Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Huge Legal Software Merger


Big news from the law practice management software world.  Abacus Law has acquired Amicus Attorney.  That's right, the two biggest providers are now One.

Way back when Amicus Attorney was founded by Toronto lawyer Ron Collins, and Abacus Law was founded by San Diego lawyer Judd Kessler. They are now in the rear view mirror as Wall Street takes over law practice management.  Heck, "Law" does not even appear in the name of the new company!

Here is the email I received from the New, Combined Abacus Data Systems:

Dear John

It is our pleasure to share some exciting news with you!  

For over two decades AbacusLaw and Amicus Attorney have stood together in the legal space as the pinnacles of case management solutions. Today, we are delighted to announce that Amicus Attorney will become an integrated part of the Abacus family. 

With our combined technology and expertise we will continue to expand our Best in Class practice automation solutions powered by compliance-ready, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) workspaces designed to eliminate capital expenditure and the burdens associated with IT management.

Our Clients are at the center of everything we do! We will continue to offer and support all products and services. Our commitment to YOU is to consistently raise the bar and provide you with the most comprehensive, fully managed, legal technology solutions that cater to the success of your practice in today’s highly digitalized world.

As always, we thank you for your continued patronage and remain at your service.

Click here to read the full Press Release

Warm regards,

  
Alessandra Lezama
CEO


On to the Press Release:



Abacus Data Systems and Amicus Attorney Join Forces to Transform Practice Automation
Two of Legal Tech Industry’s Most Influential Players Together Deliver One-Stop-Shop Legal Technology Solutions
SAN DIEGO, CA, May 17, 2016 -- Abacus Data Systems, Inc. (Abacus), the premier provider of fully managed legal technology solutions, today announced that Amicus Attorney® (Amicus), one of the world’s leading practice management solution for lawyers, will become an integrated part of the Abacus family.  
Abacus and Amicus serve hundreds of thousands of attorneys in the US and around the world. By combining their collective technology and expertise, the newly integrated group will deliver the widest range of Best in Class practice management, time, billing and accounting applications powered by compliance-ready, Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) workspaces designed to eliminate capital expenditure and the burdens associated with IT management. 
“We’re proud of Amicus’ strong innovation history and the extraordinary work of the Amicus team to provide award winning practice management software,” said Alessandra Lezama, CEO of Abacus. “This transaction is the culmination of those efforts and the logical next step for Abacus. In joining forces with Amicus, our customers, employees, and stockholders will benefit from being part of a more diversified industry leader with significantly greater market opportunities. Our combination creates a more influential industry player with a commitment to product innovation and integration, which is key to the success of legal professionals in today’s highly digitalized world that has redefined the practice of law.”
Amicus’ CEO Ron Collins stated, “For over two decades Amicus and Abacus have stood together in the legal space as the pinnacles of case management solutions and superior customer service, and now together, this group will create synergies that will bring even greater benefits to attorneys all over the world.”
Abacus recently announced a majority investment of Providence Growth Equity and the opening of its new Headquarters in La Jolla, California adding more than 50 new technology positions. The integration of Abacus and Amicus reflects their commitment to the fast-paced technological evolution of the legal market and to providing unparalleled resources in support of its customers’ ever-changing practice automation needs.
“Both companies will continue to offer all products and services with no changes made to either company’s staff or management team,” explained Lezama. “The joint strengths and values of both our companies equal a superior breed of service provider and will benefit our customers, partners, and employees across the board. We are proud to welcome Amicus’ talented team into the Abacus family,” Lezama concluded.
About Abacus Data Systems, Inc.
Abacus Data Systems is the provider of the first to market case management, time billing and accounting software designed to easily automate law practice operations, ensure best possible outcomes, and increase profitability. In 2014 Abacus launched Abacus Private Cloud, a compliance ready, Turn-Key Desktop-as-a-Service solution (DaaS) to help attorneys bridge the gap to private cloud environments that guarantee security and ultimate performance to help legal professionals and others alike quickly build and grow their practice successfully.
 
