Marking its second acquisition this year, the cloud practice management company SurePoint Technologies has acquired Coyote Analytics, a company that provides practice management, financial management and business intelligence software for law firms.
In February, SurePoint acquired Cole Valley Software, a popular client relations management (CRM) software for law firms.
SurePoint — previously known as Rippe & Kinston Systems before it rebranded in 2020 — says its acquisition of Coyote represents a significant expansion that will give legal professionals the widest array of choice for CRM, financial, and practice management software.
Both companies primarily serve the mid-market sector of law firms, with SurePoint’s customers ranging from 25 to 400 lawyers, while Coyote’s range from 15 to 500.
Tom Obermaier, SurePoint’s chief executive officer, told me that SurePoint plans to build a cloud-based version of Coyote later this year. Coyote’s software is currently installed on premises.
Coyote’s cofounders Mike Credland and Maureen Neuroth will remain with SurePoint, as will the company’s entire team, and Coyote Analytics will remain available as a standalone product. “Nothing changes,” Obermaier told me.
Over time, he said, users of both platforms will begin to see the best of each system rolled into the other, with both products continuing to exist, but each building on the strengths of the other.
“It’s a Darwinian selection process that will occur here,” Obermaier said, “with the goal of being best of breed.”
Ultimately, he said, he envisions having three product versions, all serving the middle market — one for larger firms of more than 100 lawyers, one for firms of 40-100 lawyers, and one for firms of fewer than 40 lawyers.
Obermaier said that one of the superior elements of Coyote’s software is its data architecture. The combination of that with SurePoint’s artificial intelligence, data science, and machine learning experience will accelerate the development of category-creating technology, he said.
“I’m trying to get to the point where the machine is the lawyer’s best friend,” he said, describing AI-driven products that will be able to recommend actions and outcomes for firms, such as what to charge a client, what services to offer the client, and what outcomes to expect.
“This transaction is about the future,” said Obermaier. “The legal industry is just beginning to embrace the power of modern technology. The future is analytical insight driving embedded prediction.”
“We are excited to become part of the SurePoint team,” said Coyote cofounder Neuroth, who was among the original team at Juris and then worked at LexisNexis after it acquired that product.
“For over 10 years, we have developed intuitive and robust financial management solutions by listening to our clients’ needs. This partnership will give us access to a large team of legal technology experts which will allow us to grow and enhance our products and services to help our clients stay competitive.”
With this acquisition, SurePoint now has a customer base of over 1,000 law firms and more than 100,000 users.
“Coyote Analytics and SurePoint share a powerful vision for the future of legal technology, and we look forward to building cutting-edge solutions together,” said cofounder Credland. “As we team up to build the next generation of software that leverages the best of both products, the voice of customer and feedback will be at the heart of everything we do. Our future together is brighter than ever before.”