NetDocuments buys enterprise chat site ThreadKM

Heads up, NetDocuments has acquired team chat and collaboration platform ThreadKM as the battle to elevate the document management system from ‘dumb plumbing’ gains pace, fuelled by iManage’s acquisition of RAVN Systems.
NetDocuments, which is backed by private equity house Clearlake Capital Group, says that the acquisition and its cloud-first approach will bring the workspace to life and facilitate a new document collaboration experience.
ThreadKM, which to date has been a partner of iManage, NetDocuments and OpenText, won ILTA’s 2016 innovative solution provider of the year award for its secure matter-based collaboration and agile project management technology. Working with law firms including Dentons, it enables teams to quickly share ideas, files and links without the need for endless emails, competing with the team chat technology found in the likes of Slack and Hipchat.
As we revealed in our extensive DMS report in the October Orange Rag, NetDocuments now has 16.5% of the US top 200 firms but the shift away from DMS market leader iManage has slowed following iManage’s acquisition of RAVN, which has brought AI to law firms laps. Writing in that report we said: “As law firms still bogged down with the plumbing and infrastructure of core on premises systems struggle to find the time to innovate and experiment with AI, injecting AI into the plumbing has turned out to be one of the smartest things iManage has done.”
The acquisition of ThreadKM, which was founded in 2014 by Dan Hauck, who will become VP of user experience at NetDocuments, is not the counter move to the RAVN acquisition that some in the market expected. However, it will certainly add another very significant string to NetDocuments’ bow as firms continue to ask, ‘what is next after email’.
As the volume of emails grow, internal conversations are increasingly difficult to manage, but ThreadKM creates secure matter-centric workspaces where members can share ideas, exchange files and develop to-do lists. An integration with Relativity allows users to send files form Relativity to a matching ThreadKM workspace, making it easier to share key documents with case team members.
Platforms that enable law firms to escape from email are gaining in popularity within the legal profession. As we first revealed in July 2015, DLA Piper launched its own ‘Twitter for enterprise’ called Grapevine and at Herbert Smith Freehills, over 3,500 staff currently use freemium enterprise social networking platform Yammer.
“We are thrilled to see the ThreadKM team and technology combine with NetDocuments as we continue to disrupt the legal and compliance market, displacing traditional technologies with modern, innovative productivity solutions built on the secure NetDocuments global cloud platform,” said Matt Duncan, CEO of NetDocuments. “Today it is not enough for a matter workspace to exclusively contain documents and emails. Workspaces need to be brought to life with real-time conversations and simplified project management, which expands NetDocuments commitment to invisible technology adoption.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
NetDocuments is hosting an ILTA webinar on December 7th at 12PM ET, focused on the integrated solution. Registration and details at: