Category Archives: News

Convenient or Creepy: The Smart Speakers are Listening

In a previous blog post, we talked about privacy as it relates to fitness wearable devices. To continue on the privacy vein, let’s examine smart speakers like Google Home, Alexa, and Siri. If you use any of these devices, you know the convenience associated with voice commands. Need the time? Alexa has it. Want to know some obscure movie fact? Ask Siri. Need to buy paper towels? Tell Google Home. Easy peasy, right? In today’s busy world of work, events, and to do lists, these devices lend a helpful hand, but at the price of consumer privacy.

Recently, both Google and Amazon filed patents to allow even broader abilities to listen in on consumer lives. Rather than waiting for a wake command as the speakers do now, the device would always be on and listening for keywords, but what is it doing with that information? According to both companies, the information would be used to target advertising based on the collected data. Say, you’re sitting around the dinner table discussing your next family vacation and then Alexa starts to recite travel deals to your target destination? How about Google Home listening to you discuss your medical issue with a friend and then offering related prescription ads? What about recognizing your mood, or an oncoming cold based on a sneeze, or an argument with your spouse? Google Home could even suggest parenting tactics based on its monitoring of your family interactions. You should spend more time with Susie, Google says. Do you want all of that in the cloud for advertisers to mill through? Is this level of technology cool or creepy?

While these assistants can be a source of convenience, we’d be remiss not to consider the potential consequences. Could information collected from smart speakers be used in a court of law? Are they discoverable? Could anything obtained be used for a conviction? Technology often moves faster than the law, but the law is catching up. Consider the Arkansas murder case where investigators wanted to use information gathered by Amazon’s smart speaker, Echo belonging to the suspect. Amazon jumped in citing First Amendment protections, an important step in setting a precedent for how this technology could be handled in the future. The suspect ended up granting permission for the data to be collected, but in future cases, consent and rights will need heavy consideration. For an innocent person accused of a crime or the unfortunate victim, the smoking gun, in this case, could be a home assistant device. But take a moment to consider the flip side. Could a conversation taken out of context lead to suspicion in the event something goes afoul, making it difficult to defend oneself? Do you really want your casual conversations used against you in a court of law?

As with much of current technology, consumers need to weigh the pros and cons of adopting smart devices. You must ask yourself the question is giving the device full access to your life, habits, interests, and vices worth the convenience? Where is the line and once we cross it, can we ever go back?

The key to employee retention? Goals!

If you’ve managed people for any amount of time, you know that engaged employees are the key to a successful company. There are plenty of tips and theories for creating and improving engagement, but I want to focus on one in particular- goal setting.

Let’s start with the basics. Do you set professional goals for yourself? Do you ask your team to set goals? Are your team’s goals aligned with the company’s objectives? Hopefully, you work in a transparent and communicative company that openly shares business goals and objectives, but if you don’t, take the initiative to share what you can with your team. Next, start the process by working with each person on your team to create S.M.A.R.T. goals, ultimately improving their chances of success. Finally, help the employee understand how the completion of their individual goals ties into the overall success of the company.

Creating meaningful workplace goals is one way to encourage and nurture engagement in highly valued employees. Ensure you have a scheduled follow up plan to meet with each individual to provide encouragement, answer questions and remove obstacles if necessary. This step will help the employee feel valued and accountable to the process.

For the employee, there are numerous benefits to goal setting in the workplace. Engaged employees need challenges and development beyond their normal job duties, and goals are one way to achieve this. Goal setting can help career path opportunities, providing a future the employee can see and work toward. A leader being invested in their team’s success leads to trust in management and personal accountability, with the bonus effect of feeling personally connected to the company and department’s success.

For the manager, goal setting for yourself and your team assists with performance management. When it comes time to write team reviews and self-assessments, you’ll have plenty of material to use as examples. Engaged and happy employees are more productive and have high morale, and who wouldn’t want a team with those traits? You’re also encouraging your team to grow, develop and create a career path with the company. All these benefits lead to the biggest one of all- employee retention. The worst feeling is getting a resignation of a valued employee handed to you because they felt they had no future. You realize too late that you didn’t spend enough time with that individual to help them see how valued they were. While we can’t prevent attrition entirely, we can use the tools we have to create a workplace where employees grow, thrive and want to work.

