Thursday, September 13, 2012

ALM Rachets Up Their Competitive Intelligence Game With Acquistion of RivalEdge: Listening Platforms Today.. Predicting Platforms Tomorrow?

Competitive Intelligence is hot and the competition among vendors of CI monitoring services keeps getting hotter. Today American Lawyer Media  announced that they had acquired Rivaledge, which currently produces FirmWatch and LateralWatch. ALM becomes the newest entrant into the legal "listening platform" wars.

Your Bottom Line

RivalEdge will be part of ALM Legal Intelligence, the unit of American Lawyer Media  which produces the annual surveys such as the AmLaw 100 and other legal industry rankings and surveys. If you are currently a Legal Intelligence subscriber the RivalEdge products will require a separate subscription.

Is this New?

They claim that they will break new ground by reducing the number of email alerts, newsletters and tweets that lawyers receive. There are already quite a few products that are deployed in law firms which are already tackling this problem including Ozmosys, Info(N)Gen, Attensa, Manzama.  I also doubt that the clipping pioneers Westlaw and Lexis Nexis will stay on the sidelines forever. So the real question is....

Can they Do it Better Than the Established Rivals?

The most intriguing part of the press release is the reference to a proprietary taxonomy and concept map algorithms that RivalEdge has been building the past few years. It will be interesting to see if this innovative platform delivers a truly superior result compared to platforms already on the market.

Can Predictive Trending Be Far Behind?

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The truth is that it is getting easier to know "what just happened." I think the real differentiator in the future will be the ability to detect emerging patters to tell you "what may be about to happen."  Especially in the area of litigation, bad news can be a predictor of litigation. I was recently reading that Google was able to predict the outbreak of the Flu Season before the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and now has a site called Flu Trends. In the same way shouldn't the monitoring of social media reflect a world of problems which could signal potential litigation arising from a wide swath of issues from investor complaints to product liability. Wouldn't firms want to follow negative trends involving existing and potential clients?
Make a client pitch in advance of the problem?

I look forward to seeing the the new ALM RivalEdge product offering and reporting back.



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