LexisNexis yesterday announced that its subsidiary client relationship management (CRM) product, Interaction would now work seamlessly with Microsoft® Outlook, Excel and Word-three applications that many lawyers typically use. InterAction® for Office 365® is available for both desktop and subscription versions of Office, including those running on Mac and IOS. It allows you to access your firm’s client relationship data and information about clients and potential clients while using Outlook, Excel and Word with a click or, eventually even automatically. Its compatible with 365 or the 2016 and 2019 versions. This is a significant new tool which should aid firms in business development.
Using LexisNexis technology, the application can securely access both cloud and on premises information and complies with GDPR and CCPA. The app allows one-click VOIP calling and will automatically track phone calls and record them as activities. It will also track e-mail activities and other data so that everyone on a client team can see who is doing what with a client whether it be pitches, phone calls or social outings. The Excel interaction allows “users …[to] easily compare an attendee list with their InterAction data to understand which known contacts will be at an event without ever leaving Excel,” says Scott Winter, Director of Product Management. This isn’t about assembling a report but rather embedding InterAction data to help users work smarter in real-time.”
InterAction has been around for since the early 1990s and was acquired by LexisNexis around 10 years ago. According to InterAction, its used by over 450 clients from 32 countries including large law firms (InterAction claims its tools are used by 75% of the AmLaw 100 firms), mid-size law firms and nonlegal professional services firms. According to Scott Wallingford, General Manager of InterAction, InterAction is primarily focused on what it believes to be the unique needs of professional services entities and law firms. (My old law firm was a long-time customer of Interaction and I’m pretty familiar with it).
I had a chance to have the product demoed to me yesterday and, frankly was impressed.
I had a chance to have the product demoed to me yesterday and, frankly was impressed. Within Outlook emails, you can easily see who is doing what with what client in the firm in a side window while Outlook is running. This is particularly helpful in larger firms where different lawyers working often in silos may have the same contact with a client. It also facilitates marketing collaboration since you can easily and quickly determine the firm’s connections with a particular client or person. By making all the information available on the same screen within Outlook, another nice feature, it gives a complete picture of marketing efforts and avoids the embarrassing problem of two lawyers separately and inadvertently marketing the same client or same person at a client. Sadly, been there, done that.
It beats the old system of sending a firm email asking “does anyone happen to know…” which usually proves not only inefficient but by and large ineffective.
Integration with Word is also impressive since you can track names and contacts directly from a Word document. And the ability to dump conference attendees into Excel and then immediately get the firm’s information on the attendees and the companies they work for is invaluable. It beats the old system of sending a firm email asking “does anyone happen to know…” which usually proves not only inefficient but by and large ineffective.
And as more and more firms form client teams to track and market business, this kind of integration tool would be will be quite helpful, a significant time server and spur team as opposed to individual activity. And frankly, it will discourage and out lawyers who selfishly try to hide their client contacts and interactions from others in their firm. (Not that anyone would ever do that).
And frankly, it will discourage and out lawyers who selfishly try to hide their client contacts and interactions from others in their firm.
The app does appear to more compatible with larger firms who already have in place InterAction and who use Microsoft products. Smaller firms or firms with only one office would probably not gain much bang for the buck. But for bigger firms with multiple locations, this app could save not only time but make for more effective marketing.
As I said at the outset, this tool should aid larger firms with business development activities…if. Like most technologies, if its going to work, it has to be used. And use requires, for many lawyers, some change by partners and co-workers to trust one another to collectively market and approach clients. Historically, lawyers marketed in silos but to be successful today, we need to think teams and collaboration if we want to compete. The new InterAction facilitates that approach.