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The Catalyst for Innovating Next-Generation Legal Tech? You.

Chris Brown

Amidst a global pandemic and a notable shift in work habits across sectors, the past 18 months have accelerated the changing shape of data. There’s no doubt about it.

Mike Gamson, our CEO, reflected on that subject this morning: “At Relativity, we view the relentless proliferation and increasing complexity of data as an opportunity to do more for you. An opportunity to draw on our track record of innovation and honor our commitment to you, delivering cutting-edge solutions that empower you to continue thriving—no matter what new challenge comes your way.”

An opportunity for sure. But you might also call it a catalyst: It’s igniting some exciting, positive, and rapid change in our community and the way we do business.

On October 4, 2021, we kicked off Relativity Fest—celebrating twelve years of Fest, and our second hosted in a fully virtual format—with a keynote on just how these changes have started coming to life in Relativity.

Read on for a deep dive into what we covered during the session. And, for the next few days, we encourage you to see Fest as a spark that will drive innovation in your work—an opportunity to connect with peers and experts, learn some new things, and bring fresh ideas back to your team.

Accelerating the Speed of Innovation

The evolving data landscape is manifesting itself in many ways, but one notable examples is in short message data. These files—containing chat logs from tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack—have grown by 25 times in RelativityOne compared to the first quarter of last year.

“As an industry, we’re getting different types of data from a big variety of platforms, and what’s ending up in review is very different from case to case,” said Martha Louks, director of technology services at McDermott Will & Emery. “Because of this, we need more innovation in the space to support new standards and practices—like Relativity’s short message format.”

According to Martha, her team has used RelativityOne’s short message capabilities on several cases; it allows reviewers to get the context of a conversation, thereby enhancing their understanding of what’s happening.

We’re helping you stay ahead of these and many other data types by investing in next-generation legal and compliance capabilities that empower you to discover the truth much faster. In particular, five of our products have significantly moved the needle with rapid innovation this year.

Collect

A key challenge of working with enterprise data in today’s landscape is seamlessly collecting it from an increasing number of cloud data sources.

Two vital sources are Microsoft Teams and Google Workspace—and both are now available in Collect.

With Teams, you can collect one-on-one chats and group chats, as well as private and public channels. Collect also supports linked files—today’s version of the email attachment—residing in OneDrive and Sharepoint.

For Google Workspace, our first release supports collections from Gmail, Chat, Drive, and Group mailboxes.

“We’re excited to continue using Collect in RelativityOne,” said Joseph Obermaier, e-discovery and information governance lead, Broadcom. “With the integration, we expect to save between 20-40 hours per month. Going cloud-to-cloud means we don’t have to perform the manual tasks we had to previously and can focus on creating impactful solutions for our clients.” 

We also want to ensure you have a holistic experience for these data sources. As with all short message types Collect supports, we automatically convert Teams and Google Chat to Relativity’s short message format, eliminating costly and time-consuming pre-processing conversions.

Lots more to come here. In the coming months, we’re adding support for virtual meeting data like Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Google Meet; cloud storage solutions like Box and Sharepoint; messaging solutions popular in financial services, like Bloomberg; and archives like Proofpoint.

Migrate

Earlier this year, we embarked on a mission to transform the way you move data from Relativity Server to RelativityOne with the launch of Migrate. It has taken what was once a multi-step, multi-system process into just three steps (and six total clicks!).

Since Migrate launched in June, customers have been selecting, previewing, and migrating their data at lightning-fast speeds. Thirty-seven customers have already migrated 600 workspaces and 50 terabytes of data, saving 21 hours and 61,922 clicks on migration setup.

“I joke because I say that Migrate is the best thing since sliced bread, and it truly is,” said Sharon Redding, senior paralegal and e-discovery coordinator, Bell Canada. “I’ve saved a couple of months’ worth of work because I was able to do other work while we were migrating cases.”

As more customers move their work to the cloud, we're always thinking about how we can make migrations even simpler. In the next few months, our new profiles capability will introduce the ability to predefine what data should be migrated for a particular workspace; plus, a new file sync feature will automatically migrate files before workspaces.

Redact

Another step toward more seamless work in RelativityOne: Sophisticated redaction capabilities are now included thanks to the launch of Redact earlier this year. As privacy regulations evolve, and demand for faster speed to production has increased, we recognize the importance of making it easy for teams to redact PII and comply with global privacy laws.

And we've seen incredible momentum. Since launch, users have completed over 1,500 projects, with almost 2 million documents processed, and 52 million individual markups drawn.

Soon, enabling mass accepts and rejects with Redact viewer cards will make the experience even easier.

Automated Workflows

We’ve also continued to focus on delivering a simply powerful user experience across RelativityOne. Automated workflows are an important component of that philosophy in action.

Released last year and already leveraged by 66 percent of RelativityOne customers, automated workflows make manual tasks more efficient and accurate; they’re programmed to kick off autonomously when uploading documents, indexing searches, running analytics or AI models for deeper meaning, and managing review.

This year alone, users have saved a total of 33,000 minutes and automated over 160,000 administrative tasks. In total, that’s more than two months of work.

"With the high volume of requests we receive daily, time spent on manual administrative tasks adds up.  Automated workflows save us time handling these tasks while minimizing error, increasing our team’s efficiency,” Matthew Nelson, director of litigation support in central services at Littler, recently shared.

