Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wolters Kluwer Leaps to the Head of the Class with "SmartTasks" Customizable Corporate Know-How and Offers a Free Federal Legislative Knowledge Center

Wolters Kluwer must be offering free double espresso shots every morning to their product developers and editors. Do they even sleep these days?  Less than a month ago I wrote a post on the release of their Cybersecurity & Privacy platform … the relaunch of their  International Arbitration platform and their alliance with  IP analytics provider ktMine. Today they are announcing the release of  “Corporate SmartTasks” which follows on their  May 18th  launch of a free Federal Regulatory Knowledge Center beta site.


The Wolters Kluwer SmartTask Corporate Suite
SmartTask Corporate Suite – Already at the Head of the Class – Offers Firms Customizable Know How.

The SmartTask Corporate Suite is positioned to pitch to the Practical Law, Lexis Practice Advisor audience by offering transactional workflow guidance with analysis. I will cut to the chase. They have already outdone the competition by allowing firms to customize the tasks and more importantly to add their own documents to the workflow. If there is one consistent criticism I have heard  from partners when they see existing products - it is not wanting their associates to model cookie cutter documents. They ask- how do we add our own documents. It is a great question which I have been asking TR and LN repeatedly over the past few years.  Every firm wants to believe they can add their own secret sauce-- when they are ready to do so. The SmartTask platform will give them a leg up on  a serious KM initiative which all too often can’t get out of the gate. WK provides a template on which firms can build their own know how. Brilliant!  They can’t yet compete with Thomson Reuters or Lexis Nexis on breadth of content, but they could leaprfrog into the lead by offering a lower cost and customizable alternative.
Customizable Law Firm Content
SmartTask offers step by step guidance for standard transactional tasks such as amerinding bylaws, corporate formatting, drafting an SEC filing or choosing a form of business entity. The SmartTasks were designed with client demands for efficiency in mind. Dean Sonderegger, Vice President & General Manager, Legal Markets & Innovation is guoted in their press release  “Attorneys are facing increased pressure to find new ways to make their practice more efficient…the SmartTask Corporate Suite provides a full set of resources, including workflow tools, which enables firms to standardize common legal practices, ensuring consistency and efficiency.”
The benefits of SmartTask include:


  • Practical Legal Guides — Easy to follow, interactive, practical legal guides with practice notes and expert analysis
  • Single Access Point — SmartTasks are integrated with direct links to pointed sections of laws and regulations, treatise materials and primary sources
  • Expert-created, step-by-step guides created by attorneys for attorneys.
Unique  Features Include:
  • The ability to add your firm’s own practice notes, in-house documents or third-party content to any task 
  • The ability to standardize practices to help ensure consistency in attorney work product and increase realization rates
A complete list of smart task is listed at this link.

Free Access to the Federal Developments Knowledge Center Beta Site.

I have now lived through 6 Presidential election cycles since moving to DC in 1993.  New Presidents and shifting Congressional majorities always generate uncertainty – this year is no different—perhaps a bit more shrill... Wolters Kluwer is seizing the opportunity to  balm the collective angst with data. They have launched a beta site for The  Federal Developments Knowledge Center.

The Federal Developments Knowledge Center

Federal Developments Knowledge Center (FDKC) – currently in Beta – provides an easy to use site to survey the shifting legislative and regulatory landscape. Content includes:
·        Daily updates of executive actions, legislative and regulatory developments.
·        Breaking news with rich analysis from Wolters Kluwer’s attorney editors
·        Enacted laws and final rules
·        Impact analysis of executive orders, presidential memoranda, proposed legislation and regulations
·        Key Developments SmartChart organized by practice area to track changes, provide current status and next steps, and offer insight on possible client impact.

Federal Developments Smart Chart
The Beta period is expected to end in the summer. Additional content will be added which cover additional "hot topics such as Global Trade, Environment, Energy, and Immigration. Perhaps most importantly they plan to add predictive analytics which will forecast the likelihood that legislation will be enacted.  
  
Wolters Kluwer will update the platform with a system of scraping government web sites and databases which will be enhanced with metadata to provide custom search filtering.  A staff of over 100 writers and legal analysts will select and analyze  the most important developments each day.  the Federal Developments Knowledge Center will cover all federal agencies, all legislative actions, including actions by the congressional committees, and all executive actions. Wolters Kluwer editors will assess which actions are most likely to  impact customers and their clients and provide a summary of the primary source document  with a link to the primary source, as well as the potential impact and next steps toward enactment or implementation.

The Market Context. The Federal Knowledge Center is a logical development given Wolters Kluwer's deep expertise in the regulatory arena. The addition of  predictive analytics is a smart way to introduce a practical AI application in a client advisory context.  LexisNexis has already added predictive analytics for legislation on their legal research platform. Bloomberg BNA which competes more directly with Wolters Kluwer in the regulatory space has added predictive analytics for litigation but not for legislative or regulatory activity. Voxgov which scrapes a wider variety of materials from federal websites - does not include any editorial analyis of legislation or regulation.

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