Steve Zangari has taken the helm at LexisNexis InterAction for EMEA and Asia Pacific. As Commercial Director, he is playing an instrumental role in enabling the organisation to achieve its growth ambitions, of course, but more crucially he is dedicated to helping clients derive the most value from their software investment.
He's well placed to do this – prior to this role, Steve was responsible for driving the sales and marketing functions for multiple solutions at LexisNexis Enterprise solutions across the UK and EMEA. He has over 30 years of broad financial, IT, sales and business management experience. He is a qualified accountant and an experienced IT Director. Need we say more!
InterAction is today in its most exciting phase of development yet. We asked Steve how he is looking to approach his new role and what impact InterAction will likely have on the global CRM market in the coming months and years. Here's what he said:
Steve Zangari: I'm very excited and upbeat to take on this role. Not only is InterAction among the top software solutions that LexisNexis offers globally, it is by far the most comprehensive and proven CRM solution in the international legal market. This, coupled with the company's strategic vision and significant investment in the solution, makes it a great time for me to lead growth in the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.
Steve Zangari: We are looking to provide a CRM solution that aligns with the strategy of law firms – including people, processes and technology. We are revisiting how different users within a firm want to engage with a CRM system and addressing their adoption challenges to present a solution that will become indispensable in their day to day activity. These two things combined will genuinely future proof a law firms' investment in InterAction and indeed CRM in a manner that hasn't been seen before.
By way of an example, InterAction for Office 365 is now available via a true hybrid cloud model. All law firms are on a cloud journey, just at different stages of that journey with the arrival date a little open. With InterAction, Law firms can adopt an on-premises, private cloud, public cloud or indeed in any combination of all three deployment models, based on their IT and business strategy. This is based on LexisNexis' patented technology where the InterAction application is in the cloud, but where the data resides is in the complete control of the firm.
For users, we have taken the components of InterAction and reworked them into InterAction for Office 365 to provide a modern user interface that will have a major impact on CRM user adoption. The look and feel of InterAction are very similar to that of the latest versions of the applications that fee earners live in today, Outlook, Excel and Word. Also, the seamless integration with these applications delivers direct benefits to the users, be they marketing and BD professionals or lawyers. For instance, fee earners can view critical insights on their contacts from within their Microsoft Office application.
What we will now offer the market, I consider to be the next generation of the InterAction application.
Steve Zangari: The market reaction has been interesting, and I take the response as a huge compliment. Since the announcement of LexisOne's acquisition by SA Global, rumours have been fuelled – quite unfoundedly – that InterAction's future in EMEA may be in jeopardy. Of course, the reality is to the contrary. This kind of chatter from competition spells of nervousness on their part.
InterAction is a business of global scale – manpower, financial muscle, technical prowess, dedicated resources – all under one umbrella alongside a single-minded drive to deliver the next generation of InterAction to law firms worldwide and all this backed by significant investment. It's a powerful situation to be in and not many technology vendors in this space have either the resources or the independence to evolve their solutions in this manner.
Outside of the US, today we have 190 clients spread across 33 countries. We have core strengths in InterAction that can be applied to specific countries and practice areas, per law firms' business requirements. Again, our hybrid cloud model opens options for firms and eliminates the barriers that many may have faced with CRM adoption. We have only just begun InterAction's evolution journey, watch this space!
Steve Zangari: No, it's by no means new for us. While some parts of the Asia Pacific region are still considered an emerging market for CRM, InterAction is undoubtedly already the dominant player. With 34 law firms using InterAction in APAC, it is the most widely used CRM solution in that legal market, across Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore and even Malaysia.
Taking a solution to a global market requires a good understanding of every aspect of the geography – everything from how businesses operate through to the cultural nuances. As a global team, we have the experience, skills, expertise and cultural understanding at country and corporate levels to deliver a solution that is suited to the requirements of law firms in the countries within this region.
This is exactly the approach we have historically taken in EMEA, to great success.
Steve Zangari: My career, prior to making the move to vendor land, spanned CFO and IT Director roles.
So, now in this commercially focussed appointment, I'm in a unique position of understanding how senior decision makers think, what is important to them, and their likely challenges relating to technology adoption.
My team and I take a consultative approach to both serving our existing clients and winning new clients. We look to align InterAction with the overall business, business development and technology objectives, the emphasis being on delivering 'added value'. We don't focus on 'shifting boxes' off the shelf!
Steve Zangari: I do – InterAction is at the most exciting phase of its evolution yet. By bringing together the entire organisation under one umbrella, we have created this specialist pool of resources that can be specifically applied to different markets to provide a solution that uniquely meets their needs.
We have the vision, we have the investment and we have the experience and expertise in abundance – and most crucially, we have the independence as an organisation to achieve our vision.