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All change at IRIS – again

We're grateful for an IT director at a law firm (AIM users as it happens) for forwarding the following announcement – an announcement which to-date has not been circulated to the media…

IRIS Legal Communication
Arlene Adams – Managing Director – IRIS Legal Business Unit

Following the successful reorganisation of the IRIS Legal Business along functional lines, with a new and experienced management team now in place and the establishment of a clear future Product Road Map and Strategy for the IRIS Legal products, Arlene Adams has decided to leave IRIS to pursue a new challenge elsewhere.

Arlene was originally recruited to consolidate its leadership position within the legal market and to effect the big changes required to position it for future growth. Her enthusiasm and energy have enabled this task to be completed as planned and meetings with our legal customers, advocate that our plans are on track and that we are responding well to the needs of our customers. With this initial task complete, the MD role is now much more operationally focused around building upon the strong position we now have within our marketplace. We have all really enjoyed working with Arlene and wish her every success for the future.

Arlene’s successor will be Tony Bromfield who starts with us on Monday 24th November. He brings an exceptional combination of business development and operational experience from telecoms, professional services and technology industries. Tony was on the Board at Cable & Wireless International where he ran the businesses in the Caribbean, before which he was responsible for global operations at C&W Europe, Asia, US. During his time as an IT Partner with Ernst & Young in the 1990s, Tony was responsible for selling and delivering business transformation programmes in the Technology, Media and Telecoms space.

Like Arlene, Tony is committed to our plans which continue building upon the strong position we have within this market and will ensure that those plans are uninterrupted. Tony will be communicating with the IRIS Legal customer base in the coming days. If you wish to contact Tony sooner, please do so via legal@iris.co.uk

Kind Regards
Catherine Bailey
Head of Marketing
IRIS Legal

35 replies on “All change at IRIS – again”

I also believe Steve Chivers has been given the boot from the AIM, Mountain et al side of the business…

Well, well it would of course be inappropriate to personalise such an issue but on a corporate level it was said some time ago that whoever took this role was unlikely to remain in it for more than a couple of years given CSG’s track record and then IRIS’s approach. Guess what the inevitable has happened.
However, I am sure like many others to be astounded by the comment:
‘as planned and meetings with our legal customers, advocate that our plans are on track and that we are responding well to the needs of our customers. With this initial task complete, the MD role is now much more operationally focused around building upon the strong position we now have within our marketplace.’
If ever there was a bunker statement this is it – could someone actually find an IRIS client or commentator that feels plans are ‘on track’ apart from if this means:
1. Have managed to disenfranchise must of our loyal customers.
2. Ensure that we lose over 100 of our customers with many more looking to jump ship.
3. Eliminate several well known and respected brands within an entity that has dithered over its strategy for months, announced something and then changed that.
4. As said somewhere else on this blog have pretty much managed to get dire scores in the Law Society Software Solutions Guide 2008.
Again their media handling looks poor – tell your customers, hope the press don’t notice etc etc.
They appear to have two stark choices:
1. Stick with it knowing full well that by 2012 the base will be greatly reduced but at least they’ll only have two systems then (whoever came up with that daft idea), vastly lower overheads as more people have to go etc so it will make some kind of profit then.
2. Sell the legal division but who would want it now and the value on the books must be high given what CSG paid.
Not the best scenario for entering 2009.
PS and yet more bad timing as the last entry on the blog refers to Axxia taking out a major IRIS site.

Fantastic, not that Arlene is leaving, but that IRIS continue to ensure that all the competitors have a source of new business during the recession over then next two years.
Thank you thank you thank you. You must have read CSG's manual

And there's more… a reliable source (who recently met with Vin Murria) reports that Vin will be returning to the legal IT market (once her non-competition clause has expired) because she believes there is still plenty on money to be made and plenty of scope for more consolidation. Maybe she'll buy back IRIS Legal and sell it to someone else (like Lexis) ? Expect fireworks in 2010 then.

An IT partner in a professional services business – just what you want to run a commercial business that is under pressure. And his experience with Cable & Wireless means he can identify with the business needs of smaller High Street firms. 'Nuff said.

I challenge you to name the 100 Firms that Iris have supposedly lost

This will very shortly be balanced out by Iris taking out another 3 or 4 AXXIA firms

No big surprise but a shame for him none the less.
He always had his clients best interests at heart without the product to back it up.

One day someone will write a book on this (the CSG/IRIS saga) of 'how not to'

Still no accounts available for the IRIS Group yet or any whiff of a statement. Earlier post suggests that their first year end was July, funny how this appears to sort of coincide.
Perhaps they'd like to back up a PR statement re 'successful' with some hard facts about their legal division, how about:
Total clients on acquisition.
Total clients as of November 2008.
Total new business wins over say £20k i.e. reasonable deals.
Financial performance of the legal division.
I'm sure that if they have been 'successful' then their PR team would be delighted to oblige.

