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Maybe We Should Stop Calling It “Hosting”

In my foray in the legal solutions space, I’ve noticed that the industry seems comfortable lumping quite a lot into the term “hosting” as it relates to eDiscovery solutions.  Now that the trend is shifting from on-premises discovery tools installed either at the end-users site or at their legal service provider’s offices, to cloud-based SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions, the market as a whole is looking for simplicity.

From the standpoint of solution providers, like ZyLAB, this need for transparency has come in the form of all-in pricing models where a single metric is utilized to provide prospective customers an easier way to purchase just what they need.   The old standard of multi-page price lists with line items for processing, OCR, culling, production, media fees, etc. have gone the way of the Dodo.  

Ultimately, this is a very positive change because it allows organizations to properly budget for their legal spend rather than being “nickeled and dimed” by their vendors.  However, what do you call that single “all-in” price now?

Some people refer to it as “per GB hosting” and this is probably a relic of the time when hosting was, in fact, part of the long list of fees that would be paid as it relates to an eDiscovery matter.   

But in modern SaaS eDiscovery solutions, there is so much more involved in that single price, that “hosting” is simply not an accurate term by itself.

As an eDiscovery software solution provider for law firms, corporations and government agencies, ZyLAB has a large team involved in the process of designing, developing and maintaining the solution itself.   That begins with one of my responsibilities, market research, but then progresses to a variety of teams including User Experience (UX) Design, Development, Quality Assurance, and of course, Product Management.   But beyond the software itself is everything needed to support the solution from the Technical Writing needed for in-application documentation, product manuals and marketing materials to the constant updates to our Training Programs.   

Beyond that, is the entire Cloud Operations and Infrastructure team needed to support the application in our multiple hosted environments.   They manage everything from server updates to storage management and the entire security framework.   They are involved in all of the certifications and standards compliance programs we participate in as well as the penetration testing, 3rd party auditing and of course, our world-class Client Support & Professional Services team.     And like any other business, there are still the back office functions, of Finance, HR, Sales and Marketing. 

As you can see, “hosting” is a tiny piece of the overall solution, so we just refer to ZyLAB ONE SaaS as a "Per Gigabyte Solution".   But our customers are getting quite a lot wrapped into that single metric.