iControl ESI provides electronic discovery solutions to companies. iControl ESI’s “Recenseo” is a proprietary web-based document management and review repository designed for contract attorneys and paralegals in the United States. It helps lawyers and law firms organize and sort through millions of text documents to find relevant and producible information. The software is a powerful utility built on top of a highly intuitive, secure and stable Java-based infrastructure that is easy to access from virtually anywhere. In addition, it offers ENVIZE which is a middleware that provides intelligence to eDiscovery -tools. As an internal tool, it comes coupled with Recenseo, providing an advantage however it may be fairly generic. Envize provides both supervised and unsupervised learning through classification and clustering. Basically, it employs machine learning technology to offer an industry-changing predictive coding solution. ENVIZE minimizes the time and effort required for stable document classification, and provides document review leaders with powerful workflow flexibility.
Initially, as an offshore team, DSi was given a set of requirements that needed to be completed within an estimated time frame. Over time as the team working on Recenseo demonstrated their proficiency, and trust between the two companies grew, DSi started making contributions to the decision making process.
The team follows an agile development method which enables them to have effective communication with the client allowing for rapid change. The work is divided sprint wise and each sprint involves both the onshore and offshore team of cross-functional employees working together in all planning, analysis, design, coding, and testing. There is full transparency between the teams, therefore when feedback is given it is easier to adapt to any change very quickly. Regular meetings with the clients enable the team to be updated on each other's progress and discuss their team's sprint goal, what they intend to do to reach towards the goal, and any roadblocks or impediments they can see to the goal.
Initially the documentation is prepared by the onshore analysts. The detailed documentation is given on Confluence, a product by Atlassian, where meeting notes, project plans, product requirements are given. Based on those the team leads from both ends take charge and divide the tasks into achievable sprints. The tasks are written down on cards and against each card a test case is written. This is done on Jira, another product developed by Atlassian. Along with the tasks on each card the test cases are written down as well. The development is completed by the developers who the task was assigned to. The entire offshore team conducts bi-weekly meetings to give updates on their progress. Once the development is complete the testing phase starts. After every card has been tested and approved and all the bug fixes are completed, the first testing phase takes place. Then the two SQA engineers from both the onshore and offshore teams conduct a weekly meeting to finalize everything before the code deployment.
The distance between the teams and their time zone difference could have been a major barrier in the development process but this has been mitigated through constant communication over various web services for internal private online chat and instant messaging.
Besides the work environment and the cooperative behavior there are a lot of technological aspects that were challenging and had a major impact on keeping the developers motivated. The machine learning algorithms based product ENVIZE is a major enhancement and developers needed to work with interesting tools such as Python 2.7, Scikit-Learn, Gensim and NLTK. This addition to Recenseo meant a lot of time and cost savings especially for cases dealing with millions of documents. Specific tools and techniques are used where all the requirement documents, meeting updates and progress reports are kept. Peer review helps to keep all the team members to be in a synchronized and systematic workflow. The continuous integration and code factoring are other techniques used to improve quality and enhance the product development agility.
The cooperation between both the teams ensured that the developers of DSi are dedicated enough to help out during moments of crisis. During a software expo held in New York iControl ESI needed to put up a demo in a short period of time. At this time DSI stood beside them and worked during weekends in order to put in the required amount of work and together they were able to pull off a nearly impossible task. This has only been possible as the onshore team has given full flexibility to DSi and ensured that the team is appreciated appropriately.
All the positive feedback from the client side has boosted up the developers' confidence and motivated them to work with much more dedication. A few words that the clients have shared with us are given below.
“Dynamic Solution innovators (DSi) has been a tremendous contributor to the success of our eDiscovery product development process. The enhancements they made to our pre-existing and new products have helped us genuinely take those products to a new level.
Our clients regularly deal with millions of files, often in a search for just a few hundred key documents. The projects we have executed, thanks in great part to DSi’s considerable contributions to planning, development, and implementation, give our products features that apply sophisticated machine-learning to the clustering and classification of documents. These features help our clients find the data they are looking for much more efficiently.
We have asked DSi to work with a wide variety of technologies that include Java, Spring Boot, Spring Security, Spring Batch, Python, Selenium, Python, and others. They have always proven both willing and capable.
DSi takes our partnership seriously. They have worked with honesty, integrity, and dedication, in developing our long-term partnership. Furthermore, the quality of their work has consistently exceeded our expectations. I highly recommend them and any resource that they offer.”
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