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Datacert's New GRC Product Aims at Corporate Counsel
Law Technology News
Datacert Inc., known for its legal billing and matter management software, announced its entry into the corporate compliance space this week with a new product called Passport GRC.
The software is intended to help general counsel in the field known as GRC -- governance, risk management, and compliance -- by providing them with dashboards illustrating a company's audits, compliance, incidents, and risks.
Datacert's Shaheen Javadizadeh, vice president of strategic markets, said his company decided to formalize its GRC products and services because customers were finding increased involvement in compliance teams beyond just their roles as corporate counsel. "If you look at the work governance, lots of people in the legal profession think automatically, 'the function of the corporate secretary.' That's not what we are talking about," he said.
"Over the years as regulations have increased, and the requirements around those regulations have become more complex, customers have asked us to help them," Javadizadeh added. There's also been a trend in GRC employees reporting less frequently to general counsel and more frequently to chief operating officers or even directly to corporate boards, he said.
Companies can buy Passport GRC in modules or in a bundle. It integrates with Datacert's other products and is highly customizable, with costs ranging from under $100,000 to more than $1,000,000, Javadizadeh explained.
Javadizadeh, in Houston, said his company most often sees MetricStream Inc. and Thomson Reuters Corp.'s Accelus division as its primary competitors even though Datacert and Thomson Reuters are also partners on the legal billing side, and despite the existence of hundreds of companies in various aspects of the enterprise GRC field, he noted. Many target IT departments, but few aim directly at general counsel, he observed.
Keith Darcy, executive director of a practitioners organization called the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association, said he's not familiar with Datacert but is skeptical that a company traditionally outside of the ethics and compliance field can make significant inroads just by having connections with corporate counsel.
"Worldwide, there are now thousands of ethics and compliance executives looking to build systems of controls. It is a big field. There are a lot of players," targeting every public company and many more, Darcy said in Waltham, Mass. "My members are always looking for ways to improve the way their build their risk mitigation platforms," he explained.
However, "All the other vendors are [also] very familiar with who the general counsel are in all the public corporations," Darcy said.
The field also presents nontraditional opportunities for e-discovery companies, Darcy observed, because compliance data is often quantifiable and therefore discoverable. "That's a major issue going forward how do we deal in this new transparent world? It's a very scary, dangerous world," he said.
This article originally appeared in Law Technology News.