While in New York for Legaltech, I interviewed Paul Mankoo, CEO of Inventus, on a range of eDiscovery subjects. I first met Paul Mankoo about 20 years ago, and his present position as CEO of a global eDiscovery company gives him a range and depth of experience which I was keen to tap.
The resulting interview has been broken into a series of short snippets, each on a discrete subject. The broad question in this one was about changes in the industry. Paul Mankoo’s answer was not, as you might expect, about new technology, but about people as a differentiator between providers.
The most obvious development in recent years, Paul Mankoo said, was consolidation as providers become fewer and bigger. Consolidation is a natural cycle of any market, and is often about driving down costs – delivering services either at a lower cost to the client or with a higher margin to the provider. Inventus, he said, takes a different view – what matters is not a race to the bottom for cost but a race to the top for talent.
Many of the things which used to be differentiators are now taken for granted – the old primary question used to be about a company’s ability to process high volumes very quickly, but that is now a given. Questions are now more sophisticated. What is required is people who can pull together tools, techniques and expertise to deliver the solutions which clients actually want.
They no longer want a long document about the company. They present scenarios derived from their own experience and ask “How would you deal with this?”. There are no textbook answers to questions like this; what is needed is experience, and the ability to articulate a suitable reply.
This theme – asking what clients want and then delivering it – recurs through the other interviews with Paul Mankoo which will be published over the next few weeks.