PCLaw. TABS3. PracticeMaster. Amicus Attorney. Needles. Time Matters. Timeslips.
Most attorneys will have heard of at least a few of these solutions as they have been the main contenders for decades. The problem is that they have turned into massive and immobile pieces of bloatware. What is bloatware? From wikipedia: “In long-lived software, perceived bloat can occur from the software servicing a large, diverse marketplace with many differing requirements. Most end users will feel they only need some limited subset of the available functions and will regard the others as unnecessary bloat, even if people with different requirements do use them.”
The problem with adding on every feature request for 5, 10, 15 years or more is that features, when you are not able to easily access them, become worthless. The software becomes so intimidating and non-inviting to the user that it simply goes unused. You see, if you and your staff are not both comfortable and confident with a solution, it is not going to be used.
I know many firms who had been using TABS3, PracticeMaster or PCLaw. However, they continued to track time on an excel sheet, which they would then send to their Office Manager once a week to manually enter. I have also heard from clients, who are making the switch from PC to Mac, that although they own one of these archaic pieces of bloatware, they rarely use them, if at all.
Another very common problem I see for these massive companies, especially those that have been around forever, is that they are very slow in moving to the cloud. If they do decide to move, they simply copy what they currently have, add a new pretty coat of paint and then offer it to their clientele. The problem here is that none of the weight is shed. This causes the migration to the cloud to be both slow and unexciting.
The new cloud-based management solutions have made gigantic strides in reinventing the software to what it should have been in the first place. They are lean, simple to use, easy to deploy and have great educational content to help the new users ease into it.
The older big name management solutions mentioned above often cost thousands of dollars to get up and running, thousands of dollars to maintain, and require expensive servers on-site, which in turn create expensive IT bills to properly manage and keep up to date. The new cloud-based solutions are turn-key, without massive initial fees to get up and running. They can easily scale and contract with the needs of your firm, making the process very easy to budget, since you will also know exactly what a new user will cost to add on. They also offer may ways to learn the software, so that when you bring on a new attorney, they can learn though self-paced methods such as pre-recorded videos on specific topics, live webinars, and easy to search and use online support portals. In comparison, most of the older software will have a 300 page PDF manual, which no one ever cracks into.
One of the biggest features is that ‘modern’, reinvented solutions also can integrate with many of the solutions your firm currently uses. Services like File sharing, like ShareFile, Dropbox for Business, Box, Quickbooks Online, Xero (accounting software), payment gateways, and more can seamlessly integrate and talk with these case management software solutions. These integrations will make working easier for your staff and will remove many of the tedious steps that are currently being manually performed by someone in your office.
If you feel your firm is currently using one of these ‘bloatware’ case management systems, I highly recommend taking a look at Clio and Rocket Matter. These are the two most popular ‘modern’ case management systems that our firm implements for our clients. The easier the interface of your case management solution is, the easier it will be for your staff to begin using it. The more they use it, the more productive they will be. And, whammy! You’ve just increased the profitability of your firm.
Provided as an educational service by Tom Lambotte, President of GlobalMac IT
GlobalMac IT was founded by Tom Lambotte – renowned nationwide as an author, speaker, trusted IT advisor, and cutting edge, successful provider of the #1 complete end-to-end IT solution for Mac-Based Law Firms in the world. Private firms from throughout North America – and as far reaching as American Samoa – running with a staff of 5-50 – have relied on his expertise to help them put their IT headaches behind once and for all.
Using his real world experience, where results rule and dollars can’t be wasted on negligent computer consultants, he wanted to help managing partners and office managers of Mac-based law firms to put an end to wasting their time and money on IT support that does not work and rescue them from the frustration.
Our unique “TotalCare” approach integrates classic IT support with proven proactive support that truly converts IT from something to be dealt with, into a tool that truly increases law firm profits, increases staff productivity, and provides piece of mind that firm and client data is secure and that their security is never at risk. You can reach GlobalMac IT at (440) 941-1622 to request more information.