Friday, June 2, 2017

Tyler Technologies Acquires Modria

Via press release on May 30, 2017 -Tyler Technologies, Inc. announced it has acquired Modria, a company specializing in online dispute resolution (ODR) for government and commercial entities, to complement its courts and justice and appraisal and tax solutions.


More from the press release:
"With this acquisition, Tyler will broaden its portfolio of courts and justice solutions, particularly for its Odyssey File & Serve™ solution. Modria will provide Tyler’s court clients with efficient ways to handle large volumes of disputes in an automated fashion, through integration with Odyssey. Specifically, it will help reduce the number of cases that need to be heard, leading to reduced costs in the court and in clerk offices for supporting these hearings. 
For appraisal and tax clients, Modria (which already integrates with Tyler’s iasWorld® solution), offers the assessor’s office an alternative to manage the appeals process online for fast and fair resolutions for their constituents. Being able to integrate Modria into Tyler products will provide clients with more opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and deliver even greater citizen engagement. 
Modria, founded in 2011 and headquartered in San Jose, California, serves government agencies, including courts and property tax-related organizations, and offers a complete ODR solution. Modria’s founders developed an initial ODR platform for eBay and PayPal, and have built their platform to resolve all manner and volume of disputes through automation, limiting the need for human intervention and resources. 
"This is an amazing opportunity for the Modria team to accelerate our traction with courts and appraisal offices, and Tyler’s expertise and values are in perfect harmony with Modria’s mission and vision," said Colin Rule, co-founder and chief operating officer for Modria. “ODR will be extremely valuable for Tyler clients handling heavy case loads. We look forward to working as part of Tyler to improve access to justice and deliver fast resolutions for citizens.” 
"We are excited to add Modria’s offerings and expertise to Tyler's portfolio,” said Bruce Graham, president of Tyler's Courts & Justice Division. “ODR provides our clients yet another powerful technology tool to help them transform the way justice works in their jurisdictions. Modria is the clear leader in online dispute resolution, and, when combined with Odyssey Guide & File for self-represented litigants, Modria will provide our clients an even more efficient way to manage a large volume of cases." 
The Modria founders, management, and employees joining Tyler will be part of the Courts & Justice Division. During the coming months, Modria’s technology and services offerings will be integrated into Tyler operations and branding."

This article explains more about Modria if you are not familiar with their services.

"Consider Modria, for example. Modria’s founder, Colin Rule, directed the eBay and PayPal ODR systems from 2003 to 2011. EBay and PayPal are natural sites for ODR. They have lots of low dollar transactions that occur across state and even international lines, making litigation cost prohibitive or simply impossible. EBay disputes are also often about much more than money. As Rule dryly notes: “dollar amount is usually not an accurate barometer of passion among eBay disputants.” And yet, the eBay process proved exceptionally successful, handling up to 60 million disputes a year, and settling approximately 90% of them with no human input on the company side. 
Rule and others licensed the eBay software and launched Modria, an ODR system for hire. One of Modria’s products is a “Fairness Engine” that attempts substantive as well as financial settlement of disputes. It starts with a “diagnosis module” that gathers relevant information. A “negotiation module” summarizes areas of agreement and disagreement and makes suggestions for solving the issue. If these do not result in settlement, a “mediation module” with a neutral third party begins, and the final step is arbitration. Modria claims that the “vast majority” of claims are settled in the first two steps without a human ever becoming involved. 
Modria’s roots are in disputes that few lawyers ever handled — small e-commerce issues — but its potential is much, much larger. 
Obviously, using algorithms and computers to settle disputes is much cheaper than using humans. But Modria makes two additional claims. First, because of their long experience settling a flood of disputes (and keeping and analyzing all of the associated data), they have custom designed dispute resolution processes that are actually superior to those run by humans. 
Second, when eBay customers who used the Modria system to settle a dispute were more likely to return to Ebay than other customers, including even the customers who “lost” their disputes. Why? Because when a dispute is handled fairly and quickly it increases customer trust and participation. 
Nor does Modria see itself only as a small claims alternative for e-business: it is targeting bigger ticket disagreements, as well as complicated issues like patent disputes. It is providing a platform for car insurance disputes in New York and property tax disputes all over the country. 
Modria’s roots are in disputes that few lawyers ever handled — small e-commerce issues — but its potential is much, much larger. Corporations all over the world are warming to the idea that disputes can be solved by computers so efficiently and fairly that they stop becoming a drag on profits and start becoming a method of increasing customer loyalty. 
How long will it be before these same corporations think of trying ODR for their own disputes, perhaps starting with smaller ticket items and working their way up?"

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