Here’s the Dear EOS Client letter I believe all EOS licensees received last Friday. — Joe

Dear EOS Client,

Hello! This is Scot Cheatham, CEO of EOS International. I’m writing to you today to announce the acquisition of EOS International by SirsiDynix [ed. note: link]. I am genuinely excited about this event and the benefits it will bring to you, our valued client. I would first like to introduce you to Bill Davison, CEO of SirsiDynix. For those of you who are unfamiliar with SirsiDynix, they have been around for over 30 years, and are the world’s leading provider of Integrated Library Systems. You will undoubtedly get to know Bill and the rest of the SirsiDynix team much better in the coming weeks and months. Bill and I want to be the first to welcome you to the SirsiDynix family!

Below, we have included a section of FAQ’s that will hopefully answer some of your most basic and immediate questions about this acquisition. Please take a few moments to review it. While it probably won’t answer all of your questions, hopefully it will give you a basic understanding of today’s announcement, what it means to you and what you can expect going forward.

The fact that EOS is now backed by SirsiDynix is beneficial to everyone involved. SirsiDynix brings a truly global reach, a world-class infrastructure and the solid financial foundation to take both companies to the next level while providing the vision, the products, and the support you need to succeed. With this acquisition, SirsiDynix is demonstrating its commitment to the library market we serve. Collaboration between SirsiDynix and EOS will allow us to apply significant resources to enhance our flagship product, EOS.Web. It will broaden our sales and marketing capabilities, and will help us to continue to strengthen our client services offering.

This acquisition will bring about the following changes. Effective immediately, Bill Davison will take the reins as CEO of the new, combined organization. However, please know that the senior management team at EOS will continue to see to all of your needs. Additionally, I will remain available in an advisory role to assist Bill throughout this transition.

We know that change can be uncomfortable and we appreciate the importance of keeping you informed as we navigate through this transition. To that end, we want you to know that most things will NOT change, including the following key items:   EOS will continue to do business under the EOS name. You won’t see any changes to the fundamentals of the EOS business.

With only a very few exceptions, you will continue to work with the same people at EOS that you have worked with in the past.

There will be no changes to your fee structure, maintenance and other product pricing.

The products and services EOS has provided you in the past will continue to be offered and enhanced. There are no product end-of-life issues, nor product roadmap changes.

Quite simply, the main thing you can expect from this announcement is business as usual. We genuinely appreciate having you as our client, and now welcome you to SirsiDynix’s larger client family. On behalf of Bill and the rest of the combined executive team, we will work hard to earn your trust, exceed your expectations and make you as big a fan of this acquisition as we are!

Sincerely, Scot Cheatham

Several anticipated questions are answered below:

Who is SirsiDynix?

SirsiDynix is the world’s leading provider of integrated library system software. For over 30 years, SirsiDynix has developed, distributed and maintained the most widely-implemented ILS platforms in history. With customers in all four major segments of the library market—public, academic, K-12 and special—SirsiDynix specializes in delivering robust Library Solution Platforms that are highly customizable, extremely efficient and designed to seamlessly deliver both physical and electronic content.

Why did EOS sell to SD?

Two of our core principles at EOS are We Care and We Love Growth. We are committed to the success of our stakeholders – our staff, partners and most especially, our clients. We are also committed to growth that benefits our stakeholders. With that in mind, we decided that partnering with SD will provide the broad infrastructure, solid financial foundation and significant growth opportunities that will ensure continued success for our world-class products clients.

Will I need to switch platforms?

Clients will not need to switch platforms. EOS will continue to support all of the products it currently supports.

How does this announcement affect the EOS product roadmap?

Our product roadmap will continue as currently planned. Jeff Goodwin, our VP of Product Development, will continue to lead our development team as we implement our extensive product enhancement schedule. One of the benefits of EOS being backed by SD is that new product enhancements and features will be added to our roadmap that will bring significant benefits for EOS clients.

How does it affect EOS support?

EOS product support services and offerings will continue unabated. Jeff Smith, VP of Client Services, will continue to manage our award-winning product support team. All of the services that clients have come to appreciate over the years will be maintained. Our Service Guarantee and 24/7/365 support availability will continue with no changes. You will call the same telephone numbers, use the same email addresses, and reach the same friendly EOS client service staff.

