Over the past week the Insider in-box has been bombarded with messages from US-based litigation and e-discovery service providers announcing how well their respected products have faired in the latest Socha-Gelbmann electronic discovery survey report. It's big news in the US but we've always suspected that it's a 'so what, who cares' scenario on this side of the Atlantic – and that probably most people in the UK legal IT community think Socha-Gelbmann is the name of the actor who plays Ali G and Borat. (Actually that's Sacha Baron Cohen …Ed). We therefore asked Andrew Haslam of lit support technology consultancy Allvision Computing for his thoughts on the report – and we follow it up with a round-up of the rankings…

“Various US (and UK) firms are starting to crow about their rankings in the Socha-Gelbmann electronic data discovery (EDD) survey, but what is it, and does it have any relevance to the UK marketplace?

“The survey is an annual look at the vendors in the EDD marketplace, written by two independent consultants, George Socha and Thomas Gelbmann. The 2008 version has just been released after its nine month creation process, and is the sixth in the series. Vendors are ranked on how they operate in each of the stages defined by the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (itself an industry agreed model of the various stages of EDD). The executive summary is free, with the full report costing $5000. The word survey is possibly a misnomer, as the information gathered is self-selected by vendors submitting their own figures on company growth and revenue. The methodology used to arrive at the rankings is not explained, and in previous reports, firms have complained of seemingly arbitrary analysis and resultant ranking.

“That being said, the document represents a fair stab at capturing an annual snapshot of the state of the EDD market, and how various companies have fared over the years. A bit like UK school league tables (well those before this year's debacle), the results of the survey give you a feel for the relative strengths of companies but are no substitute for meeting the vendors and evaluating their products.” …Andrew Haslam

And now some of the announcements:

eMag was included as a top provider in three categories in the 2008  Socha-Gelbmann report. eMag was listed among the top 25 electronic discovery service providers + broke into the top 10 e-discovery software providers in law firm rankings + was also placed among the top 20 overall e-discovery service providers in law firm rankings.

Recommind's Axcelerate eDiscovery application was listed among industry leaders in customer satisfaction, and frequency of use.

IE Discovery has again been ranked as a top overall provider of electronic discovery services. The company also scored a top 5 ranking in experience and top 5 or top 10 in seven different stages of electronic discovery: identification, preservation, collection, review, analysis, production and presentation.

Autonomy Corporation announced that it was named a top 5 electronic discovery provider for its ZANTAZ e-Discovery software and service. Autonomy was named a top 5 provider in nine software and service categories, including preservation, collection, analysis, production, presentation, and law firm rankings. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the company has been ranked as a op 5 service provider in the report.

ONSITE3 announced it was ranked within the top 15 of all e-discovery service providers.

Guidance Software announced its EnCase software were given the highest ranking (top 5 provider) in the e-discovery software providers category. Guidance Software was also given the highest ranking by corporations in the survey’s electronic discovery service provider category and received the highest ranking in several other categories in the report.

Wave Software, a supplier in the de-duplication, regeneration and export of native electronic data sector, announced that it has been named at top electronic discovery software provider.

Anacomp announced that its CaseLogistix litigation support software had been named a top electronic discovery service provider.