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Hi, James Vickery from I Know IT and thanks for tuning in to another of our Legal Tech Tips.
Running more than one office can be a real challenge, especially for law firms. Not only do you have the duplication of costs but also the challenges in communicating with one another and sharing information without it costing too much time and money.
We find that law firms who have the right level of reliable IT systems in place have an enormous advantage and provide exceptional service to their clients.
This video is for those of you who are either already running multiple offices but not entirely happy with how your IT system works, or for those who are considering expansion. As a legal IT specialist we’ve seen what works and definitely what doesn’t.
Firstly, access to information is absolutely essential no matter where you work from. Many traditional IT systems aren’t flexible enough to provide documents or practice management tools over the Internet and lawyers often resort to emailing lots of files and attachments to themselves or each other – this gets messy as your firm grows because it’s difficult to maintain control of those documents. A good document management system or a reliable file sharing service is essential in these cases and there a big range of them on the market and its well worth looking in to.
And of course, if information is moving from one location to another, then a high speed, high quality internet service is vital. We talked about this in a previous video on Legal Tech but in short, finding out what the best services are available to your building (including fibre) can make a huge difference to productivity and reliability.
But what if your firm is using a traditional practice management tool i.e. Affinity, FilePro or Aderant – many of these tools are not Cloud based so they either require a server at each location or an IT professional to set up what we call a Remote Desktop or Terminal Server so that the tools are available online from each location in a secure manner. This is a very common way for firms to grow and scale without adding more and more IT resources to each location and with the right advice you can take advantage of this sort of technology as well.
If you want to really step up your communications between multiple offices then you can’t go past Voice Over IP. Voice Over IP allows a firm to invest only in one phone system and spread that system out across numerous locations. Other advantages of VOIP include lower call costs and often free calls from one location to another. This is definitely worth looking in to.
Running multiple offices is a sign of a healthy, growing law firm. Getting the technology right makes an enormous difference.
I hope these tips have been helpful – we specialise in legal IT services and it would be great to hear from you – please give us a call at 1800 456 694 and we look forward to speaking to you.
About the Author: James Vickery is the founder and CEO of I Know IT, a transformative IT services provider. James connects law leaders to their strategy through technology with a firm belief that lawyers must re-enter their profession as innovators, thinking and acting as technology companies do in order to survive, compete and prosper in a digital economy.
James enables this new way of thinking and executing through consulting, coaching and delivery of technology solutions to Australian and international organisations. More from this author.