Focus on… Xerox

GC sits down with Xerox to discuss their expanding legal mandate and innovative approach to document solutions.

In 1981, Xerox devised and released the first computer (though Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace might well disagree on this point) which took only four hours to master the basics of, and cost a tidy $16,595. It even had an ‘unusual control device’ – or, as we like to call it these days, a mouse.

And so Xerox can rightly lay claim to trailblazer status, early adoptees of change and technology, with a prescient understanding that computers and humans could together make work simpler and more effective: all of which they still do now.

What you may know:

In 2006, Xerox Legal Business Services (XLS), the e-disclosure division of Xerox (NYSE: XRX), was formed to assist corporations and their outside law firms to mitigate cost and risk associated with managing large scale litigation, investigations and regulatory compliance matters. Over the past several years, XLS has expanded its international focus and global client base outside of the U.S. to include the UK and Asia, and manages the largest e-disclosure project in the UK region, totalling over 300 million documents.

What you don’t know:

It’s all about people, not machines: Despite having a heavy focus on technology, data and analytics, managing director Beth Fritts says: “Our secret sauce is our people; they’re what are enabling transformation for our clients.” XLS strives to make work simpler and understands that a human-centric approach to tackling business is its long game. From thought pieces on their website covering big data and leadership to an interview with a 91-year-old employee on her tips for adapting to new technology, XLS starts with people.

But don’t forget the innovation piece: XLS is building and commercialising an advanced analytics capability that can be delivered through any of its platforms to mitigate risk and help clients cut the cost of document review. XLS says its approach to analytics – no one size fits all – are supported by the deepest analytics bench strength in the industry; with dedicated data scientists and support within research centres at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated) and Grenoble. ‘We’re constantly surveying client needs, and making sure that we’re staying ahead of the curve in terms of our R&D investments’, says Fritts. ‘It’s not a “build it and they will come” model – instead, we invest carefully based on an understanding of our clients’ needs.’

Not just litigation: As well as working with companies involved in high-stakes litigation, XLS has grown sizeable teams to handle compliance matters with its core technologies.

Senior vice president and managing director Beth Fritts says:

We’re always listening to our clients. Every interaction with a client is a learning opportunity for us – how we can improve, what is working, and where our gaps are. We take every conversation seriously, and our company strategy and roadmap reflects that. Given our history of innovation, we’re naturally very creative in how we translate feedback into what we plan on doing next for our clients that will offer real value. For example, in early 2010 we were among the first to introduce technology-assisted review to the market, and it’s because we deeply understood our clients’ pain points, inefficiencies and costs in slugging through document review. We looked across all Xerox research centre innovations, and identified one technology (CategoriX) that we quickly brought to market to help our clients automate parts of the document review process. It doesn’t matter how big or small our clients’ problems are. We listen and then act.

Analytics isn’t just about throwing technology at a problem. Data is the obvious piece when talking about analytics, but any data scientist will tell you that the true power of a data-driven analytics approach is not just about technology. Analytics starts with people, not algorithms, and only a human-centered approach to solving business problems will help us make an impact on our clients.

We take the long view. As data grows in volume and complexity, we believe that analytics, in conjunction with exceptional technology and service delivery, is going to be the best way to solve our clients’ Big Data challenges. That’s the bet we’re making.


Recent news

  • Newly launched analytics service transforms companies’ abilities to proactively identify and manage litigation risk and thus reduce costs;
  • Currently providing end-to-end discovery support for major automotive companies involved in significant contemporary litigation;
  • Added kCura “Relativity” to its technology offerings; this software aims to help corporates reduce risk and control costs associated with e-discovery;
  • Opened Hong Kong datacentre;
  • To meet growing client demand XLS has invested more heavily in managed (document) review services across the U.S. and internationally, including offshore review services.