Customers, products and people: Keith James, CEO of AccessData, talks about changes at the company

AccessDataFrom the outside, we are seeing a lot of changes at AccessData. We are seeing developments in product, we are seeing new initiatives with clients, we are seeing new people. I asked CEO Keith James to give me an overview of where AccessData is going.

2015 was a very exciting year for AccessData and 2016 is proving to be exciting as well. I would sum it up by saying that we are hyper-focused on what we do best, which is digital forensics and eDiscovery.

Keith JamesWhat I’d like to emphasise and dig into a bit today, are our three most important priorities that relate back to how we are successful, and how we are creating value for our clients. Those three areas are our customers, our products, and our people.


When we think about our customers, hopefully they have begun to see the benefits of a number of changes and strategic decisions that we made earlier on in 2015 to focus more on them. We have created new roles that never existed in the company before. These roles map to customer workflow, so when you call AccessData and you are working with someone, whether it’s a salesperson or support personnel or someone else in the company, they are trained and understand the client workflow.

Not only do we have expertise in workflow, but when it comes to the business side of things, we have launched a number of initiatives to make it easy to do business with AccessData.

Additionally we have put more discipline in how we collect client feedback on feature requests, innovations and trends that impact them. This is handled mainly through a product management initiative I’ll touch on more in a bit, but we have basically put a lot more discipline around that, and we are beginning to see positive feedback and results from that focus.

Thirdly, we’ve put in place some really important initiatives around culture, fostering an internal culture centered on customer support. Whether a client-facing representative, a salesperson, or even an internal person who doesn’t talk to clients very often, every AccessData employee is driven by our desire to support our customers. I truly believe, and my leadership team believes, that when you build customer support from within, it shows up on the outside, so again hopefully customers are starting to notice that as well.

These are all really important investments that we have made. Not only is it part of the ethos of the leadership team, but we have put money behind this, made possible by the recent sale of our cyber security business which has freed up the ability for us to invest more in our customers.


The second priority that I mentioned is our products. Our flagship digital forensics product, our roots if you will, is the FTK product and the entire portfolio of solutions built off of FTK. That includes AccessData Lab which is built to manage large, more complex datasets. With the explosion of data and complex data types today, this is a tool that has resonated in the market and we have had a lot of success with that product.

We also have an enterprise product which helps in internal investigations. We have two products that help address the need to collect and analyze mobile data. nField, our solution for quickly collecting in the field, and MPE+ which helps analyse data from mobile devices. So throughout the workflow of digital forensics we have a number of products and we are investing heavily in them.

On the eDiscovery side we have AccessData eDiscovery, a product that is truly end-to-end on the EDRM, eliminating data movement through our unique, single backend database.

For standalone document review, we have Summation. People are very familiar with the brand name but some people may not realise that we have in the last several years completely retooled that product. There are many things which are unique about Summation: we have made a lot of advances in the stability and speed of it, and we have advanced features such as visual analytics, technology-assisted review, and fact management, as well as transcript management. These things are all part of the standard Summation, so from a value standpoint we’ve got a scalable, fast, reliable product that has all of the advanced features built in. It is something we are particularly proud of and have made a lot of progress with.

Last fall we successfully launched a 6.0 version of our flagship products for both forensics and eDiscovery. I think the most important point I want to emphasise coming out of that release is the improved interoperability. We have got a lot of positive feedback in the market about this. When you’re looking at starting with the digital forensic investigation, the collection, all the way through document review as well as fact management, we offer one platform with a single database. Why is that important? It reduces risk in moving data around and also reduces the cost, so this has been highly valuable and it’s been positively received.

In addition to improved interoperability, we’ve also released exciting enhancements to each of the products as well. In Summation we have introduced LawDrop, giving end-users self-service tools to easily upload data to be processed through simple drag and drop functionality, something unique in the market. Our clients have asked for technology that is easier to use and supports their need to have 24/7 access, and we’ve been able to deliver it with LawDrop. Also, on the FTK side we launched a web client that goes along with FTK ― another client-driven request.


We’ve covered our investments in our customers and products, but I also want to emphasise that we are making big investments in our people, creating new roles and making big investments in leadership that will drive our vision forward with success.

Product management is something we’ve always been strong on, but we’ve brought on a new Vice President of Product Management. Nadine Weiskopf, an industry veteran, joined the team last year and was instrumental in driving the successful 6.0 launch. We also have brought on a new chairman of the board, Victor Limongelli, who is the former CEO of Guidance. We have focused our people investments on building a leadership team of industry veterans and industry experts to help execute our long-term strategy and position the company for continued success.

As I hope you can see and hear from today’s discussion, 2015 was a big year for AccessData, with big investments in our products, our people, and most importantly, our clients. We’re now beginning to see the positive results of those investments and look forward to continued success in 2016.



About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
This entry was posted in AccessData, Discovery, eDisclosure, eDiscovery, Electronic disclosure, Summation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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