Is it time to move on from your existing case management system?

There comes a time in life when you must move on from a relationship. It could be because you’ve outgrown the relationship or because your specific needs aren’t being met. Sometimes you simply just want something different, something new, something better. Chances are today or in the near future, you will be at this very point with your case management system (CMS). Change can be a scary thing, and you may be on the fence on whether it is time you and your firm made the decision to move on from your existing system. To aid you in your decision, we have listed a few reasons why it’s time to shake off that old system and embrace the new.

You’re not getting constant program updates or upgrades

Updates or patches are essential for the improvement of the system. It is important that you run on a maintained system that releases updates on a regular basis. Updates can do everything from improving the performance and stability of the software to adding new capabilities and features and can protect you against new viruses. When you do not have a system that releases frequent updates, you are in danger of falling behind technologically and opening up vulnerabilities in your system.

Your existing system makes it hard to get reports

Reports help you manage and understand your business, which is why you need a system in place that provides the reports specific to your requirements and is flexible in the types of reports you are able to generate. Whether it’s the user interface or a lack of detailed information, if your system cannot provide reports with the information you want to see, seamlessly and easily, then it is time to consider new software.

Your system increases support fees

System support is paramount for problem solving and maintenance. Usually there is a fee attached to this service, whether it be a onetime payment or a recurring annual charge. However, when this fee goes up and continues to increase over the life of product use, there should be a concern. When you purchase a product, you are doing so with the confidence that you’re getting the expected product at the agreed on price. If your support costs begin to rise continuously, then it may be time to find a new CMS that follows honest practices and will honor the support price established up front.

Your current vendor is acquired by a larger company

When a smaller firm is purchased by a larger firm, there can be benefits; usually those benefits include a larger pool of resources and the sharing of technology. Unfortunately, this can also mean that your firm can get lost in the shuffle and the personalized attention and care that was once given to your company could dissipate. Standardized practices tend to take the place of more personalized services for your software needs. When this happens, a switch to software with a more personalized and customizable system is recommended.

Large companies may acquire smaller vendors for the sole purpose of building up their own client base. When this happens, some, if not all, of the original company’s employees may be laid off and development of the product may cease. Be aware of this and, if your CMS is acquired by a larger company, make sure they still have your best interests in mind.

Change can be daunting. But change can also be a positive experience. If you are dealing with any of the situations above, then it is most likely time for you to start looking to upgrade to a new platform that will better fulfill the needs of your firm. This is your opportunity to do your research and find a solution you can not only trust, but rely on to understand the industry and your needs.


Best-of-Breed Vs. Jack-of-All-Trades

A reaction to the article “Best-of-breed trumps jack-of-all-trades” By Roy Russell

Roy Russell recently published a good article in Legal IT Today magazine titled “Best-of-breed trumps jack-of-all-trades” delving into comparing best-of-breed software to jack-of-all-trades applications. This article is very relevant since LawBase is a best-of-breed brand of software.

Russell begins by explaining the desire businesses have to transform and evolve and how these transformations usually begin with improving communication streams (i.e., email and documents) since these are the avenues utilized most frequently by attorneys and their staff. Russell says that by making improvements in communication first, businesses will reap quick rewards by way of both staff and customer satisfaction in both productivity and efficiencies.

Just as important as the communication applications is the choice of technology. Russell mentions that technology has always been abundant in the legal sector, and with the many functions that are required of a law firm, especially midsize to large firms, the number of systems utilized is kept to a minimum, which can be difficult when so many types of management are required to run a firm (case and matter, CRM, document, etc.).

The article addresses how best-of-breed solutions give firms the greatest opportunity to “transform and differentiate” their business over jack-of-all-trades products. If you are not familiar with the difference in the two types of software, it breaks down this way: In jack-of-all-trades software, a vendor will offer all the solutions in one package, whereas best-of-breed software chooses to integrate with other applications that are relevant to your business operations. To fill in the picture, think of the business as an empty retail space. With jack-of-all-trades software, your space would be occupied by a big-box store that may provide a lot of products as a one-stop shop. The benefit is that this store will provide many items so the likelihood of finding the products you may need are high. The problem is that the products maybe generic and not of the highest quality. This style of software traditionally champions an all-in-one package, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting substance as a consumer. Inversely, best-of-breed software would be a retail space mirroring a strip mall. Rather than attempting to do everything, best-of-breed attempts to do one or a few things extremely well, and then partners with companies that also do their specific brand of software well. By doing this, all the applications you need to run your business are integrated with your management software. You’ll get the optimal experience because the best software is being used for each job. Even some best-of-breed applications include other management software leaders in their software packages, like LawBase does with HotDocs, an industry leader in document management.

With best-of-breed software solutions, businesses experience growth, with steady and consistent footing to achieve objectives and goals. Usually best-of-breed is intuitive and user-friendly, where jack-of-all-trades possesses limitations because of the attempt to consolidate so many different types of software into one package. Russell states, “Document management best-of-breed solutions may be difficult to deploy on-premise for some firms, but they are immensely affordable. It’s worth noting that data migration doesn’t simply entail transferring files, but also moving the ‘contextual’ information around those documents (known as metadata), including associated emails, matters, contact details of various parties involved on the case, and financial information can be mined from the location of the documents, the naming conventions used, and the references that the existing systems make to those documents.”

Best-of-breed management software is more affordable than ever, so the time is now for midsize to large firms to capitalize on integrating this software, enhancing both client and employee satisfaction through tech solutions. Russell’s article echoes these sentiments, and with more and more firms adopting these solutions for their business, don’t you think it’s time for you to convert? Your business deserves the best (in-breed)!