Will there be any changes in sales?

Sal Provenza, VP of Global Sales and Marketing will continue to lead our sales and marketing effort. You will continue to work with your existing sales account manager. All EOS sales proposals and license renewal proposals do not change as a result of this transaction.

Any changes in EOS contact information?

You will call the same telephone numbers, use the same email addresses and EOS will have the same headquarters address.

Will there be any changes in the terms of my contract?

All contract terms will remain the same. In some cases there is an ‘Assignment’ or ‘Change in Control’ provision that requires assignment of the contract. An EOS representative will be in touch with you in case such a provision is in your contract.

How will this announcement affect my library?

Our goal is for this acquisition to have only positive benefits for your library. Business, product development, and operational best practices at SD will be implemented at EOS where practical and beneficial. Collaboration between SD and EOS will help enhance our client services and accelerate product enhancements. Best of all, the same EOS team will be there for you, helping you use our products to “Connect People to Knowledge!”

“It’s always interesting to see how a lawyer’s oral argument marries up to their briefing, and for me, it helps give greater context to the points,” wrote Jason Wilson at The Annotated Oral Argument: Tucker v. Thomas (#SCOTX). Check out his example of annotating an oral argument  conducted before the Supreme Court of Texas. (NB: the annotation links to open source texts of court opinions and statutory code sections.) He adds, “If y’all like these annotated arguments, I can start posting more here or on Annotations.”

I think Jason is onto something here. While I have little need for Lone Star State annotated oral arguments here in the Buckeye State, I think e-publishing high court annotated oral arguments by an editorial staff that actually knows something (and links to open or opened resources) is a great idea. Hell, that’s why I buy Jones McClure’s annotated federal codes instead of … well, you know.

I would be very interested in annotated US Supreme Court oral arguments, ditto for the Supreme Court of Ohio, if produced by a reliable publisher like Jones McClure. At the SCOTUS level, who might that be? Hint — who is the sponsor of SCOTUSblog and the publisher of USLW?

Joe

Starting at slide 11, Bess Reynolds, Technical Services Manager, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, addresses pain points, budgetary concerns and the failure of vendors to develop library management tools, issues all law libraries, large and small in the private and public sectors, face in acquiring and maintaining today’s digital resources. From her Oct. 4, 2013 presentation at LLNE’s Fall Meeting, “Acquiring and Maintaining Resources for the New Collection” [complete stack below], pain points include:

  • Substituting digital formats for print without proper notice;
  • Digital versions of print serials that circulated to many may come with a prohibitively high single user price tag; and
  • Creating proprietary platforms for eBooks thwarting single silo for discovery

With respect to vendors failing to develop library management tools, Bess notes that busy lawyers don’t have time to register themselves on web sites, manage their passwords and learn new platforms. Internal IT department restrictions designed to protect an institution’s network results in attorneys and librarians not able to install applications or vendor plug-ins. And, of course, any new vendor software scheme requires extensive in-house testing.

It is “important for publishers to hear directly from their customers” because official AALL vendor relations dogma maintains that “we don’t all have the same needs and perspectives.” I believe Bess Reynolds’ presentation underscores that working law librarians are grappling with the same issues regardless of their institutional setting when it comes to acquiring and maintaining resources for the new normal in collection development. — Joe

On Tom Glocer’s blog, former TRI CEO Tom Glocer returned to the day, some 30 years ago, when he and fellow Yale LS classmate, Ron Wright, launched a computer game at YLS that was designed to be a teaching aid for pre-trial discovery. The program apparently was well received at Yale. It even made the New York Times. Glocer republished the article in his 30th Anniversary Post – Can Computers Teach the Law? post. [Glitchy direct link warning; hence the above link to the blog’s front page.] From Computer Gives Yale Law Students a Taste of Court Process (NYT, Dec. 25, 1983):

Professor Fiss, one of Yale’s three professors teaching civil procedure this semester, is replacing what was a written exercise with a computer game created by Mr. Glocer and Mr. Wright. Process of Discovery.

