This story first appeared in the October Orange Rag
OnePlace’s founder Tim Smith has largely exited the client lifecycle management business following its acquisition by Intapp, as Intapp formally rebrands its entire business around the OnePlace name.
Smith is taking on the role of external strategic adviser but the vast majority of his focus is now directed on the launch of a non-legal Salesforce-based project lifecycle management application called HardHat.
Speaking to us about the move, Smith told us: “My role is now a strategic one. I did have a sales role but I’m not a sales guy. I’m loyal to the business and the people, so I said, ‘Why don’t I take this role and give you advice on running the business and dealing with any issues.’” Smith is officially retained one day a week by Intapp.
Intapp acquired OnePlace at the end of May 2019 and, at the time, it appeared from the rhetoric that the intention was very much for Smith to lead the charge in integrating OnePlace with DealCloud – the financial services-focussed client lifecycle management system acquired by Intapp in 2018.
However, speaking to Legal IT Insider about the move, Intapp’s president Dan Tacone said: “To me this seems totally natural. Any time you acquire a business it’s a major shift for the CEO, who goes from owning the company and making the day-to-day decisions to a place where you sold the company and don’t make those decisions, albeit that doesn’t mean you don’t have influence.
“We went in with our eyes open that Tim is a great person and contributor, but we knew about HardHat and there was always a risk that he would move on in a different timeframe than he originally thought. He has a deep passion for the business and the people and his initial thinking was that he wanted to stay on and protect that but, as he thought about the integration, he got to a level of comfort that the people, product and customers were well taken care of and he didn’t have to worry.”
In terms of roadmap, the legacy OnePlace platform (based on Salesforce, with around 60 clients) is being maintained but the main focus for development is a best-of-breed DealCloud-based platform called Intapp OnePlace 2020 that integrates with other Intapp products. Within the financial services sector the name DealCloud will be retained.
Smith said: “The DealCloud platform is sensational and they have incorporated all the OnePlace IP into it so it’s so much more robust. It’s really humming and gaining momentum.” Baker McKenzie was the first law firm to sign up to DealCloud but we understand that there are other big deals in the pipeline.
Intapp acquired OnePlace for the name, the expertise of the team (many of whom are ex-LexisNexis InterAction) and to incorporate the OnePlace IP into DealCloud. Speaking to us at the time of the acquisition, CEO John Hall said: “OnePlace is such a great name and the name says it all. The firms recognise that we are trying to create one place for partners, so our two companies completely agree on the vision.”
Perhaps it is no surprise that Intapp has now rebranded the entire company Intapp OnePlace.
Intapp is led by Hall who is assisted with strategy by Mark Holman, who joined in July and is helping the company in its ambitions to integrate its products, become a single platform and further expand the business.
According to his LinkedIn page Holman is there to “help Intapp become one of the largest and most successful of the next wave of ‘Industry Cloud’ companies servicing the $5 trillion professional and financial services industry.”
The company is increasingly targeting the high-level C-Suite, and we admire its ambition, but it is stretched thin and, in many cases, failing to deliver on existing day-to-day services, leading to dissatisfaction among a swathe of its existing legal client base. This will hopefully be resolved by closer partner relationships with the likes of Wilson Allen, Pinnacle and Stickleback.
Intapp is backed by Temasek and Great Hill Partners and it has long been rumoured to be looking to float.