By Allie Philpin
Gartner Inc. recently released their inaugural ‘Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Legal Management’, placing 8 vendors into the report over 4 categories: leaders, niche players, visionaries and challengers. Gartner cited the different requirements regarding privacy of data, a rise in federal regulations and an increase in the amount of data now accumulated by organisations that has brought about the necessity of automating business processes in order to handle data retention, document management, compliance, billing, budgeting and financial reporting.
John Wheeler, research director at Garner and an author of the report, wrote: “Today’s corporate legal department faces significant challenges and requires a new level of sophistication in managing its operations. Regulatory compliance risks continue to grow, budgets continue to shrink and board members are demanding better legal information. As a result, many companies view corporate legal as the next frontier of corporate efficiency and risk management.”
To be incorporated in Gartner’s report, vendors had to address a minimum of 4 out of 5 categories, namely:
• Matter Management – considered by Gartner to be at the core of an ELM application platform, due to this category dealing with all relevant data that is related to legal matters.
• Legal Document Management – according to Gartner, provides corporate counsel with the capabilities to manage the creation, revision, approval and consumption of documents, paper and electronic.
• Financial/Spending Management – applicable to the tools an organisation uses to create budgets and monitor spending.
• E-billing – Gartner describes this as programs that help third parties, i.e. external law firms and other vendors, to deliver legal bills securely for review and payment.
• Business Process Management – including workflows and automated processes.
Of the 8 vendors – Datacert Inc., LexisNexis, Wolters Kluwer (Tymetrix Inc.), Bridgeway Software Inc., Mitratech, Computer Sciences Corp., Legal Suite and Thomson Reuters (Serengeti Law) – LexisNexis earnt high points for their sales pricing and execution, customer service, and the way the integrated their CounselLink programme into their Business of Law Software Solutions group. Wolters Kluwer (Tymetrix) also scored highly for their strategy, innovation and customer experience, and so did Bridgeway Software for their track record and sales strategy, and their market understanding.
Gartner’s report also found that current pricing models were fluctuating, principally due to expanding ranges of products and solutions, and also noted that larger corporations were working towards creating integrated platforms in order to provide cradle-to-grave ELM cycles.