Foxwordy Grows Up, Launches Enterprise Offering
By Gabrielle Orum Hernández
Originally published on Legaltech News
Startups don’t typically launch with their final product in tact. YouTube was originally conceived as a video dating site, Twitter began as a podcasting company, and Flickr got its start as an online role-playing game called Game Neverending. Tech companies often have to modify their strategy based on the way users interact with their products.
When Monica Zent founded Foxwordy in 2014, she positioned the collaboration platform she’d designed as “social media for lawyers.” As the features have evolved, the company has rebranded Foxwordy to be more of a Slack-like, business-oriented technology. Last week, the company released a business-facing version of its platform, Foxwordy Enterprise, to continue remolding the platform’s branding toward more corporate uses, even as it retains its collaboration core.
Who it serves: Foxwordy Enterprise has a fairly obvious target audience: corporate legal departments and law firms. “We called it Enterprise for a reason,” Zent said. While the Foxwordy platform on its own can be used for business, its scalability sort of maxes out at the solo and small firm level. The Enterprise platform is designed for teams. While theoretically scalable for teams of any size, Zent said the platform has found kind of a sweet spot in law departments with between 80 and 150 attorneys.
What it does: Foxwordy Enterprise is designed to allow attorneys to collaborate with one another in putting together documents. The platform allows users to edit documents in real time, store and share most-used clauses, and search across the platform. The Enterprise platform operates on a different information governance architecture, essentially allowing groups of attorneys to collaborate in a private network, loop in and share content with additional attorneys as needed, and manage access credentials through an administrator dashboard.
How the “Enterprise” software is different from the regular one: Foxwordy Enterprise is essentially a slightly built-out version of the original Foxwordy platform, but it does have a couple distinctions worth noting. The new platform bulked up its security and encryption to meet corporate law department standards, and added a Teams feature allowing users to monitor which groups of attorneys should have access to specific work product. The Enterprise also built out its search from the basic machine-learning core of the the regular platform to generate more context-based referrals.
Foxwordy touts AI capabilities, but is it really AI? Artificial intelligence is without question the buzzword of the hour, meaning that every startup in town is scrambling to find ways to claim their technology is AI-powered. Foxwordy does have some genuine AI infrastructure, but as with any AI, the search feature is not immediately a genius. It takes some time to learn what kinds of things users tend to associate, and it takes some time for developers to refine the algorithms that underlie those suggestions. “The more data we have, the more we can continually enhance our algorithms,” Zent added.
On pivoting the strategy: Zent explained that when Foxwordy initially launched, the company touted the product as social networking with legal features. “At the time, that was something people could easily understand,” Zent said. But as the company built out some of the platform’s more popular features, Zent realized that the social media piece of the product they’d designed didn’t have quite as much traction as its business utilities. As a result, the company has looked to brand itself with a more business-centric focus. “When people think social network, they don’t think actually getting work done,” Zent said. To call it a social media platform today, she said, “wouldn’t do justice to what we have now.”