A couple of years ago, Charles Christian of the Orange Rag observed that whilst other providers made a lot of noise about what they were going to do in the UK market, Recommind quietly got on with making sales. The company has been less quiet about it lately, particularly in law firm enterprise search, as can be seen if you just run your eye down the list of press releases, with Mills & Reeve, Mischcon de Reya, Macfarlanes and Clifford Chance all named in the first page.
These in-house information systems, all rebranded during 2010 with the Decisiv label (Search, E-mail Management and Categorisation) have been joined over the same period by ediscovery / e-disclosure products with the name Axcelerate (one covering ECA and Collection and one for Review and Analysis). The same softly-softly approach to marketing has been evident with these products. My evidence as to Recommind’s penetration with these products is anecdotal, consisting largely of hearing the name mentioned by lawyers and others to whom I speak. It turns up enough for me to know that the products are getting serious attention.
I now know Recommind rather better than I did when Charles Christian made that comment, but it remains a mystery to me how so small a European team achieves this, particularly as there is business being done in Germany as well (see a video made by Project Counsel at IQPC in Munich, in which European Director Simon Price and European Sales Director Hartwig Laute are interviewed).
Two new developments signal the end of this low-key approach. One is the appointment of additional staff in London, including a Regional Sales Manager, a Regional Manager for E-discovery and sales engineering staff. The press release is headed Recommind doubles London presence and expands European operations by 30%, which says it all.
The other news is the launch of a European Axcelerate On-Demand service hosted in London. This, as the press release says, includes all the features of Axcelerate Review and Analysis on site software for processing, review, predictive coding, analysis and production, and makes them available as a secure, scalable on-demand service. There is more to this than choosing between an in-house or hosted application. A law firm or company can buy in-house licences for their average throughput and turn to the hosted on-demand service to handle occasional peaks in demand. It also allows potential buyers to try out Axcelerate for a single case before committing to an in-house installation. Lastly, it addresses the problem faced by firms called upon to manage just one big case; they can now take Axcelerate without incurring capital expense.
This is a timely addition to Recommind’s offerings, particularly given their European footprint. It became clear at the Munich IQPC conference, if it was not clear already, that mainland European companies are facing a set of pressures which are totally new to many of them. These come in the form of US document demands and, increasingly, EU regulatory expectations. Many of these companies do business in the UK, and will therefore become subject, wherever they are, to the UK Bribery Act from April of this year. Data hosting is one of those few things which London still does better than anyone else, driven by the financial markets’ demand for security, speed and reliability. It seems probable that Recommind will need their extra staff.