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Lexis strategy to take on local focus

Following last week's rumours about the senior management changes within the LexisNexis Practice & Productivity Management business (aka the legal systems division running Axxia and Visualfiles) we have just come off the phone from a briefing with LexisNexis UK managing director Josh Bottomley and UK general manager Tim Cheadle.

In brief, the LexisNexis group has implemented a “subtle shift of direction” with the realisation that “the ownership of the product roadmaps” for systems such as Axxia DNA and Visualfiles Streamline (the new name for Manilla – but still on schedule for going into early adopter sites in the New Year) “needs to be more local” so as to reflect the needs of local customers. The P&PM business will however still be subject to a global strategy, supervised out of New York, to ensure any new acquisitions or product development plans are complementary to, rather than conflict with, existing parts of the LexisNexis tech empire, such as Interaction and Redwood Analytics.

Bottomley also said that in terms of the use of transaction-based case management technologies, he believed UK law firms were leading the world and that both DNA and Streamline were “worldbeaters”.

As part of the refocussing, Streamline is being pitched as a product for the 'large-law' firm market, whereas DNA was aimed at the 'mid-law' sector, where there was a greater demand for an integrated PMS+ case solution. LexisNexis UK will also be announcing, in the New Year, a new head for a commercial & government team to focus on selling into inhouse legal departments etc.

So, where does this leave the P&PM senior management team of Kate Holden and Edouard Tavernier? Because of the change from a global to local focus, their roles are subject to a period of internal consultation and it is thought likely they will pursue other options within the Reed Elsevier (the parent of LexisNexis) group – although the finer details are still under discussion.

• As an example of what LexisNexis has achieved in terms of creating an integrated – everything from legal research to practice management software – solution, check out the attached Lexis Back Office Library brochure PDF from Australia.

27 replies on “Lexis strategy to take on local focus”

I wouldn’t say DNA/Steamline are “worldbeaters” they have potential but have got along way to go before becoming successful products.

Notes from the poorly attended Axxia user Group Meeting on the 18th of November.
“There is a general feeling that support and development in some areas is lacking and people are losing their points of contact and general knowledge in support is no longer as good. Mechanisms for reporting, tracking and escalating calls is flawed and calls seem to close too quickly. Visual Files users in particular felt that quality control on releases has suffered – was product simply being shoved out to keep users quiet and why do so many bug fixes result in having to have paid consultancy to sort them?

Can't comment on Streamline as I haven't seen it but DNA if it works really is amazing for tyhe mid sized firm. We've recently started to look at the market place for an integrated package, as best of breed is out of our league, and right now DNA seems to be heads and shoulders above the other integrated systems. Sure it doesn't do full DMS or CRM at this moment in time, but if you look at the DMS road plan within the next 6 months it'll do most of what a full blown DMS will do. Once they've got those two parts sorted why would anyone look to be spend £100k+ on each of the individual components that make up DNA? Who else is even close? Non of the systems that I've seen

You are either an Axxia employee or you don't get out much – DNA “doesn't do full DMS or CRM at this moment in time” – and you reckon it's “amazing” and “heads and shoulders above the other integrated systems” – Suggest you check out the other leading UK based legal systems as most of them have had these facilities for years.

DNA? Axxia? you are having a laugh arent you, never dealt with a more amateur bunch of half wits in my entire life… support calls open for 5 years! with responses that they simply cant fix it! then they decide to “shelve” their fee earner desktop product and introduce a “red light” team, that simply go through all of the current and new calls and basically yes “no we arent going to fix that” MUPPETS! there are better organised and more professional creatures floating on top of my pond ! STAY AWAY!!!!

Oh come on. They are not amateur. You are expected to pay.

My learned friend above should understand that the 'MUPPETS' were in fact a hugely successful band of felt and foam creatures who made no money – the dollars just went to the guy behind the scenes. In this way, the term 'Muppet' would be an apt one for all software companies (with their fat cat CEO's pulling all the strings) would it not? To single out one firm in this way merely demonstrates either a biased soul or a damaged one… both perhaps? Keep taking the pills my friend.

Visualfiles support had the same problem where support calls have taken years to resolve, but things seem to be improving in last few months with much better response times and updates. Still slow on updating calls that have been logged years ago but they seem to be making an effort to improve their processes.

Name me a couple of integrated systems that do then. We've looked at seven integrated systems now and none of them seem to offer these capabilities.

