December 3, 2020

FTK x Summation: Meet Me at the Crossroads

The eDiscovery market has created an intersection between traditional investigative technologies and methodologies with those in the attorney review arena.  Previously these two segments of the overall eDiscovery process were viewed as wildly different and miles apart (one starting on the far left of the EDRM and one starting on the far right of the EDRM).  As the space has evolved it seems the market is realizing first and foremost that in order to streamline the overall eDiscovery process you need to have the ability to affect data at both points in the process.  We have seen a significant increase within our legal client base for example utilizing our FTK solution on the front end of the eDiscovery process to ingest data they are receiving from their clients and reduce the overall dataset on a much more finite level before moving it over to our attorney review solution, Summation.  This helps to significantly reduce attorney review time and allows the client to validate the entire process thus reducing the overall risk associated with the eDiscovery process.

We have recently integrated our FTK and Summation solutions into one common infrastructure in order to help our law firm clients specifically, by reducing the amount of hardware and IT support necessary to run these solutions.  Additionally we are finding that Mobile/Smart Phone data is becoming a standard data source in most eDiscovery cases so we have been working diligently the last three years to build our MPE+ solution set to be market leading and over the past twelve months we have definitely achieved that goal.  At this point we are the only Company in the market that has one consolidated platform that can manage not only the entire eDiscovery process, but can also manage all of the major data sources within that process.

In recent months you can see that other providers like Nuix (data processing) and Cellebrite (mobile phone forensics) are partnering in order to meet the market’s demand for a more integrated solution.  Others such as Guidance Software have recognized this trend too and have acquired attorney review tools like Case Central.  These, however, have done a poor job in the mobile/smart phone market as seen by the collapse of Guidance’s Neutrino product line a few years back.

With our acquisition of CT Summation a few years back, AccessData entered the eDiscovery market at a unique moment in its relatively short history.  Technology providers, who had focused on improving review platforms so that they match attorney workflows, have achieved that end to a large degree.  In fact, they have met that challenge to such a degree that they, frankly, are able to review and produce more documents than their opponents or the judiciary can review in a timely fashion.  This document glut serves as both a problem and an opportunity for an organization whose roots are fruitfully grounded in forensic technology.  Why now?  Because the market is swiftly tipping towards the left-side of the EDRM.

During the eDiscovery market’s “growth period”, the industry was largely reactive, not proactive.  In the swift shift of business practices from paper to bits and bytes, providers who met the challenge struggled to keep up with exponentially expanding litigation matters.  And, in the meantime, their businesses and clients devised new ways to create even greater amounts of ESI for the next litigation.  This means that perhaps the most important set of tools that review attorneys currently lack is that set that will allow them to cull, parse, examine and set aside prior to its entry into the review platform.  We’re heading for a tipping point where the entire market will have to start utilizing the tools we’ve developed for forensic review during the preservation and collection phases of the EDRM cycle.     These tools, developed of the necessity to investigate criminally-altered (scrubbed) data sources or sources hidden within encryption and malware, provide extremely granular review, powerful decryption and the ability to recover missing or damaged data.

And, for the forensic investigator, let’s not forget the advantages of being able to upload your recovered data into the Summation review platform.   While FTK’s developers have concentrated their attention on targeted and defensible extraction for nearly two decades, Summation developers were concurrently developing a review platform that intuited its customers’ needs and allowed them to review and make sense of their ever-growing collections.   The forensic investigator can offer a similar level of value-added sense-making by utilizing Summation to prepare final work product that his clients can readily use.  By integrating what FTK can do with unstructured, uncollected, unreviewed evidence, the Summation user can quickly and powerfully analyze the other side’s production as it comes in and quickly and powerfully analyze their side’s store of information before it goes out.

And – they really only have to learn one platform to do this.  And, as I mentioned above, they also enjoy a giant head-start on their competition if they utilize MPE+ also.

If you would like to see an example of how FTK and Summation are being used together in real world scenarios please visit the link below to view a short recorded webinar on this topic. 

As always I welcome any and all feedback and I hope that AccessData can help you with your eDiscovery needs in the future.

Trey Tramonte

Trey Tramonte is the VP of Sales for AccessData and is in charge of all commercial and international sales related activities including sales, technical sales, and customers support. Prior to joining AccessData he ran the midmarket group at Guidance Software where he rapidly increased sales by well over 100% YOY. Before joining Guidance he worked at several other technology companies including BMC Software, BindView (purchased by Symantec) and Dell. Trey believes the cornerstone of his success revolves around listening to clients and then working with them in order to help them achieve their objectives.

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