On Monday, LexisNexis launched a new expansion for InterAction, the company’s customer-relationship management (CRM) tool. The expansion is dubbed InterAction for Microsoft Office 365, and it seeks to bring tighter integration between Interaction and Office applications that attorneys use daily.
How it works: When using InterAction in Microsoft Word, an attorney can read a Word document, see a name and highlight it, and a client profile appears. If a client profile doesn’t exist, the user can create one. The profile lists email addresses, phone numbers and the other lawyers in the firm who work with the client. The client profile also lists meetings held and scheduled in an “activities” section, allowing attorneys to see the firms past and ongoing interactions with the client.
While InterAction’s Microsoft and Outlook features are identical, in Outlook, the software also allows users to add clients to marketing mailing lists and provides modification capabilities to personalize email. In Excel, InterAction helps find pertinent client information, such as names or email addresses, within large datasets, and links back to client profiles within the program.
InterAction is delivered through a “hybrid cloud technology” model that allows law firms to either place InterAction on its on-premise databases or on the cloud where it’s managed by LexisNexis. Scott Wallingford, general manager of LexisNexis’ law firm software solutions business, said the hybrid allows law firms greater flexibility in controlling their data.
What it is: InterAction’s new expansion allows the CRM tool merged into Word, Outlook and Excel. While identifying present and prospective clients is an essential function of any CRM tool, LexisNexis looks to stand out through its integrations.
Wallingford said while other CRM solutions require lawyers to adopt another program to use its product, “we have the CRM adapt to the lawyer and how the lawyer works.”
That adaptation goes beyond integrating into Microsoft Office products—it also monitors lawyers’ email interactions and sends automated messages to lawyers suggesting they add someone they frequently contact.
The Competition: LexisNexis’ release of InterAction comes as more legal technology providers predict a growing need for lawyers to develop and maintain clients.
Last May, Wilson Legal Solutions acquired CRM and business development consultancy Stanton Allen as part of its “core strategy” to expand its customer relationship management service offerings. Wilson Legal Solutions said at the time that CRM would take on greater significance in the legal industry.
“Firms are thinking much more along the lines of client lifecycle management, engagement lifecycle management,” said Wilson Legal Solutions vice president of strategy Norm Mullock at the time. “They’re not in the business of manufacturing billable hours anymore. I think it’s the battlefront for legal, for large law at least, success going forward.”