ROI First…Invoice Later: ZERØ AI-Enabled Email Management System for Lawyers Delivers Actual ROI

This article, written by Jean O’Grady, originally appeared in Dewey B Strategic.

Every vendor I deal with talks a good ROI game. Very few know how to deliver it. Even fewer have built the delivery of ROI into their sales and pricing strategy. Well, I finally found such a company in the legal tech space. I was recently introduced to
Alex Babin, the Founder and CEO of a company called ZERØ. According to Babin, law firms will not be charged for the ZERØ product until the product delivers efficiencies (ROI) equal to the cost of the product. He offered the bold promise: “Don’t trust us, trust the numbers in your billing system.”

ZERØ is an integrated suite of email tools that uses AI to reduce the time spent on some of the most common and mind-numbing tasks that waste valuable lawyer and staff time. It works in both a desktop and mobile environment. It is an email management solution which was built for lawyers. According to Babin The challenges of mobility and billable time are core to the solution. Due to the lack of automation, most attorneys or their assistants spend hours filing and managing emails. 60% of the secretaries time is spent managing documents according to a case study in ILTA’s Peer to Peer magazine.

According to the ZERØ website, “Accurate data categorization, helpful suggestions and predictions, and a personalized approach to automating one’s daily email routine with edge computing became the DNA of ZERØ’s products.”

ZERØ offers a suite of smart features that can process thousands of emails with speed and precision. It employs enterprise-grade security on mobile devices and processes data on the device without moving it to the cloud. AI determines the right DMS destination. Lawyers can file emails individually or in batches or completely automatically. Changes in filing can be executed quickly and easily.

mobile email

Babin highlighted that every feature of ZERØ is built around delivering ROI. ZERØ is the first email management system designed for attorneys. It took four years to build the technology. They launched at the 2018 ILTA Conference and their primary focus has been on marketing to the biggest law firms.

Benefits include:

Easy email compliance. The system uses AI to file emails in the DMS. According to their study it will save each lawyer half an hour a day.

Reverse Billable Time “Leakage.”. Right now there is no easy way to capture time on a mobile device. ZERØ creates an automatic narrative. ZERØ captures all client related email work done on a mobile device. Billing entries are created automatically for all work including date, client matter, elapsed time and a complete narrative. These entries can be moved directly into the time entry system.

Avoid Misdirected Emails. We have all heard the nightmare stories of lawyers inadvertently sending emails to the wrong person and even accidentally emailing confidential emails to journalists. ZERØ includes security feature will prevent a lawyer from sending it to the wrong person by flagging suspect recipients and asking for a final confirmation.

ROI Reporting. It sends each user an email describing how much time they have saved!

Doing the Math on Savings. The ZERØ website offers two savings scenarios:

  • Law firms can expect to gain significant hard revenue from ZERØ. A law firm with 1,000 attorneys and a blended billable rate of $300/hour can increase billing by $93,960,000 per year per lawyer (assuming 261 working days) by ensuring that all attorney time spent emailing from a mobile device in captured. In other words, this hypothetical law firm is currently leaving $93,960 of revenue per lawyer on the table.
  • Law firms can also save a substantial amount of money on cost avoidance. This same hypothetical law firm saves a total of $78.3 million per year in non-billable labor hours by having the administrative task of mobile time capture automated.

ZERØ has a video explaining how they deliver ROI at this link.

Getting to Yes With ROI. For several years I have been harping on ROI and pleading with the vendors of research and workflow platforms to deliver ROI data. Maybe it is time to up the ante and ask them to consider the new model offered by ZERØ – the vendor shows them the money in product savings as an assurance that ROI will be delivered. There is no easier way to ‘get to ‘yes’” in a law firm procurement negotiation than to promise savings which exceeds the price. This is a “no brainier.” ZERØ has developed not only an incredibly interesting product but a potentially game-changing ROI delivery method.

Want More information on ZERØ? ILTA will be hosting a ZERØ Product Briefing webinar on November 8th. More information at this link.


Jean O'Grady

Jean P. O’Grady has over 30 years of experience developing strategic information initiatives for Am Law 100 law firms. She holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, an M.L.S. from St. John’s University and a B.A. in History from Fordham University She is a member of the NY State Bar. She has previously held Director positions at WilmerHale in DC and Shea & Gould in NY. She began her career as a reference librarian at the Pace University School of Law. She has been an adjunct faculty member at the graduate schools of Library and Information Science at St. John’s University and Long Island University where she taught legal research courses.