At an interview yesterday, Kim Massana – the senior V-P (Strategic Marketing & International) at Thomson Elite (more on that later) – told the Insider the company was fully aware of all the rumours being spread by its competitors about its 3E implementations but said its flagship implementation at Allen & Overy was on schedule and still set to go live in November this year. He added that A&O had opted for a 'big bang' simultaneous go-live on a multi-office, multi-currency implementation and that once this milestone had been achieved, it would be “discussion over” as regards to the rumours surrounding 3E.

Massana also reiterated the message that the Elite Enterprise product was not a legacy system waiting to be replaced by 3E and said the product was still “key to our company… had a long life ahead of it… and would continue to be enhanced” for many years to come. Massana added that the majority of the 70+ 3E sales to-date had come from new wins and not from Enterprise migrations.

In other Elite news…

Massana said the international business was becoming increasingly important to Elite, with India and mainland China potentially the hottest emerging markets. Massana also said the increased importance of international had led to a change of corporate strategy, with instead of new developments being released on the North American market and then customised for international, in future the international angle would be “embedded at the core of the business” so, for example, the needs of international customers would be taken into account from the earliest stages of product development. “Law is a global business,” said Massana, “and we need to ensure the product is global from the outset.”

Massana also hinted that following the merger of the Thomson and Reuters businesses earlier this year, the company was likely to see some rebranding to take greater advantage of the Reuters name, not least because in some international markets Reuters is a better known name than Thomson. He also added that along with these branding changes, there could also be a more substantive and creative leveraging of the Reuters expertise. Massana stressed that while much of this was still in the realms of early days internal debate and exploration, possibilities included expanding the multi-currency functionality of the Elite software to take advantage of Reuters experience with currency 'hedging' so law firms operating on a global basis could better protect themselves against exchange rate fluctuations.