This is an exciting time in the enterprise legal management (ELM) market. With Gartner officially carving out Enterprise Legal Management as a defined space, I got to thinking about just how far matter management and eBilling software has come.  I recently talked about this evolution in a webcast, which is available here.

With good matter management and e-billing practices paying dividends for many years now, clients are looking for support from their ELM vendors to help with the concerns they have in today’s financial and business environment, such as cost control, compliance, and data security. At a high level, the growth of ELM can be broken out into three generations:

  • Generation 1: The First Movers. Claims and corporate law departments at Fortune 200 companies needed to understand and control legal spend on their large litigated matters. There were early solutions on the matter management side and the e-billing side, but they didn’t talk to each other. Law firm participation at this stage was mostly limited to the expectation that they submit their invoices electronically and got paid more predictably.
  • Generation 2: Birth of the Platform. The second generation of ELM was focused on bringing disparate systems together for a more comprehensive view. At first this simply meant combining matter management and e-billing into a single application. This approach later blossomed into TyMetrix® 360°, a robust platform that incorporated spend management and collaboration with outside counsel. This “one-stop-shopping” style helped law departments get a more comprehensive picture and increased their expectations of what enterprise legal management could do for them.
  • Generation 3: Meeting Diverse Needs. Today, the third generation is well underway. This is the age of the Legal Operations Manager who is responsible for managing the business side as well as the systems side of the legal or claims department. Along with General Counsel, these sophisticated end users have high expectations of their ELM providers – they must build on the foundation of matter management and e-billing, providing robust spend management, document management, and business process management, along with clear, benchmarked metrics and analytics. An ELM provider today is a partner who helps drive down costs, improve results, and assure compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

During my years with the company, I’ve seem our solutions go through this same evolution. Our early e-billing and matter management applications were the first generation beginning for us. Then we led the second generation with TyMetrix 360°, which was the first fully integrated e-billing and matter management platform. Today, we help our clients and their outside counsel form more collaborative relationships that bring the right talent and data to bear to solve problems. Sophisticated business process management allows for carefully customized workflows that trigger the right tasks and actions for the right people at the right time. These smart micro decisions are what really achieve the overall results.

Enterprise legal management has now achieved enough maturity that market analysts are beginning to evaluate and rate ELM providers. Gartner, Inc has conducted their first ELM Magic Quadrant analysis, rating us as a Leader. The Fox Innovation series, which showcases companies that are leading innovators in their fields, chose to profile TyMetrix in 2013 for our visionary contributions to enterprise legal management. These successes come as a result of what our clients are saying about us – we never forget that we have our clients to thank for this recognition. And we continue to look to our clients, and to their maturing needs, as we plan for future offerings.