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Custom Development in E-Discovery

By Ari Kaplan with Juan Ramirez.

Ari Kaplan speaks with Juan Ramirez, the founder and CEO of NSerio, a company that develops customized software applications for electronic discovery.


Ari Kaplan

Tell us about your background and the genesis of NSerio.


Juan Ramirez

10 years ago when we started, I did everything from setting up the computers, talking to the clients, and building some code. NSerio focused on developing a niche and supporting it with a nearshoring operation that we were building in Bogota, Colombia. At the time, Relativity was emerging as a market leader and I had established a relationship with its founder Andrew Sieja. I was in the right place at the right time, and it worked out.


Ari Kaplan

What has changed in e-discovery that has prompted the need for custom applications?


Juan Ramirez

The increased complexity of cases generally requires customization beyond out of the box tools. Relativity is a great example of a platform on which to build unique solutions and may have been the first legal software company to offer an API that enabled custom development on top of their platform. The birth of the API replaced manual processes and launched a vibrant era of custom development.


Ari Kaplan

What is your team's development process when serving a new client or supporting a new project?


Juan Ramirez

Before each new project, we engage our client in a conversation about the problem they are trying to solve and collaboratively brainstorm on ideas for addressing it. Then, we develop a plan of action, which may include encouraging the client to use an existing portfolio of technology more effectively, rather than to build a custom application. Generally, our development team designs options for the client’s consideration and we have a very high-touch approach as a boutique software development shop. We apply agile standards and integrate the client throughout the process.


Ari Kaplan

What are your favorite types of applications to create?


Juan Ramirez

Applications that are challenging enough for our team to feel the pressure of doing something new and that emphasizes the satisfaction of custom development. We love building tools that have big impact, promote adoption, and offer a broad return on investment. We want to solve a big problem that either increases accuracy, reduces time, lowers cost, or generates more revenue. Applications with the greatest ROI result in happy customers and a proud developer.


Ari Kaplan

Are there advancements in technology that have changed your process?


Juan Ramirez

The need to work remotely over the past few years has resulted in significant improvements in communication tools, which has allowed us to engage with clients more comprehensively. We can more easily convey the status of projects, provide images, and conduct demos. In addition, the Microsoft stack has evolved and Relativity’s collection of APIs in the cloud has created a new set of possibilities. Everything seems to be growing and the amount of Lego pieces that we can play with has increased.


Ari Kaplan

What leadership lessons have you learned over the past few years managing a fully-remote team around the world?


Juan Ramirez

Being genuine about caring for my team is the strongest quality I can offer. We all experienced hard times through COVID and we fully supported our staff. They felt that our caring approach was genuine and we guaranteed employment, with no layoffs. Caring is often what people need and what they want. It has allowed us to build a team that is very loyal, dedicated, and passionate about their work.


Ari Kaplan

How do you see custom development evolving?


Juan Ramirez

I see continued growth and more flexibility in the tools that we are using. Artificial intelligence are common buzzwords, but the AI-enabled tools and third-party offerings that exist are really powerful and just getting better. It almost feels sometimes like we are living in the future. Organizations are implementing more AI and analytics.

 

About the Author

Ari Kaplan (http://www.AriKaplanAdvisors.com) regularly interviews leaders in the legal industry and in the broader professional services community to share perspective, highlight transformative change, and introduce new technology at http://www.ReinventingProfessionals.com and his series at Legal Business World


Listen to his conversation with Juan Ramirez here: https://www.reinventingprofessionals.com/custom-development-in-e-discovery/



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