The technology landscape at a law firm can be somewhat different to other industries as it is required to serve a number of different practice areas all of which have a different focus and specialism. Each of these practice areas contains a number of highly intelligent people who, whilst striving for well-focused efficiency are also change averse, making the legal sector one that is often in flux as part of a long and ongoing transformation. For law firms, everything is now about trusted relationships with the providers of platforms moving the traditional It Services focus from “selling tin” to data centres where the servers are now based.
That’s where CTS finds itself today, providing a full suite of application-level interfaces where the customer chooses the level of support required to complement the scenario. As such, service providers are now providing support at the application level too i.e. Platform as a Service. With law firms often running a series of (sometimes challenging) legacy apps the picture can be complex, not just requiring support for the usual apps like Microsoft Office but also more specialist, sometimes very old, apps for document management, HR, payroll and whatever PMS (practice management system) and/or CMS (case management system) they are operating.
And, here’s where it gets challenging because to operate a PMS from a data centre requires a hybrid cloud approach. Currently there are very few purely cloud-based PMSs. Even Microsoft Office may not yet be cloud based as that’s where we may find many clients on their transformation journey.
So the challenges of reporting across hybrid platforms are particularly acute, requiring specialist industry knowledge. It is still the case in many law firms that app support is the responsibility of the in house IT function creating a weak link in the knowledge chain. Where apps sit within the datacentre, support is delivered via the software provider and the data centre managers. However, to even get to this position can involve some weighty migrations, document management being just one of them.
Within a hybrid environment, many of the apps used don’t actually have APIs available to make reporting straightforward or to consolidate reporting across multiple systems. At Katchr we’ve spent many years solving this problem by creating an extensive library of data connectors for both current and legacy legal software. In particular, we have connectors for 19 different practice management systems along with a myriad of other case management, CRMs, document management and other ancillary legal apps.
Katchr is proud to be partnered with CTS offering a complementary BI solution to their clients in a well thought-through technology landscape.