It’s certainly been an exciting year for the world of Virtual Data Rooms, Legal Technology and beyond. Artificial Intelligence has been the phrase that emerges time and time again across networking events, conferences, blogs and beyond, in-tandem with the ever-strengthening Blockchain, a technology that’s become popular so recently that I just had to add it into my computer’s spellcheck dictionary!
2017 – A year of success
It is with great pleasure that I introduce Andrew to our team. At the time of writing this, Andrew will be celebrating his 2 month anniversary with us, and has been nothing short of exceptional with his ability to interact with both existing clients and new leads, in an unintrusive, friendly manner that encompasses exactly what Ruby Datum is about, a great user experience.
As we enter 2018 with an ever-strengthening market presence, Andrew will be paramount to the success of the business and I have every bit of confidence in his abilities to solidify Ruby Datum as the market leader in both the Virtual Data Room world and beyond.
Quantuma / King & Wood Mallesons (KWM)
We’ve had such an incredible year, and will soon be celebrating the 1 year anniversary of the project that propelled Ruby Datum into the limelight, when we partnered with Insolvency Practitioners, Quantuma, when King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) European arm filed for administration on 17th January 2017. The collapse was one of the biggest in the UK legal market and presented a number of challenges for the administrators. One of these concerned the control, extraction and transfer of a massive volume of valuable client data. With over 30 Terabytes of data to be exported and transferred to 24 separate law firms, this was a major exercise and we are pleased to say that the operation executed flawlessly, with our team and systems scaling to accommodate the large quantity of data with ease.
We have been able to roll out new features every 2-3 weeks and continue to do so, based on the feedback from our users. Thanks to an enthusiastic and proactive development team, we have a continuous integration process that allows us to continue rolling out such features with zero interruption, and allows us to maintain our 100% uptime guarantee. You can find out more information on some of the new features here and here.
What’s next? A 2018 ‘sneak peek’
Firstly, more responsible AI is coming – see below!
Security, security, security
A topic that will send most people into a state of boredom, but one we value very importantly. Security and user experience are at the heart of everything we do, and we are already passing our tests with flying colours, thanks to the Crest accredited companies that scan and manually check for vulnerabilities in our systems, and our incredible server team that have managed to assist us in providing resilience at every stage of the user journey. I discovered the other day that we even have electromagnetic pulse EMP protection…so you know, things are pretty secure down there in The Bunker!
The weakest link in the journey of data before, throughout and beyond our systems sits with the user. We’ve heard all sorts of stories, from teams using basic file sharing services that have been known to suffer data breaches, to un-encrypted e-mail as a way to send highly secure and confidential information – they all suffer from a hacking attempt known as “social engineering”. 2018 will see us introduce our user/security education programme, and we hope to work with our clients on improving the way their teams work with data.
We will also be adding support for Fido U2F keys, allowing users to login with a ‘two-step verification’ method that utilises a USB key which is required to login. This new system is already supported by the likes of Facebook/Google and we expect to see it in widespread adoption by the end of the year.
Uses beyond just a ‘Virtual Data Room for Mergers & Acquisitions’
It’s been interesting to see how Ruby Datum has been used by clients beyond just a Virtual Data Room. Thanks to some of the features, including the advanced search algorithms, document previews, granular user permissions, watermarking and more, we have seen Law Firms (and other companies) start to use Ruby Datum for their every day document needs, to interact with clients.
For this reason, we will carefully be looking at ways to increase the usefulness of Ruby Datum for such uses, but without interrupting the core offerings (each feature can add ‘clutter’ to the user experience, and we will tread very, very carefully with our approach).
E-signatures, as well as new ‘smart inbox’ and ‘smart tasks’ features (we can’t elaborate more just yet, but it is a unique, innovative approach to every day document management) will just be a starting point.
With great Artificial Intelligence comes great responsibility
This will be the only time I mention Artificial Intelligence in this post, as it’s a subject that I feel is at the heart of most discussions in the technology department of Law Firms around the world – it would be rude to ignore it, but ignorant to embrace it with such a mindless approach that we send lawyers a bunch of tech and say “hey, here’s some machine learning software – go use it!”
I’m starting to digress, so I’ll try to bring things back on track. We aim to incorporate more machine learning into our software, but can guarantee we will stick to the following principles:
- We will not share data across data rooms. We feel that depersonalising data is not 100% guaranteed (despite what others may say!), and this carries an increased risk of data breaches.
- We will not expect you to start “teaching the system” or “learn a new skill” – we feel that AI works best when it improves the user experience, without the user having to invest time up front.
With this in mind, we will continue to improve Ruby Datum and the Virtual Data Room experience by incorporating more aspects of Artificial Intelligence where we can, including automatic categorisation of documents and a much more accurate search experience (already, we’ve been told that finding documents through our search facility is the best out there!)
Happy new year
With so much on the horizon, I’ve tried to condense things in this post as much as possible!
The Ruby Datum team would love to wish everyone a happy new year, and we look forward to continue disrupting the Virtual Data Room market and beyond in 2018, and are excited to form many more exciting, prosperous relationships.