Below is an article originally written by Adrienne Teeley at Built In Chicago, and published on December 19, 2019. This article is about PowerToFly Partner Relativity. Go to Relativity's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Katie Connor stepped into a client meeting with a hunch.
The senior account executive at Relativity was at a large company's legal department to give a demonstration of one of Relativity's products, Legal Hold, which automates the legal hold process for users. She'd spent a good bit of time with this client getting to know their business needs and current roadblocks and, in addition to Legal Hold, suggested the full stack of RelativityOne's products, which could drastically improve the legal department's workflow and provide more accurate data than what they were currently using.
Shortly after the meeting concluded, the client responded that they still wanted to buy Legal Hold — in addition to the entire RelativityOne full stack of products.
Connor didn't rely on sales tricks to get the upsell: She was able to draw on the knowledge she'd gained from months of close communication with the client in order to accurately assess the organization's pain points, then offer solutions that would truly benefit them.
This a-ha moment for a Relativity client wasn't the first (or the last time) this has happened. Connor and her fellow team members are a part of the fastest-growing area of go-to-market focus at Relativity — and they're still growing and hiring. Together, they've been working on developing new, direct commercial relationships with the largest companies in the world. So, being able to master Relativity's sales cycle and advise clients throughout all steps of the process, has been vital to getting clients what they need.
Where some might see obstacles in the process, Relativity's sales team sees benefits.
Senior Account Executive
"Within the next few years, I'm planning to bring in some top new corporations and work even closer with our development partner community and clients. I'm also excited to learn from all the new talent joining Relativity from other top companies across all of our departments."
Senior Account Executive
"We are all able to reach out to each other for ideas and support when needed, which is one of the things I really like about Relativity's culture. We are invested in each other's success as well as our own."
Senior Account Executive
"It's exciting to bring in people from a number of different backgrounds and have all of us learn how to work together to best serve our customers."
No such thing as a 'typical client'
In order to get a full picture of what products would work best for their clients, account executives at Relativity set up discovery meetings, demonstrate the software and talk candidly about the path to implementation.
"Relativity's sale cycle is very detailed-oriented. We look at our clients as partners and really work to understand their needs, wish lists and expectations," Connor said.
The relationship between clients and account executives must be so collaborative in part because the client-type varies widely, said Ryan Edwards, a senior account executive at Relativity. Therefore, the work the software can assist with can be applied to many different industries.
"I'm working with interesting people at small and large, global corporations across manufacturing, biotech, pharma, banking and energy," Edwards said. "I could have had a demo with a financial services and insurance company in New York yesterday, a pitch to an energy company in Houston today and a discovery call with a software company in San Francisco tomorrow."
What does the client care about?
Once a potential client is in talks with Relativity, the first task at hand is to analyze the current solutions they use. From there, the account executives will lay out a roadmap for how RelativityOne products can tackle once-daunting tasks.
"We understand there is a different blueprint for every customer," Connor said. "We're strategic to our approach in selling RelativityOne, and we integrate the solution with the needs of the customer."
Edwards and Connor agreed that due to the diversity in the types of companies that reps work with, being able to solve pain points keeps sales interesting at all stages of the process.
"What's exciting for me is the opportunity to learn what people care about, and how RelativityOne can be meaningful on a personal level," Edwards said. "Will it give the client more time outside of work to spend with their family? Will it help them to level-up their skills and prepare for their next role?"
Letting the numbers speak
After this point, the client generally knows what the product can do — but what they don't know is how it can work for them specifically.
"During the consideration process, the customer will want to test the software, speak with our product, solutions and security teams, and have more detailed conversations around on-boarding and support," Connor said. "I do find clients spending quite a bit of time evaluating RelativityOne and its capabilities."
With any addition to a company's workflow, the decision to buy new software and change up operations isn't one any company makes lightly.
"One of the best things I have found to show customers during this stage is the large, robust community of Relativity users and experts that are out there in the world," said Todd Tucker, a senior account executive at Relativity. "It's the biggest advantage of going with a market leader and is a real strength to our customers."
By the time the client signs a contract, an account executive could have already worked with them for several months, becoming a resource and a support system. "In many cases, if not all, you become a trusted advisor to clients," Edwards said. "I believe the innovations that Relativity drives into the e-discovery industry really matter, and I feel that by selling RelativityOne, I can have a real impact on my corporate clients."
After the sale
When Connor left that meeting having just sold the RelativityOne full stack to her clients, it was a personal win, but it was also a win for her client — and their clients as well. With their new software, the time they'd save on combing through documents would be a fraction of what they were used to.
