Yesterday the Insider had a meeting with the senior management – Kate Holden, Edouard Tavernier and the newly appointed Tim Cheadle (see announcement below) – of LexisNexis' Practice & Productivity Management business – that's the division which in the UK runs Axxia and Visualfiles. And, guess what, despite rumours to the contrary, they do have a credible plan to integrate and take the two companies forward.

Holden was keen to stress that the priority for LexisNexis over the past 9 months had been meeting with the major customers* and staff of the two businesses, plus assessing the underlying technology platfroms and development plans – rather than rushing out attention-grabbing strategy statements (or 'doing an IRIS' as its known in the trade). The result has been some staff departures, because of the inevitable duplication of roles within the two companies – although the Visualfiles e-conveyancing/HIPs-related project teams have also taken a hit because of the collapse of the property market. As to what happens next, Holden says the latest announcement puts the final pieces of the management jigsaw in place and the next major development will be a joint Axxia/Visualfiles user conference in November. Sometime between then and the early new year, the group hopes to unveil its product development roadmap, including details of the long-awaited Visualfiles 'Project Manilla'.

(* LexisNexis have been using NPS – Net Promoter Score – to assess customer loyalty. This is an approach originally developed by Bain & Co that ask customers a single question – usually “How likely is it that you
would recommend us to a friend or colleague?”. Based on their
responses, customers can be categorized into one of three groups:
Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. In the net promoter framework,
Promoters are viewed as valuable assets that drive profitable growth
because of their repeat/increased purchases, longevity and referrals,
while Detractors are seen as liabilities that destroy profitable growth
because of their complaints, reduced purchases/defection and negative
word-of-mouth. Companies calculate their Net Promoter Score by
subtracting their % Detractors from their % Promoters. Proponents of
the Net Promoter approach claim the score can be used to motivate an
organization to become more focused on improving products and services
for customers. All of which sounds a bit more scientific that the usual customer satisfaction surveys we hear about.)


AND NOW THAT ANNOUNCEMENT…

“LexisNexis has announced  two new senior appointments to accelerate the growth of its Practice & Productivity Management business in the UK. This follows the acquisition and integration of Visualfiles, its case and matter management system, and Axxia dna, its integrated practice management system, under a single, unified organisation. Tim Cheadle has joined the company as UK General Manager and Product Champion, and Doug McLachlan has taken on the role of Commercial Director and Product Champion to lead the company’s UK Mid Law segment.
 
“These appointments reflect the large investment that LexisNexis is making in the UK Practice & Productivity Management business following its recent acquisitions of the Visualfiles and Axxia. LexisNexis has integrated both acquisitions into a single organisation in order to maximise its resources and knowledge across both product sets to provide more product options, better services and enhanced support to its customers.
 
“As General Manager and Product Champion, Tim Cheadle will oversee the operations in the UK and own the associated profit and loss, with a focus on expanding the company’s position as a leading supplier of the integrated practice and productivity solutions to the legal, corporate and government markets. Tim will report directly to Kate Holden, Senior Vice President, Global Practice Management Solutions. Cheadle, who previously served as Director of Product Solutions at Micro Focus where he lead the product management and solutions organisation across a large software portfolio, has also run his own hi-tech consultancy, and held a variety of senior positions at FormScape Software and at Imation Corp.
 
“Doug McLachlan has over 20 years of market experience in the legal services sector. In his role as Commercial Director and Product Champion Mid Law, McLachlan is responsible for the product strategy, roadmap and profit and loss of the company’s products in this segment. Doug was at Axxia prior to the acquisition, where he held a number of senior technical, business development and marketing positions. McLachlan will report directly to Cheadle in his new role.”