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Per-document-page pricing with V3locity set’s the eDiscovery bar high

Huron Consulting Group (NASDAQ:HURN) announced its new V3locity program on January 9th, 2008.  The program is designed to provide cost containment for companies dealing with litigation.  However, information security issues will impact this program’s success, despite is cost containment.  Further, not all companies are alike when dealing with litigation.
 
For example, some companies have infrequent, but critical litigation; while other firms are dealing with undulating litigation that occurs regularly.  In either case, there is no cost effective cure for all litigation conditions, such as review, processing and intelligent collection.  However, Huron is delivering a system that could quell the costs and concerns for companies with infrequent critical litigation.

Huron’s new V3locity is an all inclusive system.  V3locity includes all of the necessary services your company needs to identify, preserve and collect the required data.  After data is collected, Huron processes the data into V3locity so that it can be de-duplicated, culled and ultimately reviewed by qualified reviewers, like attorneys or industry experts.  This method of collection, processing and reviewing is best suited for companies like pharmaceuticals who don’t have any intelligent collection or preservation systems in place.

Pharmaceutical companies have used records management systems for years, but have not broadly embraced email or other data archiving and collection systems.  Therefore, collecting all the required data and handing it over to Huron’s V3locity is a great approach.  If your firm has setup archiving, preservation and data processing with tools like Attenex, then V3locity wouldn’t apply to you, based on the inclusive pricing model Huron is using.

V3locity pricing works best for companies who don’t setup proactive collection and review systems in house.  Chris Getner, Managing Director with Huron Consulting Group, finds its pricing model works out to about .25 cents per document-page reviewed and says, “V3locity pricing is a holistic service starting with identification and working through production.”

If a company has 100 gigabytes of collected data, after culling and deduplicating it, the data set is reduced to 25 gigabytes of data.  On average, 10 gigabytes of data is 600,000 pages of data that could be reviewed per-document-page.  Huron uses enhanced review platforms to expedite the review capabilities 10 times the normal review, similar to claims made by Stratify and Attenex.  For budgeting, figure that 1.5M document-pages x .25 cents is $375,000 dollars.  This leads me to believe V3locity is priced very competitively.

Though you put gigabytes of case data into V3locity, you only pay for the document-pages that are actually reviewed.  For some companies these savings do not negate the risks related to releasing data from internal company controls.  For example, if a firm like Huron identifies and collects a large data set; say one terabyte, a lot of unknown and privilege information could leave the company’s boundaries.

As a security specialist (CISSP #39157 and NSA IAM certification), I understand the conditional risk that is created by handing information to outside partners, regardless of confidentiality statements.  In legal cases, it’s not just “backups” sent off site to Iron Mountain but critical data related to specific legal actions taken against your company or by your company.  The legal condition means the impact of data breaches or exposures is heightened.  Huron Consulting may be well suited to handle security issues.  So before you decide to take the route of fixed cost, holistic electronic data discovery systems, consider the risk of data breaches when choosing people, technology and processes to handle the data.

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