When it comes to professional services at ediscovery vendors, many clients have felt stuck with providers that use workflows built on old technology and require a gatekeeper to perform simple tasks. During my 20-year ediscovery career, I had yet to see a viable alternative. When I joined DISCO’s Professional Services organization last year, I was excited to finally have the technology and support to create something different.
DISCO CEO Kiwi Camara has an unrelenting vision to not just be the best ediscovery company, but to become the legal technology and services company that helps attorneys focus on the practice of law and improve legal outcomes. Just as DISCO’s unique approach to building software has created the best ediscovery platform on the market, we have also developed an innovative approach to professional services that creates legal magic for our clients.
Software + Services = DISCO Magic
The most critical part of the new revolution in professional services is a company that truly combines software and services.
A services company is at the mercy of its technology partners. They may know what their ideal software would look like, but they have to stitch together a mix of products from multiple partners to create the “Frankenstack.” Unfortunately for their clients, this disjointed experience means more billable hours as their provider attempts to provide a human user interface for their Frankenstack. Conversely, an ediscovery software company may attempt a modest client support offering, but clients with complex data sets or workflows are left with more questions than answers. Without a robust professional services organization that deeply understands their software and the legal field, the client simply loses.
At DISCO, we are proud to be the only solution that offers our clients a phenomenal product built by a world-class engineering team and an end-to-end services organization of ediscovery professionals and consultants. We do not leverage a Frankenstack or become bogged down by using people to manually compensate for gaps in the tech solution. Instead, this best-of-both-worlds method not only ensures high quality results but also drives real-time feedback and innovation in our software.
Since our engineering team has easy access to our ediscovery experts, they can create cutting-edge technology with the features and workflows that our clients demand. In turn, our services team is better equipped to leverage our product because we played an instrumental role in building it.
These feedback loops are so vital that we have a working group to ensure that the signal, whether coming from our clients or internally within DISCO, is weighted and prioritized correctly. In fact, a few clients recently have commented on how tangible this difference is compared to other platforms and service providers. When software and services are separated, they say that it feels like they’re talking to a wall. Because we discuss these situations as a wider group, we’re able to be more nimble and identify changes that will have the biggest impact on our product roadmap, our internal teams, and ultimately our clients.
Building a team that solves big problems
To build a team that solves big problems for your clients, you cannot simply hire people to push buttons and go through the motions of traditional project management and data operations. Instead, you must hire and invest in team members who constantly ask the “so what?” in every situation that they take on. In addition, you have to create an environment that encourages growth by recognizing areas that have room for improvement.
At DISCO, we have a leadership team of expert legal technologists committed to continuously improving our organization. Ediscovery expertise and quick response times are table stakes at a good services organization today. The inventor’s spirit pushes us to lean into our deep product knowledge and best practices as we take a consultative approach with our clients. We become trusted advisors with an extensive understanding of our client’s goals and provide answers to questions a client might not know to ask.
We are committed to building this type of relationship not only because it benefits our clients, but because it enhances the entire DISCO organization. Even though we’re all working remotely these days, we still spend a lot of time together. By holding each other to a higher standard, making investments in our people, and acknowledging where we can improve, we are able to become more efficient, increase the quality of our work, and ultimately promote team happiness.
A consultative approach, from full-service to self-service
There is a notion that when you engage professional services it’s because you have to. Historically, most platforms had features users couldn’t access or use, and a technical expert, or a “gatekeeper,” was required for this backend work. As a result, services organizations at traditional ediscovery vendors have dedicated few resources to empower the end-user. Frustrated clients are forced to choose between full-service or self-service, when they may want something in between.
At DISCO, our software has been designed to make almost all functionality available to our users. The intuitive UI allows them to set up tags, manage permissions, and run productions themselves — if they want to. But we recognize that professional services are not one-size-fits-all. Each of our clients requires different levels of support, which may vary from case to case. This is exactly why we have built our organization to provide a balance between the “gatekeeper” and self-service models.
Our team has much more flexibility to evaluate where we can add value, and work with our clients to deliver on that vision. Sometimes the best option is full managed services because our clients are strapped for time or have limited resources. But more often that value comes from working with our clients to develop the right workflows and then empowering them to continue their work if they choose.
I think the best part is that we give our clients the option to change it up as their needs evolve, whether on a week-to-week, month-to-month, or matter-to-matter basis.
This flexibility creates a win-win situation. Our clients are happier because they have the option to receive a complete solution while spending a fraction of what they used to spend on professional services. And my team is happier because they get to spend a lot of their time on strategic work that they know adds real value.
The DISCO Difference
By combining a cloud-native ediscovery platform with world-class experts, DISCO has created a superior approach to professional services unlike anything I have seen in my 20 years in ediscovery. When it comes down to it, our approach hinges on creating informed teams that take a consultative approach, truly listening to clients, and making it easy to get the help they need. By having structures and processes that can provide full-time, part-time, and ad-hoc client support, we provide value to firms and matters large and small.
We are always here to have conversations about how we can take your matters to the next level. If you'd like to get in touch, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.