Video File Formats – What is best?

One of the many powerful tools available for use in litigation is video. Video can be used to tell a story, depict a day in the life of someone, see the actual event happening, see a witness’s demeanor during examination, substitute for a witness who cannot attend the trial in person, impeachment and the list goes on. From the early days of 8mm film, followed by VHS tapes to today’s digital video, this tool is an essential part of almost every trial.

When an attorney used 8mm film, VHS tapes or LaserDisc, the setup and use was straightforward. Someone would hook up the player to a projector or TV and when they needed it, they pressed the play button. Pretty easy. Once digital video came into the mix, things started to get complicated. While you still hook up to a projector or TV and press the play button, digital video has some potential complications that can add a degree of difficulty you really don’t need at trial.

Digital Formats:
One of the most common digital formats and the focus of this blog is MPEG. MPEG is an acronym for Moving Pictures Experts Group. This group of authorities set the standards for audio/video compression and transmission of the digital files that everyone “abides” by. These standards set the compressed data format to a standard video compression specification. Creation of these digital files requires software known as a “video codec” that includes an encoder that can compress the video into a smaller file size and a decoder that will decompress the files for playback. More on video codecs later.
The original MPEG standard that was first developed and released in 1993 was called MPEG-1. This standard is still very much in use today and has continuously been recommended, especially in litigation, because MPEG-1 doesn’t require anything special to make it work. Using an MPEG-1 video compression algorithm, a 120-minute video would be compressed to about 1.2 GB. MPEG-2 is a standard that has been adopted by most of the movie producing companies because of the higher visual quality of video available during playback. The compression algorithm of MPEG-2 would take a 120-minute video and compress it to about 4GB – 8GB, but with a much higher quality than MPEG-1. With the eruption of the internet, MPEG-4 has steadily become the standard of choice thanks to its high level of compression while maintaining a high level of quality during playback. One of the many reasons that MPEG-4 has become popular is that its compression algorithm will compress a 120-minute video to about 300MB and maintain a very high quality. Choosing a video format essentially becomes a comparison between power, speed, storage capacity and fidelity or quality of the video and the requirements to play the video, i.e. video codecs.

Issues:
When it comes to working with digital video files, the number one culprit that causes issues is the video codec. If you have ever had audio play, but not the video or had some MPEG files play but not others, it is because the video codec is incompatible. Video playback software that came pre-installed or was installed after the fact may install their own codec and you can have multiple codecs installed on the same computer. When this happens there are potential conflicts and it is unknown what codec will be used with what video. The problem is consistently found when dealing with MPEG-2 video files and less of an issue with the other MPEG formats. There are several packages commercially available that can be used to determine what codecs are installed and what may or may not be conflicting.
A secondary issue when dealing with digital video that may be encountered is that not all digital video is created equally. Just because the format is MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 doesn’t mean that it is compliant or compatible with the player. One thing to verify is if the video was created using a constant bit rate or a variable bit rate. Another possible area to check is if within the file format, standards or “parts” have been included. For example, MPEG-4 Part 8, is video formatted using a method to carry the content on IP networks. Another would be MPEG-4 – H.264 or Part 10 that supports video resolutions up to 4096×2304 or 4K UHD. Making sure that your video codec supports constant or variable bit rates and parts or variants to a format will help alleviate some of the potential issues you may encounter.

Conclusion:
When it comes to working with video files and having issues, find out who/what created the video, if there are any non-standard or non-compliant issues and what video codecs are installed on the computer. Taking these steps to resolve any issues beforehand is critical to a smooth presentation and keeping your focus where it needs to be at trial.

A day in the life of Ipro Support

Ipro Tech’s Support team is more than just a group of people doing a job. We collaborate, encourage each other, and have fun along the way. Our support team is there when a client needs us whether for a complicated challenge or just to answer a quick question. Our work starts and ends with a simple phone call, but much goes on behind the scenes to deliver that level of service. Here’s a peek into the day to day reality and what it takes to get the job done.

As a team, we operate from 5 AM to 7 PM MST/AZ, so our shifts are sprinkled throughout the day to maintain coverage of all phone queues. Our team is made up of Technical Support Engineers, Escalation Engineers, and a select number of elite members, now referred to as the SWAT (Special Workflows and Technology) team.

