Law Department Management TyMetrix 360º - A Better Way For Law Departments To Reduce Costs And Improve Outcomes

Monday, November 1, 2004 - 01:00

The Editor interviews John Weber, General Manager of TyMetrix, a CT Corporation Company. More information about TyMetrix 360º can be found at www.tymetrix.com. Mr. Weber can be reached at jweber@tymetrix.com.

Editor: John, please tell us about your background, including what attracted you to TyMetrix.

Weber: I joined TyMetrix in 2001 as the Vice President of Operations, having come from a TyMetrix client, The Guardian Life Insurance Company, where I was a claims litigator. Prior to that, I practiced law with the Manhattan law firm of Thatcher, Proffitt & Wood LLP, where I specialized in complex litigation.

I was attracted to TyMetrix because I share a vision with its founders, Bob Heinemann and Shelley Wallace. We believe that the goal of legal technology is to empower our clients to better manage the business, and the practice, of law. With the correct application of well designed technology, our clients are able to reduce their costs and improve their outcomes.

Editor: Wasn't TyMetrix just acquired?

Weber: We were. We were acquired by CT Corporation, the leader in corporate governance and representation in September 2003. The past year has been terrific and although we were financially strong when we were a private company, CT's investment has increased our ability to innovate and to develop next generation products, such as TyMetrix 360°.

We have always believed in CT's overall strategy to become a full service provider of enterprise software and services for corporate legal departments and the law firms that serve them. We believe that the integration of CT Corporation's service of process information into our matter management system is an important time saver and productivity booster for corporate law departments. That service is now part and parcel of TyMetrix 360°. In conjunction with CT Corporation, we are able to offer our customers the most comprehensive array of legal management services in the industry.

Editor: Your clients include some very large companies. Do your products also appeal to smaller companies?

Weber: We are very proud of our existing client base, which includes large and medium sized companies. It includes such companies as International Paper, Bell South, Cingular Wireless, General Electric-Commercial Insurance, Motorola, Pfizer, Tyco International, United Technologies, and such leading insurers as The Hartford, One Beacon Insurance, Ohio Casualty and Westfield, to name a few.

We designed TyMetrix 360° to enable us to better serve law departments of smaller and mid-sized companies and combined it with a pricing model that will allow us to sell to and serve those companies.

Editor: Tell us about the features of the new product that you feel are particularly attractive?

Weber: It is an easy to use, integrated application suite that unifies the core operating systems for corporate law departments and insurance claims departments. Included in TyMetrix 360° are matter management, budgeting and forecasting, document management, electronic billing and reporting. Based on early feedback, it is the best tool set available on the market today. Second, it embeds reporting throughout the system to help users make decisions without having to leave the system to check on data. Finally, the system is able to be configured and administered by TyMetrix and our clients in innumerable ways that will decrease the amount of time and effort it takes to implement and support the system.

Editor: What would you say is the single most important new feature incorporated in TyMetrix 360°?

Weber: Superior integration. TyMetrix 360° integrates information presentation so that all related information required by corporate counsel to meet each of their core needs is marshaled for convenient viewing. The improved level and depth of integration presents for each core need all the different dimensions that lawyers need to have at their fingertips every day. We combine all of these dimensions in Profiles that include all the substantive practice materials, all the collaborative tools they need to work with outside counsel such as calendars and tasks, all the financials and then finally reporting. See the sample Profile screen on this page.

Editor: An important theme of this issue is civil justice reform. One of the reasons for the support by corporate counsel of these reforms is to reduce the litigation costs. Cost reduction can also be achieved by increased efficiency in case management. How does TyMetrix 360° enable corporate counsel to control litigation costs?

Weber: One of the primary design criterion for TyMetrix 360° was to help corporate counsel reduce costs. Law firm costs can be managed effectively because all the information about a case, including the budget and billing is reported by the system. Similarly, law firm selection and alternative fees arrangements are easily handled.

In addition, TyMetrix 360° uses an alerting system to notify users when a case or other matter is about to go off track. For example, there is an alert when billing guidelines have been violated by a law firm. We have also built intelligent alerting into budgeting and forecasting; corporate counsel are alerted when budget or forecasting guidelines have been violated.

Editor: Can law firms also use the system?

Weber: Law firms are important users of our system. Law firms rely heavily on TyMetrix to help them manage the bills. With TyMetrix 360º, law firms are able to meaningfully collaborate on the budgeting, assessment, planning and progress of the case.

Editor: I have always been impressed with the use by TyMetrix of leading edge technology to deliver its services. Will the Internet be used to deliver TyMetrix 360°?

Weber: We are an ASP, an Application Service Provider, which is short for saying that we securely host the application for our clients in a SAS 70, Type II data center. Likewise, TyMetrix 360° is securely delivered in the ASP model

The advantage of the ASP model is that by sharing the hosting costs with other TyMetrix clients, our clients realize significant cost savings over keeping that in-house. In addition, the ASP delivery model provides our clients with a guaranteed upgrade path, eliminating the upgrade dilemmas associated with typical client-side applications. Finally, because TyMetrix 360º is a centrally hosted application, any user can access it securely at any time from any location.

Editor: Because it uses the Internet, does an ASP give rise to security problems? Also, what about audit compliance?

Weber: Our application is extremely secure. Our application and client data is stored within a SAS70 Level 2 and TruSecure-certified hosting facility featuring 24x7x365 manned-system monitoring and on-site security. This enables TyMetrix to monitor all end-user access to our e-business platform and maintain complete compliance with mandated client and regulatory security and audit controls. Many of our clients have commented that our data center is more secure than anything that they have in-house. Of course, all data transmission occurs over encrypted lines.

Because it tracks everything, including all activity in the system, TyMetrix 360° also provides law departments with a powerful tool that enables them to meet the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley by maintaining appropriate departmental internal financial and process controls.

Editor: What about pricing?

Weber: TyMetrix 360° has a pricing model that enables clients to subscribe to only those modules that they need. You do not have to be an electronic billing customer of TyMetrix to use matter management and conversely you do not have to be a matter management customer to use e-billing. In addition, we have tiered our pricing so that we have product and service offerings for law departments of all sizes and requirements.