Allegheny Energy, an investor-owned utility with $3 billion in annual revenues, has a variety of needs related to e-discovery. The process is complicated by the size of its staff (over 4,000 employees) and the amount of data (more than 40 terabytes) it manages. For example, in one instance the company was forced to print and mail files to its law firm, which needed 16 people to perform a search. In another case, the company spent three weeks reviewing files comprising 18 months of material. Had the process been automated, the company would have decreased the amount of data produced, saving time and generating relevant results.
The utility customer wanted to automate discovery to reduce overhead and eliminate the inevitable scramble that occurred every time there was a discovery matter. Cost was an issue, and the company needed a solution that was reasonably priced. The first order of business was finding a product. Sherpa Software’s Discovery Attender was selected following a comprehensive review, and the product was up-and-running quickly.
Discovery Attender was chosen because the product is cost-effective, easy to use and reliable. Now, the company knows precisely how to locate critical data. The process for discovering files and email is well documented.
The utility vendor is saving money with Sherpa because it doesn’t have to engage external resources, such as law firms, for data collection or culling. Law firms typically charge per terabyte for e-discovery. Given the massive amounts of data kept by the company, and the amount of time it takes to perform discovery manually, the cost savings to the utility vendor is substantial. In-house discovery also allows the company to be more nimble. Moreover, Sherpa’s customer service has been excellent. “Sherpa is providing great value for the money we’re spending,” said the company’s IT security analyst who oversees the use of the product.
For more information on Allegheny Energy, visit http://www.alleghenyenergy.com/.