CRIV Liaison and Bloomberg BNA Semi-Annual Meeting
February 9, 2017 at 2PM Eastern
Attendance and Introductions:
Present on the call were: Mike Bernier, Director of Library Relations, Bloomberg BNA; Kate Hagan, Executive Director, AALL; Brian Houk, VP and Head of Sales – Legal, Bloomberg BNA; Diana Jaque, CRIV liaison; and Rick Montella, Executive VP, Commercial Strategy, Bloomberg BNA
New Bloomberg BNA Products, Policies, and Other Issues of Interest to AALL Members
Brian Houk: It has been nearly six years since Bloomberg acquired BNA. Since that time, there have been lots of enhancements to the Bloomberg Law platform. Eventually, Bloomberg BNA expects to get to one platform. Last year, more Bloomberg BNA practice materials were moved to Bloomberg Law to create new Practice Centers. The Practice Centers include improvements in search and navigation. This spring, Bloomberg Law will launch natural language searching. In addition, there is full integration with primary law content within the Bloomberg Law Practice Centers. Currently, there are plans to build out more workflow and visualization tools within each Practice Center. Examples include: chart builders and checklists for drafting. There is also enhanced research trail capability and more alerts and news items. Right now, Bloomberg BNA is concentrating on increased content and functionality on Bloomberg Law. Moving into 2017, early in the second quarter, customers will see the evolution of labor and employment as well as intellectual property material. Healthcare publications are slated for improvement later this year.
Mike Bernier: The Business Intelligence Center on Bloomberg Law has been enhanced. The Center brings together many pieces of Bloomberg Law all housed in one area. Within that, it is possible to monitor various industries or sectors on a custom dashboard. Many firms and companies have intranets; this is meant to be similar and is entirely customizable and can be shared with other end users. In addition, at no upcharge to customers, Judicial Analytics has been added to Bloomberg Law. This includes representational analytics and should assist firms in business development and litigation strategies.
In the academic market, Mike indicated that Bloomberg BNA has launched a series of webinars and continues to issue a quarterly newsletter. Within the academic market, the focus has shifted from 1Ls to upper division students. 1L students will primarily be trained with webinars that they can take when it is easiest for them. Upper division student sessions will focus on prepare to practice and summer associate training. Bloomberg Law is shifting from a focus on 1Ls to advanced legal research and clinics and will no longer use student representatives. The general emphasis has shifted to helping to create practice ready graduates. The contractual requirement to teach 1Ls Bloomberg Law in exchange for a discount no longer applies but the discounts given continue to apply. Effective immediately, law firm and law school relationship managers have been merged into one unit called Client Success so that law firm expertise can be shared with academic customers.
Finally, there are expanded MARC records for Bloomberg Law. Concerning the records, they are open to communicating with catalogers and VRAG members directly. They have been contacted by various catalogers and have worked to incorporate suggestions into the records.
Update from AALL (Kate Hagan)
AALL hopes to open registration for the annual meeting by the end of next week. Bloomberg Law is a Gold Sponsor. A special committee is being convened to examine both the AALL Guide to Fair Business Practices for Legal Publishers and the Procurement Toolkit and Code of Best Practices for Licensing Electronic Resources. A committee will be appointed soon. Expect it to take six to twelve months for changes. The chair is undetermined yet. Mike Bernier asked Kate what the attendee target is for the Annual Meeting. Kate responded that it will be 1500 and that the keynote speaker will be announced soon.
Requests for Assistance/Member Advocacy Issues (Diana & Bloomberg BNA Staff)
Diana again shared with Bloomberg BNA the following anonymous member assistance request:
Description of the Issue: BBNA is raising its prices astronomically for its tax vertical, and requiring firms that wish to get its well- regarded Tax Management Portfolios in any media to subscribe practice group-wide to one of its tax libraries. That is, to obtain the Portfolios digitally or in print, BBNA requires subscribing to content many of its customers do not want this content is available on other platforms that function quite ably. It has been suggested that the behavior might qualify as an illegal tying under antitrust law. Note: previously, firms could subscribe solely to the Portfolios in print, digitally or both. BBNA further threatens that it may withhold subscriptions to the BNA Daily Tax Reporter to libraries that do not subscribe to its tax library. The price increases are certainly in the double digits. The cost of these increases are almost unconscionable.
Steps Library Has Taken to Resolve this Issue: This is not an issue for a single firm or library. Firms with large tax practices seem to feel coerced to purchase BBNA’s tax products solely because the Portfolios are valued.
Bloomberg BNA Response: Rick Montella
Most large firms purchase Bloomberg BNA products on a practice group basis. This allows for better workflows and yields a lower effective price per user. As Bloomberg BNA prepares for the move from Resource Centers to Practice Centers on Bloomberg Law, they found that only a small number of firms, less than 20%, were just selecting a few individuals as designated users. Bloomberg BNA feels that the fair way to price their resources is at the practice group level. As a result, those with just a few seats will potentially see a significant price increase. Their suggestion is for these firms to work with Bloomberg BNA to discuss multi-year contracts in which prices are more gradually adjusted upwards. Over 50% of firms are selecting multi-year options. In regards to print subscriptions, Bloomberg BNA will continue to offer Bloomberg BNA Books, but will not be offering new print subscriptions for all other products. Bloomberg BNA stated that electronic products provide more value and timeliness. Although they are not investing in print, there are no current plans to sunset existing print subscriptions. They have received little or no pushback for not selling new print titles. In response to a question about small firm libraries and their concerns, they responded to have all questions sent to Bloomberg BNA account representative or directly to Mike Bernier (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In addition, Bloomberg BNA furnished the following statement:
Bloomberg BNA is in the process of rolling out new “Practice Centers on Bloomberg Law,” which are the next-generation versions of Bloomberg BNA Resource Centers. The new Practice Centers include features and functionality long requested in the Resource Centers, including enhanced search, customizable alerting, a full collection of case law, and a citator.
Over the past year Bloomberg BNA has launched a new Tax Practice Center and a Privacy and Data Security product – both of which have been well received by clients – to better serve the Legal market. Clients of these Resource Centers are being upgraded to the Bloomberg BNA Practice Centers on Bloomberg Law as their subscriptions renew.
Recognizing that all firms are different, Bloomberg BNA’s approach — as always — is to partner with clients to help them realize the increased value of these enhancements and to provide them with options.
Additional Bloomberg BNA Practice Centers will be released throughout 2017, leveraging the upgraded features and functionality of Bloomberg Law, while providing the familiar, value-driven content our clients have come to rely on from Bloomberg BNA.
Diana inquired if there is a current plan to sunset BNA.com, Bloomberg BNA responded that no date has been set. The Bloomberg BNA web site continues to be updated in real time for the foreseeable future.
Meeting ended at 2:38 PM Eastern