The results speak for themselves: According to Relativity, one of its clients used its software to pinpoint a single Chinese character within hundreds of thousands of WeChat messages, unraveling a two-year embezzlement scheme in a matter of days. Another client, facing growing data volumes, used Relativity to cut processing time by 50 percent. If these figures seem borderline absurd, consider that some of these companies need to sort through literally millions of documents at a time.
In some ways, that's another area where RelativityOne is doing the heavy lifting and allowing account executives to get back to what really matters: forming connections and building a network of support that the client will always have access to.Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Photography by Allison Williams. Ryan Edwards' photo provided by Relativity.
"This Chicago tech company hired its 1,000th employee earlier this year. Now, Relativity is set to hire 200 more in 2020."
Below is a Chicago Tribune article originally written by Ally Marotti, a Business Reporter at the Tribune, and published on November 18, 2019. This article is about PowerToFly Partner Relativity. Go to Relativity's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Relativity, a Chicago-based software company that has hired about 200 people this year, plans to bring roughly 200 more employees on board in 2020, many of them software engineers.
More than half of the company's 1,100 employees are tech workers and part of Relativity's product and engineering group, CEO Mike Gamson said. The company has about 900 workers in its Chicago headquarters.
"Sometimes you find there are folks who believe you can't find all the engineers you want in Chicago," he said. "We've had really good luck with Chicago being our largest engineering office."
Relativity makes software that legal professionals use to organize data. Gamson said the company's growth is coming as the legal tech industry expands. Relativity also released its first cloud product about two years ago, which allows the company to do more for more customers, he said. Additional employees will help with that transition.
Besides tech employees, Relativity also is looking to hire people for sales, marketing and customer support teams, among others, Gamson said.
Gamson, formerly a senior vice president at LinkedIn, is one of the new employees that joined Relativity this year, taking the helm of the 15-year-old company from founder Andrew Sieja.
Gamson announced the growth plans Monday at the company's Loop headquarters. Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined him and announced that more than 2,000 jobs will be added at Chicago tech companies collectively in 2019 and 2020.
"I want Chicago's tech community to hear me on this issue: We see you as vital and essential partners in Chicago's future," Lightfoot said. "We are eager, ready, willing and able to work with our tech community to be successful."
Relativity's count of 400 new positions in those two years is the highest among the 15 tech companies that participated in Monday's announcement. Others include Cameo, which lets users buy personalized video shoutouts from celebrities, parking platform SpotHero and cannabis marketing platform Fyllo.
Below is an article originally published on the 1871 Blog on August 15, 2019. This article is about the CEO of PowerToFly Partner Relativity. Go to Relativity's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
12th Annual Momentum Awards to Recognize Relativity CEO and LinkedIn Alumnus as Entrepreneurial Champion
CHICAGO (August 8, 2019) -- 1871 and The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) announced today that Mike Gamson, CEO of Relativity and the former SVP of Global Solutions at LinkedIn, will receive the Entrepreneurial Champion Award for his impact on Chicago's founder community at the 12th Annual Momentum Awards.
"There's a vibrant tech community here in Chicago, and it's humbling to be recognized for this award among so many great tech leaders and champions in the city," said Mike Gamson, CEO of Relativity. "I'm excited to continue to work with 1871 and the entire community to make Chicago an inviting, exciting, and inclusive place to work – where innovative, mission-driven organizations like Relativity can thrive."
As LinkedIn's first Chicago employee, Gamson was instrumental in founding and growing Chicago's LinkedIn office and has supported numerous companies in the city and its surrounding areas as an angel investor, mentor, board member, and advisor. Gamson has spent a significant amount of time advocating for founders both within 1871 and Chicago's greater tech ecosystem.
In his new role as CEO of global legal technology company Relativity, Gamson partners closely with Founder and Executive Chairman Andrew Sieja to help Relativity continue fulfilling its mission for its customers: organize data, discover the truth, and act on it.
The Entrepreneurial Champion Award is given to an entrepreneur to recognize their individual dedication to the Chicago tech community through mentorship, civic leadership, and economic contributions. Past recipients of the Entrepreneurial Champion Award include Linda Darragh of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Ellen Rudnick of the Polsky Center at the University of Chicago, and former CEC Board Chairman Jim O'Connor, Jr.
