It is possible that all of these services will be offered by the same vendor. The move by e-discovery vendors in recent years has been to expand their service offerings to cover a full "end-to-end" solution. This means different things to different vendors, and the likelihood is that every vendor has a stronger set of skills in one area over another.
To set up a fully outsourced model, it is necessary to start the relationships. Finding the right single vendor or mix of vendors is not an easy task. The RFP process, should you choose to use this method, is long and tedious. An RFP is only as good as the questions asked, the answers received and to whom it is sent. Compiling all of the RFP responses into a digestible and comparable format is equally as challenging.
Approach the work systematically. Prioritize the areas that need the most attention or that are most easily parceled off. Work on establishing those services first and start to build out slowly. Instead of an RFP process, attend a couple of the larger e-discovery conferences, like ITLA or LegalTech. Do research, read papers and articles, join social networking groups and, above all, ask lots of questions. Find an organization that has done it before and reach out for advice. Doing this can yield better results than an RFP and can take less time.
Some of the larger stumbling blocks found in this model come largely from misconception. Often it is thought that the organization does not have to do much work anymore, that vendors will take care of it. But, in reality, project management will be critical to the success of this model. Other inherently necessary tasks, like tracking, budgeting, relationship building, managing expectations and creating overall workflows and billing and invoicing, also make this approach a very large job.
Last, you do not want to find yourself in a contract or relationship that is difficult to get out of or where your organization is now heavily dependent on that of another. Similarly, as your data set grows within the vendor of choice, it will be harder and harder to move it.
A fully insourced model is one where there is little-to-no reliance on vendors. The law firm or corporation in this model makes a capital investment up front to purchase the right technology and hire the right people. The organization then builds a consistent and defensible process and workflow around the new resources to meet the e-discovery demands of the organization.
Typical technology investments include bringing in-house the ability to manage litigation holds in a central tool and to handle and manage collection of ESI in a forensically sound manner. Next would be the ability to process ESI, which is really indexing and preservation of metadata. After processing, there is technology needed to conduct culling, searching and advanced analytics. What comes out of the culling phase would get put into some type of hosted review and production database, which would be the last and most scrutinized piece of the technology puzzle. If you have trial needs, there would also be a host of trial software and graphics applications to consider in the courtroom setting.
Technology, regardless of what your e-discovery software sales representative says, is no magic bullet, and owning the right technology will not automatically solve your e-discovery woes. You also need the right people to run the technology, to build the processes and workflows and maintain and mature the whole model moving forward.
To find the right mix of people and technology, again turn to a systematic approach. Determine what your greatest need is and focus on that first. For example, if you want to replace a review database like Concordance with a new hosted review platform, do that first and build out from there.
The priority of focus with the insourced model will be different among different size corporations and law firms. For example, legal hold management should be a priority and a strong consideration for insourcing in most corporations, while enterprise collection would be in that consideration set for large corporations.