Thursday, March 31, 2005

LexisNexis TotalSearch 3.0 Makes Clients' Own Legal Content as Accessible as Its Own

I had the good fortune to get a thorough run-through of LexisNexis TotalSearch when I was judging the SIIA Content Codie awards a while back, and was impressed by the package even then. It's an interesting concept: a client's own legal documents can be extracted and normalized into a form that makes them searchable in much the same way that content from LexisNexis' own database, including embedded citations of case law relating to a given matter. Local content is held separately from LexisNexis content, but the shifting from local to vendor content keeps the same general interface and capabilities available. Now LexisNexis has announced the release of TotalSearch 3.0, now including Shepard's(R) Citations Service imbeddable into a clients' content, beefier searching tools and more integration into popular document management systems. While it may appear to be bass-ackwards workflow integration at first glance, when you consider how central the well-designed LexisNexis interface is to researching legal matters, it makes a good amount of sense to go this route. Treating content from all sources as potentially valuable in the right context is a very important key to creating value in content services these days, so treating a clients' content with equal importance to your subscription content is a play that can keep systems integrators from eating away at your margins - especially when it amplifies the value of your primary interface as a key component of that value. By turning content integration on its head TotalSearch is thinking ahead to new value propositions that will keep it in a central problem-solving role for its clients.
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