Legal publishers pairing themselves with applications that embed their subscription-based resources isn’t new. West KM does it, as does LN’s Quickfind. Now out of LTNY we hear about the latest tool addition, Lexis for Microsoft.
Do these tools add valuable functionality for firms? Even if we hesitate on a few of them, the overall answer is probably ‘yes’. But an issue that seems rarely talked about is that of usage rates – the measure by which most flat fee pricing for online database services is based. The end effect of many of these tools is that they drive up your usage numbers, and then come contract renewal time, firms are forced to negotiate larger than expected price increases with vendors.
I write this only as a factor for consideration: even ‘free’ tools come at a cost. And if you’re negotiating a multi-year contract, you may be paying for years to come.