Founded in 1983, Abacus has over 250,000 clients worldwide, is headquartered in San Diego, California, and operates three fully redundant data center footprints in the United States specifically engineered to host and safeguard sensitive data for professionals. Robust security and compliance policies, including two-factor authentication, five tiers of physical, network and data security and information handling and data privacy protocols in accordance with NIST standards ensure a safe and compliant environment for even the most confidential data. Please call 1-800-726-3339 or visit http://www.abacuslaw.com/ to learn more.
About Amicus Attorney 
Amicus Attorney is practice management software that works the way lawyers do. It’s an easy, lawyer-friendly solution that serves as the hub of a law practice. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Toronto, Amicus is made by Gavel & Gown Software. Tens of thousands of law firms worldwide use Amicus Attorney. Gavel & Gown's numerous achievements are recognized through the success of its customers and through its alliances with key strategic partners. As a measure of this phenomenal success, Amicus Attorney has won more than 30 prominent industry awards, has been endorsed by major law societies and has been recognized by independent surveys as one of the most widely used practice management software in the USA. For more information, please call (800) 472-2289 or visit www.amicusattorney.com.
About Providence Equity 
Providence Equity Partners is the world’s leading global private equity firm focused on equity investments in media, communications, education, and information companies. The firm manages funds with over $40 billion in commitments and has invested in more than 140 companies globally since its inception in 1989. Providence is headquartered in Providence, RI and also has offices in New York, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and New Delhi. Visit www.provequity.com for more information.
- See more at: http://www.abacuslaw.com/resources/blog/abacus-data-systems-and-amicus-attorney-join-forces-transform-practice-automation#sthash.gvkEIrZs.dpuf



Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Monday, May 16, 2016

Let the Migration Begin

It has been a while since my last post. I have been very busy working for clients, moving kids home from college for the summer, unsuccessfully training Bear the chocolate lab, and so on. Also consuming a lot of my time is our firm's implementation of Rocket Matter as our new practice management software platform.

First let me say this. The people at Rocket Matter have been first rate. My colleagues and I have been burning up the phone lines to the tech support department, and in every instance the technicians at the other end of the line have been pleasant, knowledgeable, and able to solve our problems.  Absolutely top notch! Kudos RM!

Less pleasant has been the physical experience of migrating our data from AbacusLaw into Rocket Matter. That is not a criticism of RM, it is just a fact of moving twenty years of data from one software platform to another. In my experience, having transitioned from Amicus Attorney to AbacusLaw, and now to Rocket Matter, the process just is not seamless. Every product is different, and while there is some degree of fluidity to the exercise, there is no clean and easy way to migrate the data. Success is contingent on rolling up your sleeves and pounding away at the keyboard and mouse for days and days to move and reconcile all of the data from one product to another.

That is where we are at in our process. We have imported more that 2500 contacts into RM, but then each of those individual contacts has to be opened up and corrected manually. As an example, salutations do not move over from AbacusLaw to Rocket matter. That has to be fixed one contact at a time. While addresses and phone numbers do move from AL to RM they do not automatically reconcile as home or business addresses, and they don't categorize as home, business, or mobile phone numbers. We are having to go into each contact and manually make those corrections.

The same goes for cases. We are moving almost 700 matters from AL to RM. The title of the case moves over just fine. The names of the parties do not move over cleanly. We are going to have to go through each matter one by one to designate who the client is, who the opposing party is, who the opposing attorney is, etc., etc. The process will take months to complete. No need to be frustrated by it. It is a necessary evil that we have to work through.

Of those 700 cases, roughly 50 are pending matters. Our migration is focusing on getting all of the contact cards cleaned up first. We need to get all names properly updated and indexed so that we can stay on top of conflicts, and to stay current with our lines of communications with people. For the matters we are focused on indexing the cases as open or closed. For the matters that are not pending we are associating the client name to the matter, and then closing them. That will leave us with just the pending matters on the opened matters screen. We will next perfect those pending matters by finalizing the associated contacts and related data.

After all of that work we will start thinking about the other invaluable features of RM such as time and billing and work flow. In all honesty, at this point I can say very little about those other features because we are not at a place where it makes any practical sense to try and utilize them.

I do have to bring some tough love to the table. So far I am very happy with Rocket Matter. My only frustration is the lack of support for the product beyond calling tech support.  The latest version of Rocket Matter is the Atlas version. There are significant layout and programming differences between Atlas and its predecessor. Unfortunately RM has yet to produce and put online any real library of video tutorials for Atlas, there is limited user manual documentation, and only an infantile FAQ space on the RM tech support page. Unlike AbacusLaw, a lot of the functionality, design and workflow processes are left to the customer.  RM relies on the old marketing hook and says they sell a product that is highly customizable.  I do not want customizaable. I want a product that is out of the box ready to go for my family law practice. RM does not offer that. Fine enough, I made that sacrifice when I made the choice to move to RM (none of the other programs I considered were any better). If I am going to have to do my own programming RM you at least have to give me a full slate of manuals, guides, and tutorials under the heading Rocket Matter for Dummies! Stay tuned for more venting from me on these issues. . . .

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#RocketMatter#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

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