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LexisNexis Brings Information to Customers
Posted On August 1, 2004
LexisNexis has launched the second phase of its wireless delivery option for the popular BlackBerry handheld organizer from Research In Motion ( BlackBerry users can now search, refine, and edit results from more than 14,000 LexisNexis information sources. To accomplish this, LexisNexis developed an easy-to-use, screen-friendly interface designed to work with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server or an equivalent. Since late April, BlackBerry users have been able to receive current news on their predefined topics of interest delivered via LexisNexis Publisher.

"Professionals today work from everywhere: the office, the home, the car, and the airport," said Elizabeth Rector, LexisNexis' senior vice president of corporate and federal markets. "We've created a simplified LexisNexis search that is easy and convenient to use on BlackBerry handhelds. Understanding the difference between a customer's needs while using BlackBerry and their needs when using PCs is critical to helping them do business anywhere."

Most analysts expect mobile search services to be a growth area, with business users of BlackBerry devices, Pocket PC and Palm handhelds, and Internet-enabled cell phones expecting to access Web and business content. A few of the traditional content providers besides LexisNexis have already adopted wireless delivery options.

Thomson West has offered wireless access to legal content for the last few years. Westlaw Wireless is the mobile version of Westlaw, accessible through almost any PDA with Web access. Ovid offers its Ovid@Hand service for delivery of Ovid medical content to Palm and Pocket PC handhelds. Hoover's offers a wireless service and says it is currently working on a redesign that will provide more options and be accessible to more devices.

This month, said that its directory would be available on the AT&T Wireless mMode service and on Sprint PCS Vision phones. LexisNexis says it is exploring other opportunities in the wireless space but did not provide any details at this time. Expect to see more content providers and services create mobile interfaces and specialized services to accommodate the need to access key content on the run.

When I met with Elizabeth Rector in June at the SLA annual conference, she emphasized that LexisNexis is working to bring information to customers--however they want it, whether it's wireless delivery or integrated within work environments. The bottom line, she said, is to provide better answers.

Besides accommodating mobile work environments, the latest initiatives at LexisNexis also reflect the current trend of providing information solutions that accommodate enterprise users' work flow and integrate with enterprise applications--providing information as it's needed and wanted, without disrupting tasks. Each new product iteration also moves toward greater flexibility, personalization, knowledge management enhancements, and enhanced collaboration.

LexisNexis has just released an enhanced version of LexisNexis Total Search, the company's Web browser-based application that lets legal professionals search the service and a law firm's internal work product simultaneously. The company says it offers even greater flexibility for the product's knowledge-sharing capabilities to its customers.

"With the enhanced release of this already successful legal application, LexisNexis Total Search will continue to meet and exceed the critical knowledge management needs of law practices across the country," said Lou Andreozzi, president and CEO of LexisNexis' North American Legal Markets. "This tool is another example of how LexisNexis is helping the bottom line of customers by enhancing the efficiency of the practice of law, taking our valued clients beyond online legal research."

The company claims that LexisNexis Total Search is the only tool available in the legal industry that provides end users with cross-references between and within internal firm content and, more specifically, between particular point-of-law discussions within documents. Additionally, LexisNexis Total Search embeds Shepard's Signal indicators into internal content as well as LexisNexis content, allowing legal professionals to cite-check efficiently.

This spring LexisNexis also announced a partnership with Cymfony to integrate content with its media analytics and market intelligence solution; it announced another partnership with Market360 that will stream access to XML news content into Biz360's market intelligence application. "LexisNexis and Biz360 have a similar goal--to help customers put information into context," said Rector.

Paula J. Hane is a freelance writer and editor covering the library and information industries. She was formerly Information Today, Inc.’s news bureau chief and editor of NewsBreaks.

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