’t you let them do that?”


Since our founding, we have stayed true to our mission of service and have created a user-friendly experience for employers and job seekers alike. By dedicating our site exclusively towards jobs containing remote work, we’re able to tailor our features towards helping those find flexible jobs. We pride ourselves on the fact that many of the jobs you’ll find listed on SkipTheDrive allow you to work from home with Fortune 500 companies.

Photo credit: Hannaford via Flickr

eDiscovery Technology Without a Business Process Is Like a Boat Without Water

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A couple of years back at a conference, an attorney friend of mine mentioned that her Fortune 500 corporation was about to implement a new eDiscovery solution. My first question: “Have you worked out who is going to care and feed for that?” They hadn’t.

The next year I saw her at the same conference and asked her how she was liking her eDiscovery tool: Not so much. Even the best eDiscovery tool is still just a tool. Without a proper methodology, and an entire business process that covers the full range of the EDRM spectrum, a tool simply cannot solve your whole problem. Read More

For More Effective eDiscovery Search Term Construction, The Technology Matters

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One of the most common requests I get from clients is “how can I refine my search terms?” It is a real issue for companies as they take on more of the eDiscovery roles traditionally performed by outside counsel.

Outside counsel is not incentivized to get creative with search term construction to minimize results and avoid false positives. They simply run the search of the terms they are given or create and then begin a linear review, charging the client (i.e. you) on an hourly basis. Read More

Electronic Data Is Out Of Control, And This Yeti Doesn’t Like It—Not One Byte

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As we’ve continued to grow in 2014, we’ve expanded our team and services—all to better serve our clients with the singular focus to help them take control of their electronically stored information.

And with that growth, we’re excited to announce a brand-spanking-new website that’s on it’s way, featuring new videos and expertly-crafted content about e-discovery, archiving and defensible deletion, among other things.

The Yeti watching over our new HQ in Chicago

The Yeti watching over our new HQ in Chicago

Oh, and did we mention an unofficial mascot? One with a mysteriously elusive past and prickly disposition toward anything out of control? He may be fierce. But he’ll be your friend when it comes to taking control of your ESI.

Migrating Data To A New Platform? Why And How You Should Clean Up First

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My colleagues and I have noticed that we were receiving a lot of feedback from companies that are migrating or transferring segments of data or all of their electronic data to new NAS and sometimes cloud systems.

During migrations, we’ve observed that migrating data to a new NAS device or moving data to the cloud is not as simple as solely picking the data up and dropping it off. Most companies want to clean up, organizing and optimizing their data as a part of their data relocation efforts. Read More

Controle COO Stephen O'Leary Interviewed For Tech Page One Article

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stephen oleary portrait website - 600 - squareOn the Tech Page One blog, writer Gail Dutton recently published a post titled “When is it safe for a business to dispose of data?” In it, she includes quotes from interviewing Controle EVP and COO Stephen O’Leary. Here are Stephen’s highlighted contributions to the article.

In regard to data deluge creating problems for backup:

“Although disk space is cheap, many IT professionals are challenged by an inability to back up everything overnight,” O’Leary said. Therefore, they may back up mission-critical data nightly, but rotate backup for unstructured content such as proposals and correspondence. Read More