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Deal Radar 2009: PSS Systems

Posted on Tuesday, Oct 6th 2009

Today’s Deal Radar focuses on the intersection of the law, compliance, and technology. In 2003, Deidre Paknad predicted that companies would have to change their practices for managing litigation due to the increase in electronic data and founded PSS systems. She spent a year interviewing practitioners and researching the space to develop Atlas, a software suite designed to help companies manage the internal aspects of electronic discovery and defensible disposal.

In 2006, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) were changed to reflect the growing set of issues associated with electronic data and discovery. Paknad had recognized this problem prior to these changes, and PSS Systems launched commercial applications for legal holds, collections, and retention management in 2004.

The Mountain View, California-based company offers information governance and electronic discovery solutions built on a single enterprise governance map that links robust discovery and defensible disposal. Users can initiate legal holds, have them automatically communicated to disparate repositories, create collection plans, provide IT with collection workflow management and ultimately enable the collection and culling of data in preparation for litigation. PSS designs its Atlas software to help companies achieve both discovery and defensible disposal. The PSS business model includes standard enterprise software license sales model coupled with professional services.

The company’s products include Atlas Suite for the Legal Department, which reduces legal risk, discovery, and data management costs; Atlas Suite for the IT Department, which stores less data and simplifies legal compliance; Atlas Suite for the Records Management Department, a retention management solution with legally defensible data and cost reduction capabilities; and Atlas Suite for the Finance Department, which predicts and controls discovery costs. The company feels that though competitors have tackled pieces of the information governance space, customers don’t get the full benefit of information governance until they are able to link retention and discovery programs built on a shared enterprise governance map.

PSS estimates the e-discovery market to be between $4.8 billion and $20 billion in 2011 depending on the definition and the source. Its top market segments include corporate legal, IT, records, and business users. The Atlas software suite is used by leading global companies, including five of the Fortune 10 and major oil, pharmaceutical, financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare companies. Customers also include Abbott, Amgen, BASF, BP, Citigroup, ConocoPhillips, First Data, GE, Merrill Lynch, Pfizer, Travelers, and Williams.

Though the company did not disclose the total amount of money it has raised thus far, it mentioned that it is well funded, with FTV Capital adding $18 million in capital in PSS’s most recent round in 2008. PSS said that it has substantial cash on hand and no long-term debt. The company plans to be profitable and cash flow positive in the next year.

Suggested Reading:
*Deal Radar 2008: iForem

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This segment is a part in the series : Deal Radar 2009


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