This morning Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. emailed a stunning announcement to law library directors around the US. The flagship Cheetah legal research platform was being rebranded as VitalLaw. The change is expected to take place on Monday November 1st. The librarian list-servs lit-up with the expected questions and concerns as well as a dash of snark. I understand the potential challenges facing my peers. Every product name is woven into a variety of research and business taxonomies — think training resources, catalogs, budgets and portal pages. And then there are “passive resistors” like myself who still refer to the Wolters Kluwer products by their original US brand name: CCH. (Commerce Clearing House was acquired by Wolters in 1995). CCH/Wolters Kluwer entered the digital age with CCH CD-ROMs, then the CCH Research Network, then Intelliconnect which was phased out and replaced a new platform Cheetah. The Cheetah name as meant to signal the dramatically improved response time compared to Intelliconnect. I wrote a detailed recap of the road from CCH to Cheetah in my 2013 post on the launch of Cheetah.
Tonight I was able to chat with Ken Crutchfield, Vice President & General Manager, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, U.S. He has been hearing about law librarian concerns and offered this comment. “We are excited to introduce the VitalLaw brand to our customers. The new enhancements were based on valuable feedback from customers including law librarians and knowledge managers. We invited customer feedback on our launch plans and recognize now that we could have provided more advanced notice to the broader community.”
What you should do before Monday:
- Email your IT deparment and request that they “white list” :Vitallaw as a permissible URL and email domain. IT/Security protocols might block the website and emails as suspicious.
- Email all Cheetah subscribers and alert them to the change. (I know they are unlikely to read the email, but when the lawyers inevitably complain that you never told them about the change – you can just resend your original email as proof.)
Here’s the good news:
- VitalLaw will be a new and expanded version of Cheetah. You are not losing anything nor will you be charged more.
- The overall user experience will be similar to Cheetah but it will offer more content and streamlined “point fo need” workflow.
- Cheetah users will not need any new training to use VitalLaw
- If you use SAML/single sign on users will not need to reset their passwords
- For customers employing DRM Tools such as Research Monitor, Onelog and OneLogin, the login page functionality is not changing, so no changes should be required for these DRM tools.
- Links will automatically redirect until Oct. 29, 2022. So you have a year to correct all of the links on your portals and in your catalog.
- Lawyers can reuse their existing password or reset their passwords using the normal reset password process.
- VitalLaw, will almost double the primary law available on the platform ( a 40% increase) with the addition of all federal and all 50 state laws and regulations.
Law Librarians have mastered more complicated transitions than this. And I have no doubt my colleagues will be quite vocal in advising Wolters Kluwer if they have overlooked any transition issues. One colleague optimistically pointed out that with a new brand like “VitalLaw” we can probably look forward to getting free energy drinks at the Wolters Kluwer booth in the exhibit hall next summer at the next AALL Annual Meeting & Conference.
For any questions, customers can contact their account executive or VitalLaw’s Customer Service at LRSUSTechnicalSupport@wolterskluwer.com and 1-800-955-5217.