"I can't imagine a better recipient for this year's Entrepreneurial Champion Award than Mike Gamson," said 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler. "He's transformed the futures of many founders here at 1871 and in the Chicagoland area. I'm proud to recognize him as a champion not only because of his impact on the local startup community, but also because he personifies what it means to be an entrepreneur: collaborative, passionate, and committed to innovation."
In addition to the Entrepreneurial Champion Award, several other honors will be presented at the 12th Annual Momentum Awards on September 19, including the Corporate Champion Award, Chicagoness Award, Momentum Rising Star Award (of which Relativity is a prior winner), and the Momentum Award. The event will be attended by Chicago's best and brightest tech innovators, corporate leaders and civic supporters. It is the largest gathering of the tech community annually and the primary fundraiser for the CEC, which supports the activities and operations of 1871.
At Relativity, we make software to help users organize data, discover the truth, and act on it. Our e-discovery 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 projects. Relativity has over 160,000 active users in 40+ countries from organizations including the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 70 Fortune 100 companies, and 199 of the Am Law 200. Relativity's cloud solution, RelativityOne, offers all the functionality of Relativity in a secure and comprehensive SaaS product. Relativity has been named one of Chicago's Top Workplaces by the Chicago Tribune for seven consecutive years. Please contact Relativity or visit our website for more information.
1871 is a not-for-profit organization that exists to inspire, equip, and support founders to build great businesses. It is the #1 ranked university-affiliated business incubator in the world, and the home of ~500 high-growth technology startups and ~1,500 members supported by an entire ecosystem focused on accelerating their growth and creating jobs in the Chicagoland area. Located in a 140,000 square-foot space in The Merchandise Mart, 1871 has 350 current mentors available to its members, as well as more than 100 partner corporations, universities, education programs, accelerators, venture funds and other organizations that make its extensive matrix of resources possible. Visit www.1871.com/momentum for more information.
Below is an article originally written by Alton Zenon III at Built In Chicago, and published on September 10, 2019. This part of the article is about PowerToFly Partner Relativity. Go to Relativity's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
When do you know that you've found your calling? For Relativity's Senior Application Administrator Mary Tagler, it was when she realized she not only loved the work, but was also good at it.
While not every technologist's path to finding their dream career is linear, many experience an epiphany when they find a company and role they're passionate about. We spoke with three women in Chicago about how they found their way to tech — and when they knew it was exactly where they should be.
What started out as lending a hand in a short-term project turned into a brand new career for Senior Application Administrator Mary Tagler at e-discovery company Relativity. She found her lane after leaving life in the finance world — a jump she said was possible only due to the opportunity present within the tech industry.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in tech?
I didn't pursue a career in tech so much as it was a happy accident. After spending the first part of my career as a financial planner, I moved away from the client-side of the business and helped lead the effort to enhance the firm's technology platform. When we implemented Salesforce, we needed someone to manage the instance — I stepped up, thinking it would be temporary. I quickly realized I not only loved the work, but I was also good at it. Not having a traditional tech background did make me feel like an imposter at first, but those feelings eventually faded.
Building things is the most enjoyable part of my job.
What do you love most about your tech career, and what aspects of your job really make you light up?
I love the flexibility a career in tech has afforded me. I can work across virtually any industry, which allowed me to jump from financial services to legal tech — there aren't a lot of professions that allow for that. That flexibility also allows me to collaborate with others across industries, time zones and continents, whether it be problem-solving, troubleshooting or mentoring.
Building things is the most enjoyable part of my job. I love the challenge of designing a solution that solves a problem or creates efficiency, whether that be a business case or personal project.
Below is an article originally written by Alton Zenon III at Built In Chicago, and published on June 3, 2019. This article is about PowerToFly Partner Relativity. Go to Relativity's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Without the combined efforts of its product and user experience teams, products would be inefficient, unusable or both. And in the legal world, no one can afford to have a product fail or be overly cumbersome. Relativity understands this idea well, and the teams behind the e-discovery platform it's developing are striving to evolve the company's product, how customers interact with it, and how they advance their own professional skills.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS MURPHY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS MURPHY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS MURPHY
EMPLOYEES: 925, around 775 locally
WHAT THEY DO: Relativity provides and maintains a cloud-based solution for storing and analyzing the large volumes of data generated during the discovery processes of litigation, internal investigations and compliance projects.
WHERE THEY DO IT: Chicago
PHILANTHROPIC ARM: Relativity Gives is devoted to giving back to the Chicago community. It donates tens of thousands of dollars to schools each year and offers staff many opportunities to volunteer.
