ONSITE3's eView: Improving Document Review Management Through Workflow Automation And Streamlining Of Processes

Friday, June 1, 2007 - 01:00

Editor: I understand ONSITE3 is adding to its document review portfolio with a new document review platform. Can you tell us a little about it?

Rozier: Starting a year and a half ago, ONSITE3 began developing a new online review tool to provide our clients with a combination of features, controls and capabilities they were seeking but unable to find elsewhere. ONSITE3's vision was shared with two customer focus groups that included litigation support managers, attorneys, and paralegals. We wanted to ensure our vision met the needs of industry leaders and would include more effective features to significantly improve the document review process.

The eView tool that developed from these efforts is heavily centered around workflow automation and streamlining of processes, built to handle large document review projects, and acts as a document repository to create a centralized environment to search and view documents. eView offers users an intuitive and easy-to-use application that minimizes their training time, but still provides the flexibility for customized user applications.

Users can adjust the user interface, navigation buttons and other features, providing them with complete flexibility in how to manage and use eView. The role assignment feature further enables users to determine which individuals can access what information, making sure each user only works with the documents they are required to review. The system is also completely scalable - so as a project grows, more machine power and additional databases can be added, such as to handle massive projects.

Editor: Why a new solution when ONSITE3 already offers document review services?

Rozier: As the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Our clients needed more functionality than existing solutions could offer. We wanted to provide a better system which would provide increased functionality, more service, better flexibility for customization, and which would streamline many of the manual processes clients currently used. We believe by automating these processes, the overall document review process can be improved for our clients.

Editor: From your perspective, what challenges do corporate and law firm document reviewers face in today's legal arena?

Rozier: From a reviewer's standpoint, the key challenge is receiving batches of documents without having to wait for someone else to manually group those documents for them. Within the industry today, that process is not automated - so once a reviewer completes a batch, he has to wait until someone assigns another batch of documents, before continuing. Our vision was to design eView to address this problem by automating the batching process between a 1st level reviewer and the 2nd level reviewers, in a user defined manner.

Other challenges involve consistency in document coding. The current products on the market fail to guard against inadvertent tagging, which can result in incorrectly tagged documents. Reviewers have also complained about having the review process delayed because of slow navigation within existing tools on the market. This problem likely stems from having to launch the native document in its native application, or due to databases that contain considerable text from OCR or that contain extracted text from native documents which can slow down the overall performance of a database, or simply due to a large number of system users. Any one of these issues can result in down time that creates yet greater inefficiencies and even higher costs for a project. In terms of managing the process, companies really need to have the ability to generate reports for tracking the progress of reviewers. Searching capabilities on current systems may also be too slow, given the voluminous amount of information the associated databases may contain. Finally, there is a need to control the distribution of information so that reviewers only access the documents they are supposed to review. Overall, these various challenges drain additional time and money, which the companies must absorb in order to complete a review project.

Editor: How are corporations and law firms addressing these challenges today?

Rozier: Without the ability to automate the review process, companies have typically resorted to hiring more people in order to move through a project quickly. To ensure consistent coding, companies have had to incorporate more steps into their manual workflow processes in an effort to isolate inconsistent coding. However, this can also increase the possibility of accidentally producing privileged material or of not producing all the required documents. Companies have tried increasing the overall number of people working on a document review project in the hopes of compensating for the slow navigation and slow searching capabilities of existing tools. Yet, this represents another direct hit on cost and on the time required to actually complete a project. Finally, to make up for the lack of a reporting function, companies have had to rely on other applications like Excel or third party software that, with some manual steps in between, can perform the needed calculations to track and manage each project and reviewer.

Editor: How would ONSITE3's new eView solution help to meet these challenges and improve the process?

