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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