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eDiscovery firm BIA up and running in Rochester

By: Mike Murphy//September 11, 2012

eDiscovery firm BIA up and running in Rochester

By: Mike Murphy//September 11, 2012

Susan G. Kavanagh, left, regional account manager with electronic discovery collection firm BIA Inc., meets with company President Brian E. Schrader during his visit to the new Rochester office. Mike Murphy

A gas-and-oil industry client needed to collect data from a rig based off the coast of Nigeria, a scenario fraught with potential roadblocks that even the most geographically challenged could see lie ahead.

Traditionally, a client would have had to explore visas for workers, and fly to the country. Factor in a helicopter to fly the people to the rig, where data collection could have taken place.

That’s just the logistics, and doesn’t even figure in the cost, time to get the work done and other headaches, according to attorney Brian E. Schrader, president of New York City-based Business Intelligence Associates Inc.

“A couple of hours later, it was done,” Schrader said Tuesday, from the company’s recently opened branch office on Clinton Square.

The process was hurried along through its proprietary cloud-based software, which was developed after 10 years of in-house use. As long as long as there is an Internet connection, customers are able to access information through a browser.

“You can run a collection from the beach,” said Susan G. Kavanagh, regional account manager.

The local office, which opened last month, is one of six in the country for the electronic discovery data collection firm. The new office will allow for the expansion of service in upstate New York and the surrounding regions.

The ultimate goal is to hire 90 employees here, but the company is one to make moves conservatively, Schrader said.

For instance, Kavanagh, who also serves as president-elect of the board of directors of Digital Rochester, worked since July 2011 from a home office.

Schrader won’t disclose sales figures for the company, or for the regional office, but did say an approximate 800 percent increase in sales locally cinched the decision to open here.

“Rochester is a very high-profile commercial litigation town,” Kavanagh said. “There is good opportunity for growth and business development in the eDiscovery world.”

The company was founded in 2002 by Schrader, several lawyers and others with legal backgrounds who early on were working in the field as advances in technology played a larger role in data collection, Schrader said.

In other words, “When we saw technology go crazy,” Schrader said.

The company opened a branch office in Seattle five years after its founding, with locations in San Francisco, Southwest Michigan and Washington, D.C., following soon after.

And because it’s not just desktops and email anymore, services have been growing right along with the technology, with data collection expanding to include social media.

“It’s like a never-ending, limitless world where data might be,” Schrader said. “It’s not just data collection, but identifying custodians and where they store data.”

And if they can have a little fun helping clients with their needs, so be it. The stuffed monkeys perched throughout the new office also supply a message for local businesses and law firms.

“BIA is here to get the eDiscovery monkey off your back,” Kavanagh said. “We want to help Rochester and upstate gain an awareness of options for eDiscovery.”

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