Innovation vs. consolidation: Legal Tech’s false dichotomy | Onna Technologies, Inc.

Anyone keeping up with the latest in legal technology will not be surprised by Gartner’s 2021 E-Discovery Solutions Market Guide that the “E-Discovery Solutions Market is Consolidating”. Every month companies announce new mergers or acquisitions: Litera acquires Clocktimizer (after acquiring Foundation Software Group earlier this year), Mitratech acquires ContractRoom, Filevine acquires Outlaw, and so on and so on.

These mergers and acquisitions might make good business sense for legal tech companies – but are they also good for the people who use their products? Will users be better off if they commit to an “end-to-end” software platform that tries to cover all of their needs or builds their own range of preferred solutions? And if they choose the latter approach, what is the key to making all of these systems work together?

The multi-purpose tool: end-to-end technology solutions for the legal sector

End-to-end platforms comprise a large number of tools and functions, all of which are combined in one comprehensive user interface. You are the Leatherman tool of legal technology: you do many things reasonably well. With an end-to-end platform, users significantly reduce the number of supplier contracts and customer support relationships they have to manage. Consolidated platforms are also being touted for their faster adoption and improved security.

On the other hand, the introduction of end-to-end solutions tends to be more expensive because the user has to buy the entire system at once. The general trend towards consolidation – and the resulting decline in competition – can also stifle innovation, particularly in niche areas of law. Some even claim that the goal of these all-round solutions is to “make it difficult”. [for users] to ‘decouple’ from the platform, which creates an unhealthy addiction. And while it’s great to have a single point of contact when everything is working, users everywhere within an end-to-end solution have a problem.

Specialized tools for special tasks: best-of-breed eDiscovery software

With a best-of-breed approach, users put together a range of great software solutions – for example, Salesforce for CRM, Slack for collaboration, Zoom for video conferencing, Zendesk for customer tickets – each expertly solves the exact problem it was designed for. This allows users to keep the technology they already know and love instead of settling for a few diamonds in the single suite raw material. These best-of-breed solutions are usually connected via APIs and integrate the functionalities of your preferred platforms without the limitations of an end-to-end approach.

Really top notch tools are intuitive and easy to use; In addition, a diverse legal tech market encourages competition, which leads to lower prices and more innovation.

Really top notch tools are intuitive and easy to use; In addition, a diverse legal tech market encourages competition, which leads to lower prices and more innovation. And while world-class tools should come with exceptional security measures and customer support, an interruption in service for one tool – which in some cases can be international news – shouldn’t bring the entire office to a standstill.

But in order for the best-of-breed approach to work for you, you can’t just toss a few carefully selected tools into the trunk of your van and drive down the street. You need something that brings them together in one unified package.

The toolbox that holds everything together: A knowledge integration platform

Our view? You can enjoy all the benefits of world-class software without compromising visibility and control over your most valuable data. The key is knowledge integration – the connective tissue that centralizes your data in one place to provide a single source of truth.

At Onna, we take an open approach and proactively drive collaborations and integrations for the benefit of the end user so that their preferred tools work together seamlessly. With our platform you can connect the discrete data silos that produce your tools. This means that not only can you access all of your data, regardless of where it is stored, but you can also gain meaningful business insights. Not to mention that critical information is always at hand to optimize information management, eDiscovery, archiving, data protection and more.

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