While our team isn’t massive, we are sized well to handle the volumes, consistently maintaining around 2 dozen support representatives in the phone queue. The work climate is relaxed, but focused, with bouts of intense troubleshooting weaving through the open air of the department. Many times, clusters of team members huddle around a computer to help a peer troubleshoot a client’s challenge because we all want to learn and contribute our knowledge. Even the newest members of the Ipro Support group become well acquainted with the entire team after only a couple weeks due to the amount of interaction and collaboration. We each share our experiences to ensure the best outcome for our clients.

Everyone plays a part in keeping the team operating smoothly and we all wear many hats. There are hats for maintaining the test rack environments, moderating the Ipro Community forum, training team members to take on more responsibilities, creating useful software utilities, updating organizational tools, or just being an install guru or software expert. It is important to our team to ensure the customer is comfortable and knowledgeable about the software and always know we are there to assist with any level of question.

We arrive for work, hop into the phone queue, build comradery as we rely on each other, play with Sparky when she trots around, and enjoy Pizza Thursday and Popsicle Friday together. We work past scheduled hours, meet on weekends for extra training, and generally have a good time working in a call center that really doesn’t feel like a call center at all.

It takes someone special and talented to be a part of this team. It isn’t always easy, but we learn so much along the way and love sharing our knowledge with our customers. We are committed to the success of our customers and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure an awesome Ipro experience.

LegalTech New York 2018 Survey Results Demonstrate the Importance of Integration and Accessibility

New York

Tempe, Arizona— Ipro Tech, LLC, a worldwide leader in eDiscovery and trial solutions, announced today the results of survey findings conducted at LegalTech New York. According to responses from over one hundred legal industry professionals, over half answered that having an eDiscovery solution integrated with trial management software was vital. Additionally, nearly seventy percent of respondents want their cloud data accessible and mobile through a desktop application. Of those surveyed, approximately a third used trial presentation software for their last trial, while others used PowerPoint or other methods. The survey results demonstrate the importance of legal technology that continues to evolve with the industry needs.

Participants, from diverse geographic and industry backgrounds, were randomly selected and voluntarily participated. Consequently, the results support Ipro’s mission to unite eDiscovery and trial presentation technology in one streamlined location. The company recently introduced caSE Director 360, which integrates EclipseSE 360 with TrialDirector 360, along with other tools and utilities. It is the tech tool everyone needs. The platform adds to Ipro’s growing technology lineup, including cloud-based eDiscovery review with Eclipse.

About Ipro Tech, LLC Founded in 1989, Ipro is a global leader in the development of advanced eDiscovery and trial presentation software. With the introduction of caSE Director 360, Ipro provides solutions from discovery to trial. Ipro’s ADD Automated Digital Discovery® workflow platform helps customers organize, review, process and produce litigation data of vast sizes and complexity — more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. To learn more visit www.iprotech.com. To schedule a private demonstration, email sales@iprotech.com or go online to find a Partner today.

How Secure is your (Technology) World?

We’ve all seen the headlines of breach after breach of big corporations, such as Target and Yahoo. Perhaps the most alarming was the Equifax breach in late 2017 affecting 145M customers, the full impact of which is still yet to be determined. Rightfully so, cyber attacks like this keep our personal and professional security top of mind.

As legal industry professionals, the security of sensitive data is critical. We all know the confidentiality of document review for eDiscovery. A breach of information could potentially cause irreparable damage. Imagine hundreds of privileged documents for a high-profile client suddenly becoming public fodder (think, Sony’s epic email breach). Or the juicy details of a divorce proceeding, ahem, Tiger Woods, or even the strategy email exchanges between you and your client. Needless to say, these scenarios would produce a devastating outcome.

So, what can we do to protect data in this age of cyber hackers? One major consideration is to move to the Cloud. Cloud-based technology offers a variety of defenses against electronic breaches of information primarily by utilizing robust auditing and encryption for sensitive data. In the eDiscovery world, using a cloud-based review tool not only gives you flexibility and contributes to a more efficient review, but it provides the necessary security to ensure the data in your care is safe.

