Ari gave me so much great information that I only managed to ask two questions! 🙂 Here’s part 1 of my interview with Ari Kaplan.
How did the report get started and how did it evolve to where it is today?
In 2014, I was writing an article in preparation for Legalweek, which was known as LegalTech back then. I was asking thought leaders in the field about what they expected to see. Someone mentioned a vendor, but I don’t usually ask about vendors, and I certainly don’t write about what people say about vendors. But they gave me very direct, honest, candid information about this vendor.
So, as I was continuing to conduct these interviews, I asked other people about that vendor and everybody freely gave me their impressions. Then, I reached out to that vendor who I knew well and told them about the feedback I received while doing the article while making it clear I did not include any of this feedback in that article and I wasn’t planning to share this feedback anywhere. I thought other vendors would be interested to know what people identified that they’re doing right and the things that weren’t great or where they had some challenges. The vendor thought even this tiny snapshot of comments was really helpful.
I thought if I asked about other companies and created a competitive matrix, it would be really helpful and launched the report the following year. What you don’t see in the main report is that there’s an entire section that’s not available to anyone but the subscribing vendors that really goes into detail. I ask the companies who purchase a report for a handful of their most direct competitors and then when I’m doing the interviews, I ask the participants, both in-house and at law firms, to rank them against each other. This enables the subscribing vendor to learn how compares to its perceived nearest competitors.
Since I’ve been doing this for nine years, I can show an incredible progression or interesting shifts and changes, such as companies that compete in a different market or the differentiators are increasingly important or that are no longer important because the market has changed.
The people who are being interviewed know that I will not identify them so they’re really candid in what they tell me.
The participating vendors take advantage of the report to empower their sales, marketing, operations, and strategy divisions.
The report ultimately helps the subscribing vendors identify market share opportunities, which is what the objective really is, to help the companies improve sales and their sales practices. I was invited to an offsite meeting for one of the subscribers years ago to share some of the feedback, which I did. A year later, I saw someone at Legalweek, and they talked about how the feedback about their project managers enabled those PMs to learn to be more proactive about identifying new business opportunities as opposed to simply being laser-focused on the technical aspects of an individual job.
That’s part 1 of my interview with Ari Kaplan. Part 2 of will be published Friday! Don’t miss it!
So, what do you think? Are you surprised by the fact that there are multiple variations of the annual eDiscovery Unfiltered Report? 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.