Why should anybody be surprised by this announcement (I have reicved the official version from Iris which is much the same).
Ms Adams was always going to leave before the fruits of her labours were announced via Iris Accounts Filing. Perhaps this explains the delay.
I am sure she wll be able to claim that this was a succesful role and move on elsewhere in corporate land. She can however take pride in reducing some of the greatest names in Legal IT in the UK (AIM and Videss) to their knees.
The Sandersons would be turning in their graves right now except they are
A) Not dead
and
B) Rich

Dreeeeeaam
Dream Dream Dream
DreeeeeeaM
How many significant Iris wins have their been in the last 12 months?
Now let me see 1,2 opps sorry – just 1 and they are rumoured to be unhappy.
Would anybody from York like to comment?

Sad I know but looking back through the Insider/other press you can fairly quickly & easily get to 35 or so just from press releases. I suspect there's a fair number who haven't told IRIS yet on the basis that they will want support to continue on the same level whilst they change over, as well as those that don't want a press release.
I think the statement isn't very helpful because the industry and profession knows that it's IRIS who have probably lost more clients than anyone else this year so surely it's for them to prove that actually they've had a net gain as we were all assured they would over the last two or three years?
Fact is they can't and looking back over the Insider when did you last see a substantial win or consistent releases? So people are probably right to believe there haven't been any!! I'm not sure whether it's 35, 50, 70, 100 is really the main point it's just that it's substantial because in absolute terms probably know one person has access to that number as of today.

“Again their media handling looks poor – tell your customers, hope the press don’t notice etc etc”
Because of course it's infinitely more important to tell the 'media' than actual customers!!

In a previous role I worked quite extensively with CW in the caribean, which was apparently under his remit, and if it's at all possible they had a worse reputation than Iris!

Looking at Mr Bromfield's LinkedIn Page he describes himself thus.
Summary
Tony is a very experienced general manager who has led businesses as well as large functional teams. He is currently MD of the Legal Division at Iris Software. Previously he ran C&W's businesses in the Caribbean, and before that global operations for C&W. He was part of the Executive team which turned around Energis. Prior to his line executive career Tony was a Partner at Ernst & Young selling and leading large scale transformation programmes for global telecoms and technology companies. In 15 years as a consultant he worked in most industries including banking, public sector, retail, travel and leisure.
Specialties
Business leadership
Operations leadership
Product development
Enterprise sales
Business transformation
Supplier management
Cost reduction
Introducing a customer focus
Business planning
His profile also includes these interests.
* new ventures
* job inquiries
* expertise requests
* business deals
* reference requests
* getting back in touch
I would have thought it's a bit early for job enquiries!

why o why do we get this so wrong. this is our 4th boss in 3 years. so it will be the tour where we're asked how things are going, everyone will say fine, anything else in this climate puts you to the front of the queue. round the cooffee machine we'll all be saying not another strategy, our clients are all unhappy and they simply ndon't like wahts happened to them. like most people ihave a mortgage so have to stick with it but tis looks increasingly like the Titanic as the band plays and the ships officers stroll about telling us it's unsinkable.
good luck to steve c and he will be a good find for his new emplyer. sadly its rumoured more to go on the technical side i hear

Devastated to hear about Arlene's long over due departure.
She was a strategist and motivator the like of which is rarely seen – mainly as her strategies motivated other legal software suppliers to lead away her clients in droves.
Who will now have their numerous pictures in the software solutions guide? Who will be around long enough for it to be current when published?

I'm afraid you receive a fail for both punctuation, grammar, layout and content.
As an alternative point of view, I work for Iris Legal and don't agree with you at all. Both myself and most people I know at Iris are not only positive but enthusiastic about the majority of changes that have happened over the last 18 months.

I guess that having less clients to look after means you don't have to work as hard.

Not sure how to take this post, am pretty sure that all salesmen have “the clients best interest at heart” given that money is involved.
However, if the product doesn't do what the salesman says it does then where does the problem lie ?
Not sure you can blame the product if the salesman has told you a few porkie pies to guarantee a sale.


Err – Pot, let me introduce you to a black kettle.
(to explain, Definition of Both: The one and the other; the two; the pair, without exception of either.)

Steve IS a good guy. But perhaps he should have stayed at TFB?

I think that shows more about you equating 'positive and enthusiastic' with having less work to do.

'Both' is actually usable with any number of continuous nouns, so you are both wrong and given to rash replies without actually knowing what you are talking about.
Sounds like most of the posts critising Iris on here actually!

Not according to every on-line dictionary I have just checked. Although you did use the word correctly as you were referring to two posters' comments.

I am guessing you mean “criticising”?
Fun being a pedant, but it does have to be said this site does do an automatic spell check which picks up that error. Still, Iris and quality control are not normally words you hear in the same sentence it seems these days.

Just heard that both of the remaining Accounts & Database trainers for AIM Evolution have been made redundant so IRIS must be pinning their hopes on nobody requiring any training on Evolution before 2011.

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