Now that 2018 is under way and the looming compliance deadline of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) approaches, the responsibility to ensure adequate privacy and security has never been more critical than now, especially if your needs require data-sharing with large corporations at risk for security breaches.

On a personal level, consider storing important and sensitive documents in the Cloud. Avoid the hacker hangout of public WiFi. Use complex password conventions. Be leery of unsolicited emails asking for private information or links to click. Use two-factor authentication whenever available. Keep your computer systems updated. Finally, monitor, monitor, monitor- your bank accounts, credit accounts, and credit reports. Vigilance, both personally and professionally, is the best defense against a cyber attack.

For more information about Ipro’s cloud-based technology, click here.

Mike Suchsland to act as Chairman of Leadership Committee of Ipro Tech

TEMPE, AZ., February 8, 2018 — The Board of Directors of Ipro Tech announced today that Kim Taylor has stepped down as CEO after a mutual decision between him and the Board. Ipro remains focused on providing customers with a seamless discovery process that is simple, affordable and automated. While conducting a search for a permanent CEO, Mike Suchsland has been appointed as Chairman of the Leadership Committee. Mike has been on the Board of Directors since it was purchased by ParkerGale Capital in 2017.

Suchsland has more than 20 years of executive experience leading businesses serving the legal and regulatory market. His prior roles include president of the legal business of Thomson Reuters and a board director of Epiq Systems. Most recently Suchsland has been active in the legal technology field as an advisor, board member and investor.

Suchsland will help lead the seasoned Executive Team and Ipro Management to maintain Ipro’s success as a worldwide leader in eDiscovery and trial solutions. “The breadth of experience and skill across the Ipro team is impressive,” said Suchsland. “Having added extensive trial capabilities in 2017 via acquisition and completed integration of the companies last year, we are optimistic about the products that will become fully available in 2018 and beyond.”

“We have a fantastic team, great products and huge momentum coming off of a record LegalTech for Ipro. We’re excited about what 2018 will bring for the company,” said Suchsland.

ABOUT IPRO TECH, LLC

Founded in 1989, Ipro is a global leader in the development of advanced eDiscovery and trial presentation software. With the introduction of caSE Director 360, Ipro provides solutions from discovery to trial. Ipro’s ADD Automated Digital Discovery® workflow platform helps customers organize, review, process and produce litigation data of vast sizes and complexity — more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. For more information on Ipro, visit www.iprotech.com.

Ipro Announces Details for Innovations 2018

Tempe, Arizona — Ipro Tech, LLC, a worldwide leader in eDiscovery and trial solutions, announced today the return of its annual Ipro Innovations conference. The popular event is free to attend and runs April 30 through May 2 at Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Ipro Innovations 2018 is a 2.5-day event featuring a host of workshops and discussions designed to obtain maximum benefit from Ipro technology. This year, attendees will have hands-on access to the company’s latest addition, the caSE Director 360 suite, which includes TrialDirector 360 and EclipseSE 360, along with learning about enhancements to Eclipse and the Automated Digital Discovery (ADD) platform. caSE Director 360 provides a common interface and data sharing solution that brings home Ipro’s One Team, One Platform vision. Whether you’re using the web or desktop, Ipro has you covered from discovery to trial.

“This year’s Innovations conference showcases our dedication to making simple, automated, and affordable eDiscovery the norm, and with the addition of our latest innovations, we’re delivering great desktop and cloud technology,” Ipro CEO, Kim Taylor, said. “Innovations 2018 is not to be missed.”

As part of the conference, Ipro offers over 70 breakout sessions. Each session combines tips and techniques attendees need to tackle even the toughest cases. The company also welcomes back the Sedona Conference track offering various advanced sessions that meet Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MLCE) accreditation.

Talking Stick Resort is one of Arizona’s premier destinations with golf courses, a spa, live entertainment and a casino. In addition to the resort’s amenities, Ipro Innovations 2018 offers cocktail receptions, the ever-popular Salsa Challenge, the return of the Knowledge Bowl, opening night at Top Golf and connecting with industry peers. Ipro Innovations 2018 conference is education, experience, technology and fun.

