It was three years ago this month that Wolters Kluwer formally introduced Cheetah, its next-generation legal research platform that it described at the time as “a re-envisioning of the legal research experience.” As I explained in an ABA Journal review in December 2015, Wolters Kluwer presented Cheetah as a faster, more intuitive and more responsive alternative to its older research platform, Intelliconnect, which it launched in 2009.
Cheetah has been well received in the market. Wolters Kluwer says it is now being used by more than 2,500 law firms, law schools and corporate legal departments. The annual Dewey B Strategic start/stop survey named Cheetah one of the two best products of 2015.
It was thus inevitable that Wolters Kluwer would at some point discontinue Intelliconnect, and that time has come. In a letter he is sending to customers this week, Dean Sonderegger, vice president, Legal Markets & Innovation, is advising customers that the company will sunset Intelliconnect and move to the one research platform.
“This move will allow us to further invest in enhancements to Cheetah and other value-added solutions for the legal marketplace,” he writes.
Sonderegger told me that 90 percent of Intelliconnect’s users have already been migrated to Cheetah and that all of the content that had been available on Intelliconnect has been copied to Cheetah. (In fact, he says, Cheetah has added content that had not been available in Intelliconnect.)
Given this, it no longer made sense for Wolters Kluwer to invest in maintaining and operating two separate legal research platforms. That’s not the best way to add value for customers, he said, when the investment in Intelliconnect could be better spent on further enhancing Cheetah.
The platform will officially shut down on Dec. 31, 2018. Between now and then, Wolters Kluwer will work with its remaining customers to migrate them to Cheetah. For the most part, customers’ subscriptions should not be affected by the transition and should remain the same, he said.
Below is the full text of Sonderegger’s letter to customers, which is being sent out this week on a rolling basis:
Dear Valued Customer,
It’s no secret that technology is changing the way each of us works and Wolters Kluwer is committed to helping you harness the power of technology to drive greater efficiencies and improved outcomes for your business. As part of that commitment, we continue to invest roughly 10% of our annual revenues into the development and enhancement of new and existing products.
In 2015, based on close collaboration with our customers, we launched the Cheetah™ an intuitive legal research platform, powered by Wolters Kluwer’s world-class content enabling legal professionals to quickly understand and advise on today’s complex matters. In 2018, Cheetah™ won the SIIA CODiE Award for Best Legal Solution.
Over the past year, Cheetah™ has been successfully adopted by more than 2,500 law firms, law schools and corporate legal departments. Based on this adoption, we’ve reached the point where we have decided to sunset the IntelliConnect platform and move to one research platform, Cheetah™. This move will allow us to further invest in enhancements to Cheetah™ and other value-added solutions for the legal marketplace. As part of this change, we will migrate any remaining IntelliConnect customers to Cheetah™ over the next few months.
Your successful transition to Cheetah™ is very important to us and we are here to support you along the way. We will also provide you with dual access to your subscribed content on Cheetah™ and IntelliConnect at no additional charge at this time.
If you have questions in the meantime, please contact us at 1-800-955-5217 or CheetahSupport@wolterskluwer.com. If you would like to learn more about Cheetah™, please go to our dedicated site for Training & Support.
Thank you for being a valued customer, we greatly appreciate your patronage, and look forward to our continued partnership.
Vice President, Legal Markets & Innovation
Legal & Regulatory, U.S.