Social distancing and lockdown edicts as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic have hit the legal community hard. Particularly those firms that were not structured to support a remote workforce.
Many did not have properly provisioned laptops for employees to use at home. Those who did but had not yet migrated to cloud-based platforms found sharing documents over residential networks with highly constrained bandwidth problematic if not impossible. Others simply could not access the documents they needed at all: their documents and matter management systems trapped in local servers back at the office.
In short, these firms could not work.
I think it is evidence of the strong sense of community in the legal industry―Nancy Griffing
Legal Technology Providers Respond
To help firms address these challenges, key legal technology vendors have stepped up to offer both price discounts and deferred billing options to help firms get back to work.
“Given the position some of these vendors are in – their finances and market position are strong – I think it is evidence of the strong sense of community in the legal industry.” (35*45 Managing Partner Nancy Griffing). “We are seeing them offer unprecedented value and flexibility to find the best solution possible on a client by client basis, and 35*45 is working hard to do the same.”
Providers currently offering combinations of extended deferred billing and product discounts include:
Migrating from your current server-based software to a cloud platform takes time. The ramp up to “go-live” can take several months or longer. Ramp up includes the upfront discovery work done by 35*45 to evaluate firm requirements and establish a migration plan; setup of the new platform; staging, testing, and migration of data to the new platform; customizing the user interface and options to firm and individual practice specifications; user acceptance; training; and more.
It truly is a buyer’s market. If this was on your to-do list, now is the time to do it.
Deferred billing is designed to give you time to get up and running before you have to begin paying for use: traditionally 30-days. In response to the challenges many firms are currently experiencing, some vendors are offering longer deferred billing periods.
This is dollar for dollar savings. You are not paying for months of lead time you normally would prior to this offer.
In conjunction with deferred billing savings, discounts on price are being made. Discounts can be as high as 50% on for example, the per user/per month fee for a number of months. Additional discounts can be found on individual packages and add-ons as well.
Taken in aggregate, the savings are significant. It truly is a buyer’s Market. If this was on your to-do list, now is the time to do it.
The idea of all of this is to find ways help clients at this exceedingly difficult time and truly partner so we can figure out how to best help―Robert Rice
35*45 Consulting Helps Law Firms Meet Unprecedented Challenge
Under normal circumstances law firms don’t need to migrate systems quickly. Fast was never the byword of new system implementations. Now, with employees sitting at home unable to work, firms need to be up and running yesterday.
Gone is the idea that the system must have absolutely every document retained since the firms founding migrated, every historical matter and billing uploaded, every customization done, before go-live. This has given way to get me up and running with my current matter documents, case management and billing, so we can get back to work! I will need the other stuff, but I don’t need it today.
To meet this challenge, 35*45 has devised a “condensed approach” that phases the data migration and customizations. Initially, the data you need to work now are moved over first. Initially, only essential customizations and training sufficient to ensure users are productive is implemented. 35*45 will then come back when you’re ready for the next segment of data migration, customizations, more training, and so on, on a schedule that best meets firm needs.
“The idea of all of this is to find ways help clients at this exceedingly difficult time and truly partner so we can figure out how to best help. How we can help you move forward and maintain your business” (35*45 Partner Robert Rice).
Importantly, 35*45 is also offering new tailored payment plans tailored to client-specific need. As always, 35*45 offers fixed-fee arrangements for predictable budgeting: no surprises.
Do not mistake this for second-best. This approach provides an excellent foundation for future enhancements. You can expand on your initial investment when the time is right. Take this time to scrape the icing on the cake to begin with and then you can go back and get the rest of the cake. These products are very sophisticated and even under the best of circumstances many law firms phase implementation as they discover through use what they really need. Most do not swallow that cake all at once, they implement layer by layer.
It is a remarkably challenging environment, and this is a rare opportunity to find some benefit within it. Consider too that when we move past this, and we will, cloud-based software will likely explode in popularity. It has been validated for years, but it still faced some headwinds in the legal sector. Those headwinds have blown away literally overnight. There may be a significant increase in demand, and with that, price increases.
35*45 Consulting strongly advises taking advantage of the offers available now.