About Ipro Tech, LLC Founded in 1989, Ipro is a global leader in the development of advanced eDiscovery software solutions. Ipro’s ADD Automated Digital Discovery® workflow platform helps customers organize, review, process and produce litigation data of vast sizes and complexity — more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. With the addition of the industry leader in trial presentation, TrialDirector, Ipro provides solutions from discovery to trial. To learn more visit www.iprotech.com. To schedule a private demonstration, email sales@iprotech.com or go online to find a Partner today.

Ipro’s Year in Review: 2017

Tempe, Arizona — Ipro Tech, LLC, a worldwide leader in eDiscovery and trial solutions, announced today its year in review. While 2016 brought unprecedented growth and innovation, Ipro pushed to even greater heights in 2017.

If Ipro had a phrase of the year, “Building for the future” would be it. Ipro dedicated extensive resources toward laying the groundwork for the next generation of its platforms. The company added new features to its Automated Digital Discovery (ADD) platform, including a state of the art user interface (UI), simplified Search and Filtering functionality, the implementation of a proprietary analytics engine and a new browser agnostic review interface. In April came news of the substantial investment from ParkerGale Capital, a technology private equity firm based in Chicago. More news came in August, when Ipro announced the acquisition of inData, the creator and market leader of trial presentation software, TrialDirector. Since then, the company quickly pressed forward to revolutionize the industry by integrating its stellar eDiscovery solutions with cutting-edge trial presentation and will unveil their premier collaboration, caSE Director 360, at LegalTech New York in late January 2018.

The company also experienced substantial internal growth in 2017, including doubling its Development Team, implementing new testing management and automation and continuing to add Professional Services Consultants and Business Development Managers throughout the country.

“It was a banner year for us,” Ipro CEO, Kim Taylor said. “The partnership with ParkerGale gave us the resources to continue on with our vision while improving performance, stability, workflow, integration and ease of use in one seamless integrated platform. Keep your eyes on us.”

About Ipro Tech, LLC Founded in 1989, Ipro is a global leader in the development of advanced eDiscovery and trial presentation software. With the introduction of caSE Director 360, Ipro provides solutions from discovery to trial. Ipro’s ADD Automated Digital Discovery® workflow platform helps customers organize, review, process and produce litigation data of vast sizes and complexity — more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. To learn more visit www.iprotech.com. To schedule a private demonstration, email sales@iprotech.com or go online to find a Partner today.

Ipro Announces Enhanced Features for Automated Digital Discovery

Ipro Cloud

Tempe, Arizona — Ipro Tech, LLC, a worldwide leader in eDiscovery and trial solutions, announced today enhanced features for its flagship cloud technology platform, Automated Digital Discovery (ADD). With best in breed functionality and standard industry processing, it’s never been easier for law firms and service bureaus alike to leverage the power of the cloud. ADD continues to deliver Ipro’s promise of simple, automated and affordable eDiscovery.

Features include a new user interface to apply security and enhanced security for Self-Service, Reports and ADD Review. Eclipse has improved performance with increased search speeds, improved handling of Lotus Notes DXL forms, faster production builds and searchable PDFs. Processing enhancements include image building while your data streams, metadata extraction from emails converted to PDF, an option to disable all file extraction during streaming discovery and the ability to generate an overlay for an entire export series.

Another standout feature of ADD is its scalability. If you find you need more capacity, just ramp up your environment to meet your deadline and benefit from Ipro’s state of the art data center. From all-inclusive packages to pay as you go, Ipro has a flexible pricing model to meet your case needs. ADD also features a variety of powerful tools from advanced culling, email threading, near duplication identification, visual searching and a new analytics engine powered by Clustify. Leveraging cloud technology, with better distribution of tasks and a smaller footprint, ADD allows you to manage even your biggest cases with ease.

The company will offer product demos at LegalTech New York January 30 – February 1. Contact your sales rep or email sales@iprotech.com today to schedule a private demonstration. Visit Ipro booths 302 or 305 at LegalTech New York.

About Ipro Tech, LLC Founded in 1989, Ipro is a global leader in the development of advanced eDiscovery and trial presentation software. With the introduction of caSE Director 360, Ipro provides solutions from discovery to trial. Ipro’s ADD Automated Digital Discovery® workflow platform helps customers organize, review, process and produce litigation data of vast sizes and complexity — more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before. To learn more visit www.iprotech.com. To schedule a private demonstration, email sales@iprotech.com or go online to find a Partner today.