Is LexisNexis backtracking or is it just cosmetic changes? Faced with massive blow-back after a variety of stupid moves – such as rebranding TimeMatters and PCLaw, now sometimes referred to as the “Software formerly known as TimeMatters” – LexisNexis seems to be backtracking. Apparently those programs will now be referred to by their actual name, not, e.g., “LexisNexis Front Office Powered by TimeMatters.”
Billing Matters is being discontinued (even if it still may be possible to buy it for a while more). Originally, LexisNexis was planning to create an über-program, integrating TimeMatters, PCLaw and even Juris into a single, subscription-based, web-based product. This, combined with the urgent need to stabilize the buggy release of TM and PCLaw 9, led to “skipping” version 10 this year. However, it now appears that there may be a version 10 next year, so perhaps creating the über program is more difficult that they foresaw (not surprising, since LN doesn’t really have a clue about software – they sell books, even if electronic versions of them).
Faced with massive consultant resistance to its new programs (that deprive consultants of sometimes marginal, but important income), LN is in the process of creating a 10-member “CIC Council” supposedly to advise them. This sort of thing has a long history– for years Microsoft had a “legal council” for example. Whether it proves to be more window dressing or something substantial remains to be seen. The fact is that the book-sales model of LN reps (where they get commissions ONLY on new sales and nothing for on-going and return customers) and the consultant-based model, where the priority is on long-term relationships which product a regular income flow are fundamentally incompatible.
Lastly, LN has continued its stress on international markets (as opposed to the US), in particular Australia. The LN research model outside the US uses the Rosetta system (which is not used in the US). In Australia PCLaw has been beefed up to be the “Total Practice Advantage” program, for Australia, with a corresponding jump in price from $895 to $5,000 (after that they have to purchase the Affinity search engine, which is even more expensive).