Ricoh eDiscovery

5 Questions With... Chris Smith of Relativity

Posted by Marketing |4 minute read

Nov 11, 2020 10:28:37 AM

5 Questions with... Chris Smith final

Relativity, a leader in the Gartner's Magic Quadrant for eDiscovery Software and AI technology like Active Learning™, is a full-featured eDiscovery platform with diverse coding options, flexible workflow capabilities, a complete suite of text and visual data analysis. Their eDiscovery platform is used by more than 13,000 organizations around the world to manage large volumes of data and quickly identify key issues during litigation, internal investigations and compliance operations with their SaaS platform RelativityOne and Relativity Trace.

We recently spoke with Chris Smith, Senior Product Manager, about his role in leading Relativity’s new Automated Workflows application: how it works, where it’s headed and what our Relativity users can look forward to.

1. Tell us about how you got to where you are now.

I didn’t always work in eDiscovery. In fact, I began my career at a startup that focused on hospitality analytics. We would collect data from hotels and analyze how the online booking process went from the customer’s perspective. We’d then use this data to identify key challenges and potential opportunities. It was a very small company in a niche market which allowed me to wear a lot of different hats. One of the hats that I’ve really held onto is product management.

From this experience, moving to Relativity in 2016 was a natural fit because I was able to use those analytical skills to help drive the platform’s data collection framework. In my current role, I collect feedback from our customers to identify how we can continue to improve. I’m always looking to answer, “What value we can provide so this is a no-brainer for you to use?”

2. What are the biggest challenges for your clients?

The biggest challenge today is balance. With so much complexity in eDiscovery, there’s a need to make things simple for the end user. People need to be able to log in, do their jobs and — most importantly — be able to do them efficiently. At Relativity, this is a challenge we’re actively trying to overcome by offering a powerful yet simplistic solution.

3. What technology or solution excites you the most about the future?

Naturally, as the Senior Product Manager for the application, I do have to say Automated Workflows really excites me. The idea of automating repetitive administrative tasks is a huge opportunity.

This technology has been years in the making, and we’re really excited for our community to benefit from the application. At present, we’re focused on automating index building and search term reports. Users can now easily load this solution into their workspace from the application library. Once they set up the workflow, all they have to do is import their documents and Relativity will take care of the indexing.

In the future, I see automation having an impact across a variety of applications and processes. I’m really excited about what’s on the roadmap. It won’t just be restricted to review; automation can also work as a communication piece between all the different areas of the eDiscovery process. For example, you could go from issuing a legal hold on a custodian to automatically collecting and processing the data, then receiving an email to let you know when it’s ready for review. All these different areas of Relativity will be able to communicate with each other as opposed to being siloed.

4. What's next for you in supporting the success of the industry?

Since Automated Workflows are so new, I have a feeling that I’ll be working on this for quite some time — especially because there’s so much potential. When it comes to measuring success, I look for “time-to-value.” Are we going to add a capability that adds time back to your day? To me, that is the ultimate value of Automated Workflows.

5. What advice would you have for someone working in the field?

To those who are Relativity users, I encourage you to be vocal. We want to hear from you! We’re extremely data-driven, which means the more feedback we receive the better solution can be. Good feedback is great, but identifying challenges is just as important. It helps us from the product management side to develop a solution that truly makes the job easier.

While we drive innovation, we are always learning from our customers. Ask questions. When in doubt, ask for help. Always try to look for solutions that speed up the process, not slow it down.


Thank you, Chris, for taking the time to speak with us! Ricoh eDiscovery is proud to offer RelativityOne with its new Automated Workflows application. This promising solution will help users eliminate tedious tasks and gain efficiencies throughout each project.

Whether it’s litigation, information governance, a government request or internal investigation, RelativityOne by Ricoh gives you the tools you need to tackle any challenge — big or small.


  • Affordable, agile and customizable deployment options— scale up and down depending on your needs.
  • Ability to manage your own data, users, and processing as required.
  • Full customized support by the largest, most certified industry-leading team in Canada.
  • RelativityOne enhancements including contract analysis, compliance, review services and more.

Click here to learn how you can get started with RelativityOne by Ricoh today.

Topics: Relativity, 5 Questions With...


Tell Us What You Think.