CaseCentral Lures Kazeon COO

E-discovery vendor's new CEO was lured away from Kazeon by the promise of SaaS

January 8, 2008

3 Min Read
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Kazeon's former COO Tom Thimot has quietly jumped ship to e-discovery specialist CaseCentral, where he has been unveiled as CEO.

"At Kazeon, I saw that [e-discovery] was going to be an explosive market," he says, explaining his decision to leave Kazeon after spending just over a year at the unstructured data specialist.

"Sometimes in business, you find an opportunity that is even better," adds Thimot, who left Kazeon a few weeks ago. "Also, I was COO at Kazeon, and I am CEO at CaseCentral."

The exec takes over the CEO's reins from CaseCentral's founder Chris Kruse, who will remain chairman of the board and run business development for the San Francisco-based firm.

Whereas Kazeon started life pushing a hardware-based approach to e-discovery, CaseCentral is one of a growing number of startups putting their faith purely in software as a service (SaaS).Touting CaseCentral as "salesforce.com" for the legal profession, the incoming CEO explained that the firm's emphasis on SaaS was a big factor in his decision to leave Kazeon.

"Its an exciting business model," he says, pointing to users' challenges implementing the recently amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP). "I have always loved the software-as-a-service model, and what we have in e-discovery is a business problem that begs for someone to provide a service."

Other vendors buying into this model include Iron Mountain, which recently shelled out $158 million for CaseCentral rival Stratify. This followed automation supplier Autonomy's $375 million acquisition of e-discovery vendor Zantaz last July, underlining the growing momentum in this space.

With CIOs still grappling with the costs of FRCP, Thimot claims that it makes sense to have e-discovery work done by a third-party vendor, as opposed to a law firm. "If I [as a user] have two dozen outside legal counselors helping me, it's a massive cost," he says. Also, contractors hired by law firms put end customers at farther distance from the source of litigation search results.

CaseCentral claims annual revenues of about $24 million via about 1,100 customers of its eponymous e-discovery service, which searches documents and implements "legal holds" when specific pieces of information are needed in court.Despite Thimot's optimism and the myriad of vendors scrambling to offer SaaS solutions, the shift to software as a service has already encountered resistance. Some IT managers, for example, are concerned about losing control of their data.

Undeterred, the new CEO is a already planning changes at CaseCentral. "My job is to come here and step on the accelerator and get the revenue growth," he says. This will involve a re-branding of the company's offerings, and the addition of bodies to its 100-strong workforce. "We will be looking to add talent to the team here," Thimot says, explaining that the firm currently has around five open positions in areas such as database engineering and project management.

Prior to joining Kazeon, Thimot worked as a vice president of sales at Oracle and as executive vice president of sales at security software vendor Netegrity, which was bought by CA for $440 million in 2004. The exec also had a stint as CEO of networking vendor GoRemote, which was sold to iPass for $76.5 million in 2006.

Kazeon is yet to announce the appointment of a replacement COO.

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  • Autonomy Corp.

  • CA Inc. (NYSE: CA)

  • GoRemote Internet Communications Inc.

  • iPass Inc. (Nasdaq: IPAS)

  • Iron Mountain Inc. (NYSE: IRM)

  • Kazeon Inc.

  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)

  • Zantaz Inc.

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