Greg McCaffery, BloombergBNA, CEO and Scott Mozarsky President of the BloombergBNA legal division discuss Bloomberg BNA strategy, AI, predictive technologies, gatekeepers, advisory boards and BNA platform migration plans. Contrary to recent rumors McCaffrey emphasized that customers will be able to continue purchasing BloombergBNA vertical products after the content is migrated to the Bloomberg Law platform.
Following the departure of Bloomberg Law President, David Perla, I interviewed Greg McCaffery and Scott Mozarsky on some “hot topics” in legal tech and legal publishing.McCaffery kicked of the discussion by acknowledging David Perla’s important contributions during his two and a half years at BloombergLaw. McCaffery described BloombergBNA as being in “heavy execution mode" and underscored how Mozarsky’s background is perfect for continuing the development strategy begun under David Perla. Perla’s legacy includes the development of the Bloomberg Law Corporate Transactions and most recently the Litigation Analytics product. McCaffery is confident that Mozarsky’s background developing Bloomberg’s cross-platform capabilities is perfect for continuing the strategy. Mozarksy joined Bloomberg three years ago after practicing law in private law firms and as inside counsel. His cross-platform portfolio included: the Convergence aggregation and publishing platform, CLE, media marketing, law firm event support and Big Law Business—one of my favorite daily reads. His focus has been on helping law firms leverage Bloomberg Law resources to differentiate themselves.
JOG: Will this leadership change have any immediate impact on your strategy?GM: Our Strategy will continue to focus on combining Bloomberg’s business news and analytics with BloombergBNA’s content expertise. We expect to grow by double digits with a strategy of displacing other products. We are having great success displacing niche providers in law firms.
JOG: What are Mozarsky’s top priorities?SM: My first priority is to spend as much time as possible with customers since customer feedback is critical to innovation. I also plan to spend time with our employees. BloombergBNA has recently infused a lot of new talent into the organization and I want to understand their talents so we can continue to drive innovation through collaboration.
JOG: Is there anything in the pipeline that you can tell me about?SM: We will continue to build out analytics. The goal is to be in the legal market what the Bloomberg terminal is in the financial market.
JOG: Do you have plans to eliminate the BNA Practice Library platforms?GM: We will be migrating the content from the legacy BNA platforms onto Bloomberg Law. This content includes the Labor Law Resource Center and the IP Law Resource Center.
JOG: Will customers be able to purchase individual practice libraries after the content is migrated onto the Bloomberg Law platform?GM: “Yes. No one will be forced to purchase Bloomberg Law in order to get topical content. There will be new functionality on the Bloomberg Law platform. Customers can set up alerts and will have access to a full citator as well as other enhanced Bloomberg Law functionality.
JOG: Is there any content that will not be available to topical library subscribers?GM: “Yes. Dockets, Bloomberg News and the Business Development Center will remain exclusive offerings on the full Bloomberg Law platform.”
JOG: What is your view of the recent “gatekeeper” controversy? Do you think of librarians and information professionals as “gatekeepers?”SM: “I have a different perspective. I think that the very large majority of librarians that I have dealt with are extremely strategic and knowledgeable. A large majority of the innovation that we have undertaken as an organization is driven by ideas we get from librarians in law firms.”
JOG: Bloomberg BNA is the only major publisher that does not have an advisory board composed of librarians and information professionals . Would you consider having one?GM: We have asked librarians to act as advisors in the past. We had one day summit in New York in 2014 . We put fifteen librarians around a table and came away with wonderful new product ideas.”
SM: I think that being able to test ideas and get feedback from customers is extremely important. I like the idea of having an advisory board of librarians who can provide regular feedback from a variety of perspectives. We will definitely consider doing that.JOG; Are you looking at predictive technology?
SM: Bloomberg has very large data sets and the technology to look at patterns and trends. We expect Litigation Analytics to be used as a predictive tool. We will continue to leverage the predictive technologies which have been developed on the business side of Bloomberg to enhance the BloombergBNA products.JOG: Where do you think Artificial Intelligence fits in your strategy?
SM: AI is both a challenge and an opportunity, but it needs to be focused on real needs that will benefit the market.GM: There is an AI team at Bloomberg. AI already being used to create stories for Bloomberg business news. It has been in use for several years. In the early days you could tell when stories were written by a machine, but the technology has improved dramatically. Bloomberg lists the source of those stories as ‘Automated News,’ and those stories are being written by algorithms.
JOG: You indicated that your goal is to have BloombergLaw be positioned in law firms, the same way Bloomberg Business terminal is positioned in financial services firms. Can you elaborate?GM: The business terminal is a workflow tool that supports many constituencies in a financial serviced firm. We are developing BloombergLaw to be a multi-faceted workflow platform offering the best content and functionality across the spectrum of roles in law firms whether the user is an associate, partner, business development or research team member.