That can be said of nearly all the providers on the market. We've had outstanding issues with AIM for years and recently they just went through a whole load of them and closed them down saying they weren't going to fix them.

“felt and foam creatures who made no money”
youve dealt with the Axxia support team then 🙂
enough already!!!!

I'm guessing Pilgrim, Videss, Eclipse etc have had DocMan and a CRM for years.

We've yet to see pilgrim but the docman in Videss, Eclipse, TFB et all is alot more basic than DNA i.e. lets store a document and you can search by a keyword you assign next to it. They lack features such as full text indexing etc. The CRM on them was no different to DNA. None of them are on a par with a full blown CRM like InterAction.

“”felt and foam creatures who made no money”
youve dealt with the Axxia support team then 🙂 ”
The bit about making no money is patently wrong – I would guess they make several £million each year from their support charges.

We at Pilgrim would welcome the opportunity to show you LawSoft. LawSoft is best described as a comprehensive legal office suite. The Document Management and CRM modules therein are excellent. Both modules regularly receive very positive reviews from users that have had previous experience of so called 'Best of Breed' products. I think you will be impressed by their completeness. Please feel free to contact me –

“…the term 'Muppet' would be an apt one for all software companies (with their fat cat CEO's pulling all the strings) would it not? To single out one firm in this way merely demonstrates either a biased soul or a damaged one… both perhaps?…”
shurely the use of the term “fat cat” indicates a biased soul or a damaged one… both perhaps?

damaged soul lol ! lets get things into perspective here, we are talking about a software house, how are they going to damage my soul? i do have a life you know!!! with the company we currently use for our case management our average call turn around is within the hour (no matter what the problem is)…. cant say i ever had a call dealt with by Axxia in the same day nevermind an hour!!!!!!!!!! DNA might be quite clever at linking people together in a database, but at the end of the day the support is done by the same “staff” and it costs just as much to upgrade to DNA and Artion as it does to look elsewhere. merely expressing my opinion as everyone has the right to do!

Ahh… you mis-understood the irony my friend.. I was merely commenting on market perceptions that I often hear. I am neither biased or damaged -just an observer. You must be a CEO I'm guessing…

“None of them are on a par with a full blown CRM like InterAction.” – this may be true, but none of them have a price tag on a par!

Brian Roberts has started his role of Sales Director this week at Lexisnexis. He is managing Axxia/Visualfiles division. His experience in this market is second to none and I certainly hope he is a big hit at LN.

Anyone got the inside track on the latest goings-on w.r.t Axxia? Our account manager suddenly departed last week (1 of a number apparently) and no-one appears to be “at home” to let us know what is going on.

You are not the first person to mention strange goings on at Planet LexisNexisAxxiaVisualfiles (aka the Death Star as it is known from its corporate logo). We hope to get a full briefing later this month after, to quote a spokespeople:
“We are currently in the process of refining our sales account coverage to better serve our customers and will shortly be communicating the changes internally and externally. We are unable to go into details at this time as all customers have yet to be informed and it would be inappropriate to comment until then. That being said the changes are in response to customer feedback we received from users in late 2008 and will better align our team to better meet our client’s needs now that the Axxia and Visualfiles teams have been integrated.”

Interesting quote Charles, not sure about Axxia as we don't use it but I've heard at least one account manager has departed from VisualFiles and possibly more to go. With current economic climate it seems LexisNexis are trying to get rid of alot of people like most company’s but my worry is in the process they are losing lots of knowledge and experience. When the economy picks up they could struggle as they will be short on numbers and people who would have knowledge of legal market.

LexisNexis may be saying goodbye to a number of Staff but they are also recruiting. A quick look at the careers section of their web site shows they are looking for a Key Account Manager – Legal (Posted 2nd Jan), Pre-Sales Consultant for the dna* Artiion product (Posted 8th Jan) and a Product Manager for the Axxia range of products (Posted 15th Jan).
Out with the old and in with the new then, sorry no mention of Visualfiles Product Manager or Sales staff so that bit of software must no longer exist as far as the legal market is concerned.

On the flip-side they seem to be hiring some very experienced software leaders now with a mix of Legal and non-Legal market expertise, so maybe this is just about getting their business properly focused for the future. As a Client I would be concerned if they were not doing that, but also agree that they need to be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

t is very easy (and cheap) to advertise for staff on a web site to give an impression of expansion. Does not always mean that those vacancies actually exist though.

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