OK, so the NYT article was Christmas Day newspaper fodder. Still, it’s too bad Glocer didn’t bring that sort of innovation to the table at Thomson Reuters. Then again, WEXIS is the cemetery for innovative thinkers. Perhaps he tried.

Dear Tom,

Don’t know about your non-compete clause but … why not start up an Etsy eCommerce site for one-off  e-“legal solutions” like altSEs, apps, etc., handmade by legal technologists? My hunch is many of those creative folks wouldn’t mind giving you a 4% sales commission for the exposure they might get from a legal Etsy site.

Your pal, Joe

Hat tip to Jean O’Grady for calling attention to yesterday’s re-launch of the product now known as “Business Law Center on WestlawNext.” After giving a brief history of Thomson Reuters’ many bungled attempts since acquiring Global Securities Information (GSI) in 2005, Jean provides an overview of Business Law Center and comments on this development.

This relaunch is surely about regaining lost “good will” and reinforcing credibility in the corporate practice space. But I suspect that the Business Center is a beachhead from which a greater initiative will be launched. It is becoming increasingly clear that as content has become commoditized, the large legal publishers will maintain their growth and advantage by providing more integrated content, enhancing context and folding content into tools for process improvement.

In this case, the battleground is for control of the transactional desktop. See Thomson Reuters Re-Launches Westlaw Business (Again): The Business Law Center and the Next Great Battle for the Corporate Lawyer’s Desktop on Dewey B Strategic. Highly recommended.

If interested, see also TR’s press release, Thomson Reuters Introduces Business Law Center on WestlawNext: Next generation of business law research supported by Experts On-Call dedicated research assistance, and its companion podcast discussing Experts On-Call.

Joe

The title of this post is taken from the sign-up page of LexisNexis’s promotional offer for its Firm Manager practice management platform. The link to the promo was provided in one of Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites posts (Oct. 3, 2013; updated twice on Oct. 4, 2013). Why the updates? I think because someone at the ABA needs to get a life.

If a vendor offers a promo to members of an ABA section in conjunction with the section’s national conference does that imply the ABA endorses the vendor’s product? Of course not. Certainly Bob didn’t think so until he received a take down notice from the ABA’s general counsel’s office. For details, see Bob’s twice updated LexisNexis is Giving $250,000 in Free ‘Firm Manager’ Subscriptions to Small Firms.

Joe

Since DLA Piper and Jones Day, we haven’t seen any announcements about BLaw signing up entire BigLaw firm staffs in the news. Perhaps I missed them. However, I’m sure there are plenty of BigLaw firms licensing BLaw under limited seat agreements. No doubt BLaw is putting the squeeze on WEXIS. So is Fastcase.

The New York State Bar Association, the largest voluntary state bar association in the country, is now offering Fastcase to its 76,000 members. Quoting from the Sept. 25, 2013 press release:

This is the new normal, when New York firms are absorbing their legal research costs as overhead, and firms of all sizes are looking to add a nonbillable ‘house account’ for legal research,” said Fastcase President Phil Rosenthal. “This partnership makes the NYSBA and Fastcase a better value than ever for New York firms, because they can reduce the costs of legal research and they can do so with the world’s smartest legal research tools.”

The Fastcase-NYSBA agreement pushes Fastcase’s user population over the 600,000 mark. Unlike Casemaker, Fastcase’s adoption rate extends well beyond the state bar association market.

Joe

A seven-month investigation by KrebsOnSecurity revealed that more than 1,300 customers of SSNDOB, an ID theft service, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars looking up SSNs, birthdates, and driver license records and unauthorized credit and background reports obtained by hacking into LexisNexis, D&B and other major data brokers. The finding is based on a copy of the SSNDOB database that became available after the ID theft service was itself hacked.

According to the SSNDOB’s online dashboard, the hackers had access to LN’s internal networks as far back as April 10, 2013 and D&B’s at least as far back as March 27, 2013. For details, see KrebsOnSecurity’s Data Broker Giants Hacked by ID Theft Service. See also Dan Goodin’s How LexisNexis and others may have unwittingly aided identity thieves (Ars Technica).

Joe