Wrapping Up Interact 2019 With Jason Parkman
This year’s Interact conference saw a focus on building a stronger client/user community and the bonds of collaboration and co-innovation contributing to their ongoing success.
How did this play out for attendees and for the future of the legal industry, in the eyes of Mitratech CEO Jason Parkman?
What are your overall takeaways from this year’s conference?
Jason: Two big things for me. First, our customer community is incredibly strong and supportive. This year, more than any other, we focused on customer-led sessions and content, and the feedback we received was extremely positive.
Second, that community is doing some very forward-looking things with our software, and I’m just excited to be a part of it. We see our customers expanding the way they think of their roles, bringing value to entirely new parts of their organizations, and taking the lead in redefining what it means to be a successful Legal Ops department. Our job is to enable that success, and we’re proud to do it.
All of this seemed to come together with how our clients embraced the idea of our Co-Innovation Center, where clients are sharing their own workflows with the rest of the community. People immediate saw how this was going to change the way they think about community and innovation. It takes the loose idea of community and makes it immediately tangible. And no one else is doing this in our industry.
Did people personally comment on your keynote presentation? What did they say?
The idea of community that I talked about really resonated with both our customers and employees. We all see that we’re doing great things together and really shaping this industry. The ownership over that is exciting for me to see, and that theme stuck out for a lot of people. I’d also say that people like a keynote that doesn’t just hit on the corporate and industry updates. I brought in a lot of music references, which is great for Austin, and people appreciated it. They can get a company update anytime. We wanted to link the creativity that’s powered by collaboration in the world of music to the potential that’s in store for the legal industry when people are able to share and act on their visions.
Did anyone offer up any unique perspectives to you about what they see happening in legal tech and Legal Ops?
I had a number of conversations where people talked about feeling emboldened, like they can really start to take charge of what success looks like in this industry. It’s not lost on our customers that they’re creating what success looks like in Legal Ops. It’s also clear that really good tech isn’t an option anymore; it’s a requirement for success in legal. You simply can’t get the same visibility, predictability, control, or involvement without the right tech.
Where there any surprises for you this year?
I was surprised by how far our customers have come in a single year. At Interact in 2018 we announced the acquisition of ThinkSmart and their TAP product. This year we had a significant number of TAP customers at the conference, and had scores of demonstrations of the product for very specific uses. People get it. It’s changed what customers expect from their ELM provider. And it happened really quickly.
Any other high points of the week for you?
When I luckily slipped out of the dueling piano bar just as my name was being called. That was my best choice of the week.
Is there anything you can share with us about next year’s conference?
We’ll obviously be all about fun, community, and innovation, and we’ll throw in a few surprises, as usual. What’s going to make it really interesting, though, is where the community’s innovations take us in the year ahead, both in terms of product roadmaps and how they’re using our products. So if you consider the pace of innovation and adoption we saw over the past year, we’ve obviously got to keep our options open for what we’ll cover in 2020.
Last question: Do you A) own or B) rent the wig you wore to the Closing Party?
Own, of course. Working at Mitratech I feel like I should have a frequent purchaser card at Lucy in Disguise on Congress.