Consolidation in the e-discovery market continues. Pitney Bowes announced today the acquisition of e-discovery company Ibis Consulting

According to the press release,

“Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) today announced that its Management Services subsidiary has signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the stock of Ibis Consulting, Inc. for approximately $67 million. Ibis is a leading provider of electronic discovery (eDiscovery) services to law firms and corporate clients.”

Pitney Bowes has long been in the business of operating mail rooms and other back-office services for law firms. Last year, the company acquired litigation support company CompuLit. With the acquisition of an e-discovery vendor, it appears that Pitney is making a major push to become an integrated provider to law firms. In the press release, the Chairman is quoted: “One of our strategies for growing customer and shareholder value is to leverage our mailstream management expertise in transaction-intensive verticals like the legal market.”

One challenge for any integrated service provider will be the law firm purchasing process:
– Getting to “yes” at a law firm takes time and effort.
– The purchasers of back-office services typically have little say in purchasing litigation support and e-discovery services.
– The buy decision for lit supp and e-discovery is typically at the partner level; it’s usually not an institutional decision.
In other words, leveraging existing relationships can be hard. It will be interesting to see how Pitney Bowes now approaches the legal market.