Not for a long time has the legal practice management system market looked so interesting and yet so volatile: the start of 2019 saw LexisNexis sell LexisOne to Dynamics shop SAGlobal; Oracle formally launched its dedicated legal PMS, becoming the first mainstream tech giant to target the legal sector directly; and Peppermint Technology gained a new Silicon Valley investor with funding of over £7m.  Oh yes and Thomson Reuters is to sunset CRM system 3E Business Development (formerly Business Development Premier) but is to launch 3E in the cloud.

As we revealed on 7 January, Oracle’s PMS launch is being led out of the UK in association with PwC and targeted at UK-headquartered law firms, with the intention to expand out later to the United States.

The formal launch took place on 16-17 January at Oracle OpenWorld or, more accurately (as we registered after queuing an hour for the main event), on the Sunborn Yacht Hotel opposite the ExCel conference venue, which was commandeered by PwC for the event.

Compared to the sheer size of the main event it was a low-key affair – it is clear that Oracle wanted a soft launch for the global PMS, and to be fair it seems willing to listen to early feedback.

Off the bat with that feedback – the launch focussed very little on the actual PMS.  What preceded the demo for an hour was a discussion about the legal market and change and innovation and PwC’s view of the world.

The demo itself has been ably covered by Neil Cameron, if you haven’t had a chance to read his initial impressions, click here: http://www.legaltechnology.com//latest-news/oracles-global-pms-launch-functionality-first-impressions-and-a-few-key-questions/

There were a handful of international law firms at the launch and there is definite interest from the market and a very evident need for more competition.  What isn’t clear yet is whether Oracle, which has spent 18 months consulting law firms and PwC, understands and has catered for the specific needs of law firms.

SAGlobal, meanwhile, is very positive about why it is the right home for LexisOne.

We will shortly be writing an in-depth analysis of the latest developments, if you want to be involved, email caroline.hill@liti.co.uk