Thought Leader Interview with Daniel Pelc of HaystackID: eDiscovery Trends and Best Practices

Time for another thought leader interview on eDiscovery Today!  My latest interview was with somebody with more than 20 years of experience managing eDiscovery services for corporations, software and service providers!

Daniel Pelc serves clients as the Director of Client Solutions and Integration for HaystackID. In this role, he collaborates with sales teams and clients to define bespoke solutions to solve unique client problems. Additionally, Daniel leads onboarding programs for new Managed Services clients, and engages in thought leadership efforts on behalf of the company.

Daniel’s expertise in his role derives from his unique industry and technical experience combined with a background in sales and marketing. He has led teams in Operations, Client Services, Sales, Marketing in the Legal and Discovery fields since 2000. He has written and lectured extensively for organizations and entities on a broad range of topics related to eDiscovery. Prior to joining NightOwl, Daniel led the Law Firm Segment Marketing Team at Relativity. Earlier in his career, he gained valuable in-house corporate experience while managing the eDiscovery services team for Verizon.  Daniel received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and his Juris Doctor from Mitchell Hamline College of Law.

Daniel, NightOwl Global recently merged with HaystackID. How do you see this affecting NightOwl and how do you see it affecting your customer base?

That’s a very good question.  Certainly, one of the things that we’re seeing in the eDiscovery industry is increased merger and acquisition activity, but what I’ve seen through this merger is that NightOwl and HaystackID are complementary in ways that I haven’t seen in other mergers. NightOwl has focused primarily on corporate eDiscovery while HaystackID has had a strong law firm practice. So, the two are really complementary. It’s given me an opportunity to collaborate with different folks – people who I haven’t met with or have worked with before and gaining getting new perspectives. More importantly, what it means for our clients is a much more seamless delivery; where they’re seeing a greater reach while working within the same organization. As for the synergies between NightOwl and HaystackID, the cooperation between our teams was almost immediate. The benefit was immediately experienced by legacy NightOwl clients in their ability to work both with a strong eDiscovery forensics provider and a strong eDiscovery review provider – within a single company – perhaps in ways that they hadn’t seen in the past.

Great. So, as Director of Client Solutions and Integration now at HaystackID, what’s your role in providing services to HaystackID’s customer base?

In many ways, the folks in my team are “the glue” that keeps the relationship with our clients together from the beginning of the identification of the client’s needs  through the  contracts procedures and all the way through to the delivery stage. Clients see our team working with our sales teams early on, understanding their needs, framing solutions to meet those needs and providing a clear roadmap as to how HaystackID and NightOwl, working together, can help solve their problems. The work of our team continues well past that, from onboarding clients into different platforms to working with the delivery teams in order to make sure that the client needs are being met. So, our team works throughout the entire client relationship – once we’ve completed onboarding, we’re continuing to follow up with them from a client satisfaction standpoint and checking back to make sure we’re fulfilling each one of the needs they’ve laid out throughout our relationship.

So, Daniel, I know that you’ve got a background in eDiscovery operations in your career, how have you seen operations in eDiscovery evolve over the years?

That’s an interesting question that I’ve been thinking a great deal about lately.  There are few roles that have changed as much in law firms, corporations, and service providers as those in operations. Years ago, operations teams were “order takers” carrying out instructions. They would be given a list of tasks that they needed to perform and they would execute those tasks. What we’re seeing now is that operations has really taken on a leadership role, and that’s no more apparent than in corporate law departments where you’re seeing roles like Chief Legal Officer or Chief Legal Operations Officer, and the growth of organizations like the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium (CLOC) representing those professionals as they blossom. Now, we’re seeing legal operations working alongside other roles; new roles, like Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Transformation Officer to work as a “three-legged stool” establishing how technology is being identified, established and implemented within those organizations. What you used to see in operations as more of a “cog” is now becoming a “conduit” – operations is  becoming a leadership role, where a lot of the goals are being framed and met at the same time. I think this is going to be a continuing path as far as legal operations are concerned where we’ll see legal operations building and leading a lot of these initiatives.

We’re just getting started!  Part Two of my interview with Daniel Pelc will be published on Wednesday.

So, what do you think?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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