CULTURE IS KEY: From a number of highly varied community resource groups and a dedication to philanthropy to providing opportunities for staff to have some fun, Relativity is adamant about organically strengthening and widening its cultural arms.
Chris Brown, Chief Product Officer
Chris is responsible for charting the company's overall product vision, strategy and roadmap. He also leads the product and user experience teams, in coordination with the tech division, as they work to reach those future-state destinations.
NO BACKPEDALING: Chris is an outdoor athlete and enjoys snowboarding and biking. He plans to stage his own Tour De Iowa and bike across the state over the summer.
How does Relativity's product fit into the ever-changing tech landscape of today?
Relativity sits at the nexus of the major technology transformations of our time: AI, mobility, IoT, security and the public cloud. As every organization goes through their own transformations in these areas, we are working to build a cloud platform to support them. That amounts to a few key areas for us: improving our user experience, providing the most comprehensive end-to-end e-discovery solution, and increasing our platform extensibility to solve other unstructured data challenges beyond e-discovery.
We use key results across each of our areas that align up to our product strategy and company goals.
How do you facilitate cross-team collaboration to help different teams work towards shared goals?
It starts with building the DNA of great sprint teams, complete with a strong, embedded triad of product, engineering and UX leaders working together. We use key results across each of our areas that align up to our product strategy and company goals and have a mix of ceremonies to keep folks informed and involved in debates around shifting priorities.
Brian Hunt, Director of User Experience
In his role, Brian is always thinking of the user and is in charge of leading the vision and strategy behind optimizing their experiences in using Relativity's products.
A TRAVELING ARTIST: Brian has been writing, recording and performing music with a group of his friends since he was in the 5th grade. He has gone on many U.S. and European tours with a band, and traveling with bandmates taught him a lot about facing challenges and celebrating wins as part of a team.
What are some of the challenges your team is presently working to solve?
We're working to reduce redundant code and unnecessary variations and inconsistencies in the UI. We're employing a design system to provide an easy way to build features utilizing reusable components. Once adopted, our user experience will have a uniform, consistent and improved look and feel.
What's a major project you will be working on in the coming months?
Defining the next generation interface for Relativity. We are looking to bring fast, meaningful improvements to the platform while also mapping out an entirely new user experience for our customers.
Cherry Mangat, Senior Product Manager
Cherry is the product lead for the company's case strategy product line, for which she gives customers tools that allow them to organize important details about their cases.
STORY TIME: Cherry loves storytelling and has practiced it in many ways: via blogging, authoring a book and performing stand-up comedy. She said the idea of combining numerous elements to make a compelling narrative translates to managing a product.
How do you work to keep yourself sharp and in-the-know regarding tech and industry trends?
One of the easiest ways is the internal weekly digest that highlights what's happening in our industry. I joined Women In Product, which is great for networking and learning more about product management and tech. I recently took a training workshop on how Google runs its design sprints, which was insightful and fun.
What tools does your team currently use, and how do they enable your team to work efficiently and successfully?
We use JIRA for tracking development work, Aha! for roadmaps, Salesforce for customer feedback, Tableau for metrics, Asana for task management, Slack for chat and many other tools. It can be a little overwhelming initially to use so many tools, but over time I've come to value the integrations between many of them. They help us collaborate and prioritize the most important work, then align it to our top-level business goals and track the outcomes.
Alex Moy, Director of Product Management
Alex works with product managers, designers and engineers to help give life to Relativity's products, with RelativityOne being the center of attention these days.
CARVING OUT LEADERS: Weather permitting, Alex loves to hit the slopes on his snowboard. The sport demands concentration under pressure, courage and becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable — traits he has taken to his role as a leader and ones he encourages his team members to employ in their own work.
What are some non-technical skills you look for in new hires?
I look for candidates that are naturally user- and value-centric in their thinking. I search for candidates that have T-shape skills when it comes to business, design and technical acumen, as well as individuals with outstanding communication and influence skills. I look for values that I believe are key to the best product managers: courageous with a growth mindset, perseverant attitude in the face of challenges, and putting the team first. And I look for candidates who lead with a servant-leader approach.
Every team member has $3,000 to invest in their professional development each year.
What types of professional or career development resources are available at your company?
Full-time team members have $3,000 to invest in their professional development each year. Last year, we coordinated to level up our product management skills as a team. We all bought copies of Marty Cagan's "INSPIRED: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love" and had a weekly book club to discuss our learnings, thoughts, and actions together. Then, the team capped off that learning by going to one of Marty Cagan's workshops together. It was a great experience to learn with and from each other.