February 14, 2012
Advantage Bloomberg Law? Part 1: Not until BLaw unleashes BNA’s sales force to get boots on the ground
So BLaw has added DLA Piper as a subscriber and not just a handful of seats at a BigLaw firm as has been the past adoption rate for BLaw at BigLaw. All US-based DLA Piper attorneys now have a BLaw account, that’s something like 1,400 attorneys. Quoting from BLaw's press release:
“We are deeply gratified that a firm of DLA Piper’s caliber has chosen Bloomberg Law for its lawyers throughout the United States,” said Bloomberg Law Chairman Lou Andreozzi. “We look forward to working closely with DLA Piper as we continue to develop the resources to help law firms better manage their research and costs so they can concentrate on adding value to their clients.”
Hum, "work closely with DLA Piper as we continue to develop the resources"... .
Initially, I thought BLaw's Lou Andreozzi was stealing a page from Lexis' advertising playbook. Remember back in the 1980s: "all Skadden Arps attorneys have a UBIQ in their offices” (read sure as hell Skadden did not pay the equipment leasing fees the rest of us did back then). But no, DLA Piper Jean O'Grady's Dewey B Strategic blog post title makes it clear that nothing similar happened. See Welcome to Bloomberg Law: No Deals No Discounts No Apology. I sure as hell don't think this transaction requires any apology whatsoever. Again, quoting from the press release, (which IMHO should have been released the day before, not the day of TRI’s 2011 financial reporting):
Don Jaycox, DLA Piper’s Chief Information Officer, said, “Law firms need to cost effectively deliver great client service in a highly competitive environment. In addition to being experts in law, our clients have made it clear that they also want us to understand the business challenges they face on a daily basis. Bloomberg Law’s unique combination of legal research, company information, and news helps our lawyers stay abreast of a wide array of information affecting our clients. Plus, Bloomberg’s inclusive pricing model helps us manage costs in a predictable way.”
So, let's do the math. Now if the transaction was based on a single user flat rate fee: 1,400 seats times $450 per seat per month flat rate equals $630,000 per month or $7,560,000 per year. Of course, the BLaw-DLA Piper transaction was based on a multiuser license so the pricing was substantially less. How much less? Who knows, but still it certainly was not a bad day in the world of professional legal services sales in the specialist market!
Can Bloomberg Law capitalize on this transaction? Well, there are plenty of BigLaw firms (and academic law libraries) that have been waiting for BLaw's sales force to travel beyond Manhattan to hear from the Company as one law firm librarian characterized the situation in a LawLibCon podcast episode recently. And there are plenty of Bloomberg BNA field reps biting the bit to sell BLaw, like now, Lou!
BLaw needs to seize the post-DLA Piper moment by unleashing BNA's sale force. That’s the best damn way for BLaw to get boots on the ground beyond Manhattan. When you pay over $900 million, isn't it about time to grab some ROI by way of an experienced sales force? Perhaps the DLA Piper announcement means BNA sales reps have been or soon will be pitching BLaw. If not, the DLA Piper adoption doesn't mean all that much.
BLaw ought not wait until BNA content is fully integrated into BLaw before giving the Bloomberg BNA field reps the green light because … well, that’s the topic of tomorrow’s post. [JH]
So what is Bloomberg's presence in academic law libraries? I approached them about a consortium offer and as you might expect they aren't interested in working through consortia as they have adopted the 'concept' of transparent pricing with no discounting. And they told me that Bloomberg Law was being made available free to law students. Yet I'm not sure how or if that's actually being implemented anywhere. I also approached them several times to invite them to the upcoming NELLCO Symposium (www.etouches.com/nellco) so that they could help us all get a handle on what they're offering. It seems to me like there's a lot of mystery swirling around them and I haven't seen or heard much to clear it up. Anybody? Bueller? Anybody?
Posted by: Tracy Thompson-Przylucki | Feb 23, 2012 6:19:43 AM
Since mid-2011, Bloomberg Law has been very proactive with California law schools. Our Bloomberg rep is on campus several times a week. We did a limited rollout of Bloomberg last semester, and widened access to the entire law school community this semester.
Posted by: Amy | Feb 14, 2012 9:31:14 AM
Joe- You post contains a serious factual error. You misunderstood my blog. The price points I quoted were for single user licenses for the Bloomberg financial terminal NOT Bloomberg Law. I did not provide Bloomberg Law pricing so you have the wrong data for projecting what any firm would be paying for a multiuser license. The point I was making was to looki at the historical pattern of Bloomberg businesss terminal pricing as a predictor of Bloomberg Law pricing. The business terminal pattern suggests that they will not charge for excluded content or have wildly variable price increases based on usage or added functionality. JOG
-- Right Jean and now clarified in the post. Joe
Posted by: Jean O'Grady | Feb 14, 2012 6:16:22 AM