I’ve heard from a couple of people this week about Thomson Reuters’ decision to sunset their eDiscovery platform eDiscovery Point and I’ve read a couple of stories about it as well. Here are links to those and some of my own thoughts.
Frank Ready of Legaltech® News wrote this story about Thomson Reuters having notified clients it will retire eDiscovery Point by June 30, 2022.
“The planned wind down of eDiscovery Point is a strategic business decision and will allow Thomson Reuters to focus investment and development on other priorities where we can have the biggest impact and provide the most value to our customers,” read a statement from Thomson Reuters provided to Legaltech News.
The company’s customer service team will work with clients to wrap up any work in eDiscovery Point and transition to a new service of their choosing. However, Thomson Reuters is encouraging customers to transfer their service needs to eDiscovery vendor Lighthouse, with which Thomson Reuters is working to support transitions over to Lighthouse’s eDiscovery platform Spectra. John Pollard, senior vice president of Spectra, has indicated that Lighthouse tried to give eDiscovery Point customers “a great deal” to come over to Spectra and that many customers will actually pay less.
But that doesn’t necessarily address the cost to migrate cases. In the LTN article, Brett Burney of Burney Consultants noted that some of the eDiscovery Point users he’s spoken to will likely have to excavate “millions of documents” from the platform—a task that could take “an enormous amount of time.” And, there’s also the training investment in a new platform that will also add costs. “I would say ‘disappointed’ is the least of what I’m hearing [from clients]. Shock and quite a bit of outrage, I would even say,” he noted. Brett also noted that many of the small to midsized firms he works with selected eDiscovery Point because they didn’t want to work with a service provider, so he doesn’t see a lot of these firms going to Lighthouse.
Greg Buckles also had a write up in his excellent eDiscovery Journal site, where he noted: “I wish them luck with the eDiscovery Point redaction and analytic work product. That is always the hardest part of migrations.” Indeed. I’ve worked on several migrations and, for cases with a lot of redactions, overlaid redactions often have to be burned in to the image in the receiving application because their viewer doesn’t recognize the same overlay data.
Greg also notes: “I received a note from a very well-connected peer asking if I had heard that TR fired the entire eDiscovery Point team yesterday without notice.” I also heard a similar report from a colleague as well, though that report was that some, not all, of the team was laid off. Greg’s recommendation was that clients of eDiscovery Point should reach out to confirm whether Lighthouse took Subject Matter Experts to support the transition – which, like he did, I would assume, but it’s important to make sure. The ones who were let go should hopefully be attractive to another provider as finding the combination of product and industry experience in candidates out there is not easy.
While the “planned wind down” of the product has been announced, the product page for eDiscovery Point remains up on the Thomson Reuters website – for now, at least. It will be interesting to see how much push back they get from customers regarding this decision.
When a provider of an on-premise solution decides to sunset their product, their customers can simply choose to complete existing cases in that platform instead of migrating, accepting the fact that they will no longer receive product updates (save perhaps critical bug fixes) or (eventually) product support (believe it or not, there are still Summation users out there). When a cloud provider makes a sunset decision, there’s no option to continue to use the product indefinitely. Some cases last years, but it appears that cases on eDiscovery Point will be forced to move – either to Lighthouse or another self-service eDiscovery platform. Eleven months is not a long time in the lifecycle of many litigation cases.
So, what do you think? Are you surprised that Thomson Reuters has decided to sunset eDiscovery Point? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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