Rozier: eView is designed to help improve the process of the overall project, minimizing the time it takes to review documents and also minimizing the cost of projects. eView offers a simple interface for management of both first and second review teams. The intuitive design allows companies to prioritize and manage daily workflow tasks, distribute documents to reviewers, and generate reports to understand the progress of the entire review. Reviewers can be assigned specific folders of documents or pull from an entire population of documents. The ability of first and second level reviewers to work seamlessly as a team helps to decrease the overall review time. The entire system is completely customizable.

In addition, the distribution of documents is completely automated, which reduces the time and number of reviewers needed for projects. To ensure consistency in coding, eView includes a tag rule section designed to prevent inadvertent tagging while a reviewer is working with a document. This removes the need to use manual processes in order to locate inconsistent tags, and it also reduces the risk of failing to comply with disclosure requirements.

To speed the time required to navigate through a system, we designed eView as a terminal service environment so that users are working off of our high power servers. To eliminate down time, we implemented clustered servers, with fail-over and load-balance technology, along with a dual DS3 bandwidth pipe and a disaster recovery system. In short, we've implemented a much better system than can be found elsewhere in the market today.

As to other features, eView includes various customizable reports that clients can generate to track every component of the review process. For example, clients can receive and review custom daily reports, permission reports, detailed project reports organized by client, case, or database, and then there are administrative law reports, and forecasting reports to determine how long a review will take and how many reviewers are needed. eView also assists with overall review management, and the custom reporting capabilities allow clients to receive information that is unique and specific to each individual review and reviewer.

In addition, eView includes full searching functionality for greater efficiency. To facilitate control of projects, we have also added more functionality for the client administrator role. This includes support for creating fields on the fly, adding users, adjusting securities, creating look up lists, creating their own tag sections, generating folders and automatically creating batches of folders. There is a lot of flexibility built into the system that a client can administer without having to rely on vendors to do what should be relatively simple tasks. Obviously, all of this accelerates the review and minimizes the overall cost.

Editor: How does eView differ from current leading document review platforms?

Rozier: eView offers built-in automated workflow capabilities enabling clients to manage not only documents but also the reviewers. The automated processes eliminate the need to manage the reviewers off line, and further eliminate the costs associated with manual processes and external software often used to manage such efforts. The robust reporting and privilege log generation improves the overall management of processes. eView's security system secures the various features, folders, tags, database fields, and documents based on each user's login credentials.

Editor: Will ONSITE3 continue to offer current document review services in addition to the new eView service?

Rozier: We will offer existing clients the option of upgrading to eView but we will not require them to use it. To accommodate those clients that want to continue to use our existing systems, we will continue to provide those services along with the full level support they are accustomed to. Again, our goal with eView was to address gaps for those clients that need it. We have also built custom migration tools to migrate projects from our existing tools to eView, and we are currently working on several migration projects for clients that have chosen to switch to eView. These clients wanted more flexibility, which eView is able to offer them.

Editor: As the service is new to the market, how has ONSITE3 prepared for the launch in terms of testing the performance, stability and features?

Rozier: In January 2007, we began stress testing and performance testing of the application. We tested every feature of the system while navigating through various levels of data. We started with 50,000 records and then scaled it up to five million plus. We also ran a nation wide simulation project to ensure the service's ability to handle a massive review project. During this simulation, we had 150 users simultaneously accessing information and performing document review functions on just one server. The results were amazing and the server performance stayed within 15% of processing power, which really let us know that even just one server could potentially handle 250-350 concurrent users before utilizing load balancing across additional servers. In March 2007, we also offered clients a beta version of the system, which consisted of hosting a certain amount of documents at no charge. Under this program, we currently have two live projects using the beta version. The official release version of the eView service becomes available starting on June 1, 2007.

Editor: How can interested legal professionals learn more about the new eView service?

Rozier: For anyone interested in learning more about eView or in seeing a "live" demonstration of the service, you can submit requests online at www.ONSITE3.com/eView-Demo or, for immediate assistance, you can call us today at 1-877-433-5227.

Please email the interviewee at drozier@onss.com with questions about this interview.