New Avansic Program Helps Clients Lower Future Bills
12-11-2009, The Journal Record - Kirby Lee Davis
http://www.journalrecord.com/article.cfm?recid=105146
TULSA – In a move that could lower its revenues, the Tulsa law firm consulting company Avansic has introduced a service to help companies reduce their exposure to future electronic discovery costs.

The product E-Discovery Readiness addresses one of the major headaches facing corporate information technology, human resources and legal departments: the potential problems with uncovering and delivering e-mail, voice messages, deleted documents and other potential evidence in today’s electronic age.President and Chief Executive Gavin W. Manes said the product represents an assessment program where Avansic employees survey company executives and workers over their information handling habits, systems and culture. It then recommends proactive steps to streamline their practices and systems, all to reduce their estimated footprint and processing time for documents vulnerable to discovery in potential legal proceedings.
“E-Discovery Readiness is not a discount coupon for future service,” said Manes. “It allows you to identify real savings. You take proactive steps to change your electronic discovery environment.”

Many times this involves two key steps: ridding the company of legacy computers and records systems, and moving to unified communications systems.

“Fear of access must evolve into a fear of litigation,” he said Wednesday. “Litigation costs may outweigh the cost of having voice mail come over to e-mail.”

E-Discovery Readiness represents the Tulsa company’s third product launch this year targeting that issue. The other two represented software packages to help companies store and manage their electronically stored information.
To demonstrate potential savings from E-Discovery Readiness, Avansic placed an “e-discovery calculator” on its Web site, www.avansic.com. From survey questions the calculator estimates potential vulnerabilities.
“You’re identifying the opportunity for you to save money by taking these steps,” he said.
The cost depends on the customer need. Manes said going through the E-Discovery Readiness analysis may cost from $7,000 for a 250-employee company to $25,000 for a 5,000-worker giant spread across a dozen different locations.
Smaller companies than those may be able to afford waiting out the risk, he said.
Since redacting encrypted data and recovering files from damaged drives represents a few of the services that fueled five-year-old Avansic, Manes didn’t expect his firm to take up educating clients on how to avoid e-discovery problems. But when many potential customers and law firms asked for proactive help, Avansic decided to create the analysis service.
“In the end, we’re going to make less money from the companies that do e-discovery with us, because we’ll have less to do,” he said.
The encroaching recession made that more important through the second half of 2009, forcing Manes to scale back revenue expectations for his 17-employee company to $1.2 million to $1.5 million – still a sizable increase from 2008’s $1 million mark.

But with signs of more deferred litigation finally advancing, Avansic’s new program lines taking flight and its regional growth plans maturing, he maintained his 2010 target of $10 million.

“This week we’ve seen more cases than in all the first quarter,” he said.