Since Relativity Fest 2020, we’ve released a lot of new capabilities for automated workflows, including the ability to schedule nightly or weekend runs of common tasks to keep critical work moving forward. And soon, you’ll be able to automate OCR, conceptual analytics, and clustering in RelativityOne.

Short Message Slicing

RelativityOne customers are producing hundreds of millions of documents per year—and until now, if any of those productions included short messages, all non-relevant portions of the short message documents needed to be redacted. This takes a lot of time and effort—and introduces potential risk of human error.

But we’re happy to announce that our new short message slicing capability is set to launch in just a few weeks and will dramatically improve the experience of creating productions with chat and conversational data. 

With short message slicing, users can drill into the events, participants, timeframes, or individual messages that are most relevant to a matter and select only a subset of those messages for production. 

This is a significant step toward simplifying the RelativityOne experience from end to end, and we can’t wait to see it in action.

Investing in Artificial Intelligence, Everywhere

In addition to keeping data safe, AI is vital to manifesting our mission to organize data, discover the truth, and act on it. As the volumes and complexity of unstructured data continue to increase and legal teams face demands to do more with less, we will utilize AI across Relativity to help amplify your efforts, put actionable insights at your fingertips, and enable you to tackle modern legal and compliance challenges.

We’ll do this by investing in three primary areas:

  • Establishing AI cloud services and a big data layer to power the creation and optimization of thousands of machine learning models, delivering best-in-class AI capabilities available across RelativityOne, Relativity Trace, Text IQ, Relativity Patents, and more.  
  • Adding and applying world-class AI talent to tackle the unique challenges in our industry, through growing teams internally and making strategic acquisitions like Text IQ.
  • Focusing heavily on the intersection of AI and UI, our user experience, and thinking critically how we can unlock performance and empower your teams for key workflows.

Insights from our Text IQ Colleagues

We welcomed Text IQ, a Top 100 AI company, to Relativity this year.

Their expertise will help accelerate our path to becoming an AI-fueled unstructured data management company. With Text IQ on board, we can more quickly enable Relativity and Relativity Trace users to tackle new legal and compliance challenges.

During our keynote this morning, Apoorv Agarwal—co-founder and CEO of Text IQ—joined me to chat about his passion for AI and what’s ahead for our community. He had an exciting perspective to share on our path forward, including some pretty cool insights on how unsupervised machine learning can help dig into the everyday use of words and tackle unlabeled data buried within a data set. The recording from our live event is available here, so make sure you check it out to hear from Apoorv.

A Preview of the Future

Elise Tropiano and Miguel Martinez, members of our product management and product design teams, then joined the keynote to walk attendees through what’s on the horizon in the months and years ahead for artificial intelligence in RelativityOne.

Elise talked about our plans for conducting an AI-powered project in RelativityOne, which would offer templatized AI features and automated setup for specific use cases. The result will ensure much of that administrative work takes only minutes, so review teams can jump in to mine for relevance and measure success more quickly.

Then, Miguel emphasized how our AI approach will maximize, not replace, human intelligence, empowering teams to find what they’re looking for with greater ease. This will include new visualization capabilities and interactions, improved communication analysis, and context-setting for each document—as well as improved case strategy tactics and review management options.

We just can’t do all of this justice by writing it down here, so be sure to tune into the keynote recording to see the whole picture.

Unbeatable Security in the Cloud

And finally, here’s a well-kept secret in legal: Working in the cloud is no longer the exception. In fact, many organizations have learned that this is simply the safest way of conducting critical workflows around highly sensitive data for purposes like e-discovery, investigations, surveillance, and more.

Calder7, our security team, continuously monitors emerging threats to stay ahead of bad actors. This year alone, they’ve ingested 558 billion logs and more than 300 cyber intel feeds—always going above and beyond to keep pace with an agile and aggressive dark web.

That work hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, we were recently selected as the winner of the CyberSecurity Breakthrough “Threat Intelligent Innovation Award” for our widely available threat intelligence feed. The tool tracks nearly 30,000 indicators of compromise, and supports better awareness of potential security threats—and how to protect yourself from them.

Still, security is a team sport. Wherever your data lives, don’t take its safety for granted. Follow best practices and build a culture of security in your organization. RelativityOne users can also leverage the Security Center to monitor potentially concerning activity in your workspaces, see where users are accessing your data, and more, so you can take proactive action right from RelativityOne.

“If I demonstrate sound security practices, I gain the trust and confidence of our clients,” said Stuart Mort, global head of consulting and chief security officer at Law In Order. “A secure cloud-based solution, like RelativityOne, is the easiest way for me to do this. It removes infrastructure, platform, and network security layers, not to mention the plethora of security certs that I’d need to maintain.”

Have Your Best Fest

When it comes down to it, the last 18 months have been all kinds of exhausting, frustrating, challenging, and intimidating. But as we look back on everything this community has endured with such grace and creativity, we’re nothing short of proud.

Thanks for being with us at Relativity Fest this week, and for being an incredible support to your peers throughout the last two years.

Artwork for this article was created by Sarah Vachlon and Natalie Andrews.

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Chris Brown is the chief product officer at Relativity. He leads our product and user experience teams and is responsible for the development of Relativity’s product vision, strategy, and product roadmap in collaboration with engineering.