So here I am, sitting at the Hyatt Regency Boston on Rue de Lafayette, getting wined, dined and coffee’d on West’s tab. Why am I here? To preview WestlawNext of course! As I walked in and attempted to get my bearings, I was deftly swallowed up by the Corporate trainer and Rep ( how did they know?) I received my own personal preview before I could even grab a yogurt – but not before I grabbed coffee.
I haven’t gone through the entire dog and pony show yet – it is still technically breakfast. But my cursory initial impression is that West has gussied up, reformatted and reorganized the experience. The rep made much of the improved viewing experience and the search-before-data-base-selection orientation. It IS improved and better organized. Folders are a nice add and keeping a research trail tied to your client ID for a year (as compared to 14 days) are also plusses.
But unless the new “plain” search algorithm (formerly natural search) is a whole lot slicker, I am not sure the refinements will be worth the cost. I have been using my own work-arounds for folders and notation. Sharing by email is not a major leap forward. The demonstrator could not give me a reasonable explanation of how the new search function is improved, directing me online to find out more (but not everything because of “copyright protection” ?!)
And what is the cost? I have yet to find a West person who can tell me. But they were happy to take my number down so that the cashier can give me a call.
But my time has not been completely lost. I am the proud owner of a new iPod Shuffle courtesy of West. And a yogurt and coffee. Good times.
To be continued …