It’s good to be back: Epona at CLOC and ALA
Since live events are open again, our own VP Keith Vallely took the chance to travel the country and visit CLOC and ALA. Here Epona was present with a booth, to show our latest solutions for DMS, contract management and everything related to document management on Microsoft 365. He wrote a short story about his findings while visiting these two events.
As the Vice President of Epona USA it is always fun to attend the annual CLOC (Corporate Legal Operations Consortium) Event in Las Vegas, and this years event was extra special due to the hiatus of the last few years because of the Covid 19 lockdowns. The first thing I must mention about the Consortium was how great it was to finally meet in person the numerous Epona customers. Epona is grateful to have such great customers and an ever expanding account base, who continue to recommend our solutions to their colleagues within the CLOC community. As I walked the vendor booth floor, which is where I spent most of my time, I did notice a few things that I would say was the larger take away.
It appears as if there are less vendors, less options for the legal community and consolidation is occurring in the legal community, and that a few larger vendors seem to be buying up the innovators. We also learned from many of our clients, prospects, and people at lunch tables, that companies seem to be moving towards work models that will hybridize where people work permanently. Companies have tried to force everyone “back in the office” and the employees have sort of pushed back softly and then sort of not done it, and managers have sort of accepted that long commutes are bad for everyone, and $5 gas isn’t a good use of peoples money, and Teams/Zoom meetings are pretty productive. What this may mean over the course of the next few years is that people and Corporate culture is set to change permanently to be home mostly with some office, instead of the other way around.
The other thing we saw at CLOC is there is an enormous appetite for all things Microsoft 365. Every person that walked up to our Booth was of course interested in Document Management, but they were EVEN MORE INTERESTED in everything else that came with it: Contract Life Cycle Management, Workflows, Records, Power Automate, BI, Dashboards, and more. So what were CLOC attendees telling us? They want to see more innovation in the Legal Marketplace, not more consolidation. They want to see more flexibility on the Microsoft platform, and they want to be able to access it from more locations (home, work, car, boat, plane, train). Of course, Epona meets all of this…but then again, I am a paid spokesperson for Epona, and perhaps this is everything I wanted to hear. 😉
The ALA Show was the week following the CLOC, and for me and my colleague Marcel Lang, we had to fly from Las Vegas nearly directly to Orlando and go from one trade show floor to another. ALA stands for the Association of Legal Administrators. The attendance of this event seemed to be much larger than CLOC, and its focus was not so much Corporate Legal, but Law Firms.
This was Epona’s first time in attendance at this show, and we drew the luck of having a booth immediately next to one of our biggest competitors, a company called iManage. My first comment about this show is that we met more Corporate Legal folks here than we did Law Firms, which I will admit is peculiar! I will also confess, Epona being the horse god, I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, so we were simply happy to meet everyone that we encountered.
The ALA show was a traditional trade show in the sense, that it was like an ILTAcon in that we met lots of Law Firms of mid to smaller size that were seeking to utilize their current investment in Microsoft365 to build a Document Management System, and spend less to do it than our competitors cost. When walking the tradeshow floor, my observations at the CLOC Show remained true as well at the ALA show, with Epona and few other companies who are still innovating yet remaining. The ALA show was in fact an excellent show, and we will likely be returning next year.