In this interview, Erik Reeves, Anaqua’s CTO, shares the focus of his team to ensure that IP teams have everything they need for collaboration and a seamless experience on a single IP management platform.
Important shifts are taking place in the intellectual property (IP) industry to make IP software tools and data more accessible and user-friendly. The expectations around usability, simplicity, and performance continue to rise, while strong demand continues for power, data accessibility, and interoperability. The digital transformation in IP has to be factored into all design and product planning. Teams are looking for people-centric design and secure access from anywhere to improve productivity.
What are some of the changes you’ve seen since joining Anaqua?
If you think about the last decade and consider the major technological advances that have been made – it’s remarkable. Some of these advances people don’t think about in their day-to-day life. For example, seamless user experience is what we’ve all come to expect because of the ease of use of our phones and applications that we use every day. Other changes such as the development of AI tools, everyone is still trying to understand how these tools will impact and how they will work in the future.
These important technological advances - intuitive user experience; the emergence of cloud services; the development and proliferation of AI tools; and the ability to rapidly exchange data and information – are all important to our clients. They want a seamless experience across different systems; to manage and have visibility into the entire IP lifecycle on a single integrated platform; and easily access and connect their data. This has been a major change since I joined Anaqua and has become an expectation of our industry.
How does Anaqua’s technology strategy support these changes?
Our technology strategy is shaped by three main principles: optimize the connected IP ecosystem, leverage the best tech and infrastructure as it evolves - and focus internal resources on our unique IP expertise, and increase the power and options for data accessibility, integration, and analysis.
Through the acquisition and adoption of new capabilities, our goal is to make each aspect of the IP lifecycle an integrated part of a seamless system. With the client at the center, we are working to take away needless manual operations and multiple system redundancy headaches. From early-stage innovation to formal IP decisions, to filing strategy, maintenance, and ultimate disposition of IP, we offer a complete IP management solution – including integrated services and staff augmentation. Our acquisition of SeeUnity has also enabled us to offer standard, productized integrations with a myriad of legal services and systems in a standard way.
As we continue to invest in our platform, we are also aggressively leveraging cloud and other third-party services and solutions where they can create value for our customers. Document processing, AI, and integrated workflow are a few areas where we see transformative value through smart integration and leverage.
Anaqua’s Industry Leading IP Management Platforms
Integration of software and systems enables business and IP leaders to have the intelligence they need at the right time, automates workflow processes, and streamlines manual routine activities such as foreign filings. Anaqua has a unique and dedicated integration approach to help our clients connect the various tools and systems they need to do their work.
There are many tools and software that we’ve integrated into Anaqua’s IP management platforms - AQX® Corporate, AQX® Law Firm, and PATTSY WAVE®. A few of these include AcclaimIP™ analytics, Portfolio Estimator®, Foreign Filing Services, and much more.
Flexible Integration with The Tools You Use Daily
Three years ago, we saw a rising need to support integration. This led to the acquisition of SeeUnity™ which specializes in integrations for legal entities, their expertise, and tools are available now as part of AQX Corporate, AQX Law Firm, and PATTSY WAVE. When clients come to us now and say, "I need to be able to integrate these systems," we can help them achieve this and meet their goals.
Through SeeUnity’s Echo Content Synchronization product, we can surface standard, supported integrations. SeeUnity has connectors built into 40-plus systems now such as document management, matter management, Finance, HR, collaboration suites, and more.
For our clients, this means we can configure multiple integrations through one common method, using Echo and AQX standard APIs for a fully productized and standard experience. Every client and their systems have different needs and requirements but with SeeUnity, we have the know-how to simplify the integration process and the connectors to help clients unify their systems. We are always updating Echo Content Synchronization to ensure it continues to work against those other APIs and we maintain relationships with those other organizations to monitor changes. The connector-based architecture is also scalable, fast, and secure and the native integration with IP management means it is automatically upgraded with new IP management software versions.
Large corporations and law firms may already have a suite of integrations they manage internally, and they want more control over how they bring this environment together they have built. Anaqua works with our clients to understand their business needs and goals and develop solutions that will support them. This means that if our standard connectors are not the right solution, we also have flexible APIs and custom integrations available to address the client’s needs.
Access to Data and Data Control
Balancing the needs of IP teams to open access to data and data control is another key priority. Anaqua’s IP management platforms are extremely powerful when it comes to fine-grained access control and locking down data and we have a very robust law engine. Data access control is extremely important at Anaqua. Intellectual property and intangible assets could represent 80-90% of the value of a business and are the most sensitive data in any enterprise.
One thing we hear from clients is they have data on different software tools, and they want to be able to bring their AQX data together with other systems’ data. For example, a client may want to join data from internal financial systems, product lifecycle management, or other legal matter management together with AQX data and analyze those together using their own standard reporting tools. We are looking at ways to do this and ensure that your valuable data stays protected.
So, best-in-class integrations – making them easier, more resilient, and more powerful has been a key area of focus in our technology strategy. This vision has been driven by Anaqua’s Client Working Groups. We’ve achieved this both through our recent acquisitions and by integrating these new IP solutions into Anaqua’s IP platforms. This enables and gives organizations more flexibility to integrate with their systems depending on their profile, and their needs and requirements.
What makes Anaqua different from a Force.com platform?
We don’t just offer software that supports workflows for IP. We offer an IP management platform designed from the ground up by IP clients – and this has been true since we were founded. We're building integrations within our ecosystem as well as expanding the platform with all the tools IP professionals need to work productively.
By maintaining and building our solutions untethered to a specific platform like Force.com, we can leverage the best-in-breed embedded solutions as well as cloud services and 3rd party tools more flexibly and opportunistically, while maintaining options for deployment that our clients demand. For example, we are totally transforming our docketing automation capabilities within AQX partially through the leverage of Microsoft Azure Cognitive AI.
Microsoft and the other major cloud providers release a stunning number of new products every year and it is crucial for our strategy to know how these can fit into our ecosystem and support a better experience for our clients. With docketing automation, we are making sure that the core function of AQX is simple, streamlined, automated, and intuitive. This includes document processing, OCR, workflow management, etc. We are improving the overall experience, and the quality of data in AQX continually, and automating the processes our clients need.
By integrating the best capabilities and services where they make sense in the user journey, we can focus on our core strength and expertise – IP management and believe as a result we are by far the best positioned in the future.
Recent Recognition by Hyperion Global Partners of Anaqua’s Integrated IP Management Platforms
- AQX Corporate: market leader and highly innovative
- AQX Law Firm: market leader and highly innovative for law firms
- PATTSY WAVE: streamlined docketing efficiency and customer driven roadmap