Monday, December 21, 2015

Attention AbacusLaw Users!

What do AbacusLaw practice management software, a home shopping network in Europe, PADI - the world's largest scuba diving organization, and a Brazilian wireless tower provider have in common?  As of December they are all companies owned by Providence Equity.

According to the December 15th press release:
“Abacus provides peace of mind for legal professionals confronted with data privacy vulnerabilities and rigid compliance regulations in today’s fast-paced digital world” said Alessandra Lezama, CEO of Abacus. “Our partnership with Providence will allow us to continue to transform our company and execute on the strategy to quickly scale up our technology infrastructure to meet the ever-growing demand for secure DaaS, extending our offering to other verticals that share risks associated with technology paralysis and that are subject to compliance regulations such as legal professionals.” Providence is a leading global private equity firm with over $40 billion in commitments and a focus on media, communications, education, and information investments. Providence is making the investment in Abacus from its Providence Strategic Growth (PSG) fund.
 “Abacus has proven industry expertise and their continued commitment to advancing their technology and servicing their customer base has been a major driver of the momentum and success they have experienced,” said Marco Ferrari, Managing Director at Providence. “We are excited to partner with a management team that has proven its ability to operate a world-class organization and help further accelerate their success and growth."

What does this mean for us lawyers depending on AbacusLaw in our practices?  The skeptic (nay realist) in me says nothing good.  An East Coast investment house probably does not invest in a San Diego law practice software company unless the software company is in financial trouble, or has a core product that can be thinned out and sold to other industries. A software company tightly focused on law firms only is never going to be a venture capital profit powerhouse as there just are not enough customers.  Look at the language in the press release: transform, strategy to scale up, extending our offering to other verticals. Nothing in there to suggest law practice is going to stay on the top of the pyramid.

I took a look at the management of Providence.  Very impressive roster of Ivy Leaguers.  While there are some law school grads amongst them, with the exception of the general counsel of the company I am not seeing too many lawyers with actual law practice experience.  Not a good omen for a law practice software company. I predict that with the company now being run by investment bankers the cost of Abacus will go up, the customer service will go down, the focus on law practice management software will disappear. I hope I am wrong, but me thinks it won't be long before we may be shopping for new systems if we truly want to keep using software dedicated to law practice management,

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New York prenup lawyer said...

That was an awesome read. My name is Charles Moore and I work at AbacusLaw. I understand exactly what you mean when you say, "Why would an east coast company purchase a company on the west and why would they concentrate on Law Management Software". I have the answer, the company AbacusLaw was founded by lawyers, created for ease and it works. Our Techs here at Abacus are awesome and came up with new technology, "Office Visualization" an add-on for your Practice software and Calendar.

Imagine a day when you can have secure way to log into your office from from a Remote Desktop with enterprise solutions. Enterprise Solution consisting of 10's of thousands of dollars worth of hardware with no capitol investment. Lockheed Martin worth of security with no Capitol Investment.

Charles Moore
Sr Business Development Manager
D: 503-851-5085 | C: 503-851-5085 | F: 858-452-7372
Abacus Data Systems, Inc.

John Harding said...

Charles, I cannot argue with anything you write. It all sounds great. But you don't really answer the question: will AbacusLaw continue to be law practice only, or is the "legal technology" simply going to become on product in a bigger line?

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