Foley & Lardner LLP

Expanding & Centralizing Market Intelligence with Manzama

When law firms first began recognizing the importance of monitoring business and competitive intelligence, the task of compiling and analyzing information mined from online sources was often delegated and managed in an ad-hoc, non-centralized manner. Intelligence efforts have frequently been spearheaded by the business development or marketing departments, sometimes in response to specific RFPs or client concerns. Occasionally, practice groups within the firm have championed such efforts to bring group members up to speed on developments that will impact clients and the practice in general.

However, some firms are now working to formalize the process of collecting, analyzing and disseminating business intelligence, and more often than not, this task has fallen upon the Information Services or Library departments. Foley & Lardner is one of the firms on the forefront of this movement. “As a firm, Foley is extremely committed to being in tune with our clients and their business needs,” said Jeffrey A. Bois, Director of Research & Information Services. “We see the significance of identifying the intersection of our clients and the issues and topics occurring within their respective industries and communicating this information to our attorneys to help them get up to speed quickly.”

“In Information Services, we don’t see our role as merely presiding over subscriptions. Our mission is not only to provide people the information they need, but also to provide advice on how to better leverage that information into actionable intelligence; it’s about providing solutions. So we embraced the business intelligence gathering initiative. During our early efforts, we lacked a uniform vetting and delivery mechanism. There was a sense that information was coming at stakeholders from every direction, a sense of overload … and a lack of efficiency. As we set out to create a structure for sharing meaningful business intelligence, we had two important criteria: First, the intelligence on industries and practice areas needed to have a legal taxonomy already built in. Second, it needed to have consistency in terms of the content and how the information is presented.”

Unifying Business Intelligence With Foley Insights

foley-1To unify and standardize the dissemination of business intelligence, Jeff Bois and his team created a portal called Foley Insights. “We see Foley Insights as a tool for delivering pertinent news items from a number of different sources with a legal taxonomy already built in,” he explained. “We have positioned it as a solution for overcoming information overload. The engine behind Foley Insights is Manzama. Manzama automates the process of collecting the information, and it incorporates both trusted legal taxonomies and the consistency we lacked before. When we decided to take this approach, we made a conscious decision to avoid internal newsletters. We felt the information should be specific for each stakeholder instead of a canned approach. Manzama allows us to tailor Foley Insights for each and every one of the attorneys in the firm. We can create unique reports for all attorneys so they have relevant content at their fingertips and are ready to have an intelligent conversation with clients about developments in their industries.”

Foley has leveraged Manzama as a tool for actionable business intelligence in support of the firm’s recently launched Legal Innovation HubSM for NextGen Manufacturers, a major firm-wide initiative that aims to support next-generation manufacturers in tackling emerging challenges associated with innovative approaches to manufacturing and redesigned business strategies. Through the Legal Innovation Hub, Foley plans to build on its 170-year history of serving manufacturers to become a top resource for next-generation manufacturers looking to adapt to the demands of the future. “Manzama’s analytics have allowed us to isolate trends in general manufacturing and then drill down to aspects of next-generation manufacturing,” Bois continued. “We can then aggregate and share intelligence targeted to specific industries.”

“At Foley, we have a three-pronged strategy,” Bois added. “We strive to innovate, create a business development culture, and become a best place to work. Manzama helps us on all three fronts.”

With more than 20 offices and nearly 900 attorneys throughout the United States and across the globe, Foley combines powerful national resources with a local focus to deliver seamless — and award-winning — business and legal insight. Foley’s team-based approach, proprietary client service technology, and practice depth enhance client relationships while seeing clients through their most complex legal challenges. Recent distinctions bestowed upon Foley include:

• Recognition as one of the elite BTI Client Service 30 for nine of the past 10 years (The BTI Consulting Group, Wellesley , MA)

• Named among the top 25 law firm brands in the United States in the Acritas US Law Firm 2013 Brand Index

• Named to the Information Week 500 list for innovative, client-focused technology (2012)

• Named to CIO magazine’s CIO-100 list for eight of the past 13 years for creating technological innovation to enhance business value

• Recognition for excellence by Chambers USA regionally in 29 practice areas (2013)

• Nineteen practices recognized in The Legal 500 guide for the United States, including three attorneys ranked on the elite “Leading Lawyers” list (2013)

• Received 20 national first-tier rankings on the 2013 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list