#1: Relativity is expensive.
It’s no secret in the industry that Relativity users are complaining about costs. There are lots of hidden fees and, depending on which vendor(s) you are using, there can be considerable confusion about licensing requirements and restrictions. What that means for law departments and firms is that there are lawyers who aren’t allowed to use the platform – even when they need to – simply because of the cost. The same goes for clients, paralegals and expert witnesses. In fact, with smaller matters many organizations are finding that user license fees are their highest monthly charge.
Legal professionals tell us they need a more flexible approach to licensing in order to do their jobs effectively. Meanwhile, at Relativity, user fees are a core component of their business model. (Just so you know: There are no user fees with Casepoint.)
Other costs that purchasers of Relativity may not have bargained for when they invested in the platform:
- Different law firms have different workflows, and they often need to pay for help to make Relativity work for them. Users have also told us that Relativity’s standard reports need to be customized (for a fee) to generate meaningful insight on cost drivers in their e-discovery processes and total cost of ownership.
- IT costs. Relativity users incur costs for maintaining their IT infrastructure, installing and upgrading the product and hiring personnel to manage it. They also pay for backup and SQL licenses.
- Cost of add-ons. If your matter requires advanced AI/analytics technologies like predictive coding or technology-assisted review (TAR), Relativity can provide it via a third party, but you will pay extra for these capabilities. They are not built into the platform.
- Additional vendor charges. Vendor-hosted Relativity can be very expensive. Typically, Relativity vendors charge per GB for storage, then a licensing fee per named user, and then additional charges for near-duplicate detection, email threading, and concept clustering. There may also be extra fees for processing, tech time and project management.
- Lack of pricing flexibility. Practitioners have told us that, in the past, when they needed to add features to their Relativity subscription they were faced with renegotiating a new long-term, multi-year contract. While there are signs that Relativity is now softening this stance, for many organizations, it’s too late.
- Case setup fees, case shutdown fees, per document charges, integration charges, per-GB charges…. The list goes on. Users of Relativity – particularly those users who access the platform through a vendor – are crying out for simpler, more transparent pricing.
#2: Relativity can be slow.
Over and over people in the industry tell us that uploading data to the Relativity platform takes too long—way too long in fact. Speed actually matters – a lot – in e-discovery, and our clients tell us that matter management and e-discovery management with Relativity is often slower than with other platforms. Searches can also be slow. Document incrementation can take many seconds instead of microseconds.
#3: Relativity is not that easy to use.
Many organizations have told us Relativity comes with a steep learning curve that can be intimidating if you are new to e-discovery technology or have used simpler review platforms. “The platform requires too many clicks,” says one user.
There are also a number of little things that aggravate users:
- Example: In Relativity, you can’t have one document live in more than one folder at a time, which effectively means a document can’t be shared. (Casepoint allows you to have as many documents as you like in as many folders as possible.)
- Example: Relativity only allows you to see a specified number of documents at a time. If you want to see more, you have to click again. (With Casepoint, you can see everything.)
- Example: Relativity processing relies on Oracle DLL. For TIFF images, what you see is what you get, but if you print the only thing you get is what the Oracle library lets you print. (Casepoint allows users to print a broad variety of types and images, and it’s fully integrated with the Oracle library.)
#4: People want an alternative.
Many organizations also are finding there is better technology available than Relativity. They are tired of it and don’t like it anymore. The technology they use in other parts of their personal and professional lives is simpler, more intuitive, and more functional, and they always know how much it’s going to cost. Why can’t e-discovery software be that way?
For more information on other companies making the switch to Casepoint, how to do it, and related literature visit the Switch page.
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