Although this time convergence is not in-house counsel cutting its number of outside firms, its software providers cutting the number of platforms they work on.
One example is the partnership announced at the ILTA conference between Interwoven and Lexis. The two are combining their products into one offering Lexis is calling “Lexis Search Advantage.” This combines the intelligence of Total Search with the enterprise search power of IUS. As Doug Stansfield noted in their announcement meeting, this creates a unique combination of Work Product Retrieval with Enterprise Search. IUS allows you to search multiple data sources, then Search Advantage applies its legal value-add of marking up the results with case citations and Shepardizations.
On its own, this combination is interesting. But it is also reflective of the industry moving towards converged platforms and systems. Large firms especially these days struggle with supporting too many platforms and search engines. So this trend is welcome relief.
After seeing more demos than one person should in the span of four days, I can see this trend taking shape in many corners of the market. Both Interwoven and Lexis separately talked about taking all of their products and moving them towards “unified platforms.” This effort will not happen overnight, but the path is clear.
I suppose now it will just become a race among the various vendors. Being last in this game will probably be quite expensive.