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Ascertus featured in InfoLaw: Why your firm needs a modern document management system

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Thoughts from the Market Page 13 (308) November/December 2017 aka ‘The Orange Rag’

Full printed version available available here

You may be surprised to hear that HotDocs, a software product that enables the creation of intelligent templates for document production, has probably had more user licences sold than any other legal software in the UK marketplace. And yet, it is severely under-utilised in law firms. Why? In most cases we find that firms invest in the technology to address the needs of the first project for which the licences were purchased, but then don’t assign further resources to properly roll out the solution to other practice areas.

Consequently, not only don’t firms realise the benefits of intelligent templates throughout the organisation, but they actively limit the return on their investment. HotDocs and document automation is of course only one example where the use of the product, despite its proliferation, falls by the wayside. This attitude towards technology investment is very prevalent in the legal industry, and baffles me. It defies business logic and rational thinking. Firms deploy a variety of technologies such as case management, workflow and document management, but only scratch the surface of possibilities that the use of these systems offer. It’s as if firms become bored of the solutions they have purchased and quickly discard them to move on to purchasing the next shiny new toy.

The sentiment conveyed by the Dog Trust’s slogan, “A dog is for life, not just for Christmas’ seems apt in this context. Perhaps more so than in any other industry, I find that the legal sector is especially prone to being swayed by the latest marketing hype and buzz. Law firms are quick to move on to the next “big” thing; and presently, that new, cute adorable puppy, appears to be artificial intelligence (AI).

There is a flood of newly found AI tools coming into the market and many vendors are also looking to AI enable their existing offering to keep up with the trend. What perhaps purchasers of these tools don’t realise is that these products demand significant investment, not just financially, but in time and resources. AI isn’t ‘plug and play’. AI tools must be ‘trained to be intelligent’. AI needs to be nurtured and developed for it to provide specific functionality/application – and then the process continuously repeated for iterative development or creation of other applications. It also requires an ongoing commitment towards the ownership of the product, whether that be an investment in hiring and training internal resources or the sub-contracting of external resources.

Sadly, many software vendors are only interested in selling software licences and not in how well their product is adopted. The seller may possibly underplay or the buyer may not fully appreciate the extent and depth of skills that are required to fully realise the potential of the tools. An extreme example of this would be a Microsoft salesman telling a customer that a single licence for one of their programming languages is only £X and once they purchase it, they could use it to develop any functionality they need for their business. Whilst the claim is indeed true, it would of course take each individual organisation 1000's of software development hours to build and deliver the required functionality.

You can buy the latest and greatest piece of technology – and firms spend a great deal of time and effort issuing tenders for software selection – but the real success of the system will depend on how committed the firm is to organisation-wide user adoption. This in turn is reliant on how well the solution is configured to the firm’s specific and unique way of working, both at organisational and individual practice area levels. From the point of purchase, focus, resources and tenacity are essential to effectively rolling out the point solution for the first group of users, ensuring that the product meets their business needs and makes them more efficient and productive. More crucially however, the same level of attention is necessary to repeat that cycle of system configuration, skillset development, change management and ongoing user training for the other departments that can also utilise that software within the firm. Only then can the benefits of the solution be truly leveraged.

It should go without saying that law firms must adopt technology based on a strategic vision for their business. However, to fully derive value from their investment, they need to develop a culture that continuously looks at where else that technology – and the skills learnt from the initial implementations of it – can benefit other areas of the business. This approach will ensure that the technology investments they make are fully harvested. Rather than being cast away early on in its life, this approach will guarantee that your ‘puppy’ becomes a loyal, rewarding and trusted friend for life.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Ascertus Bolsters Customer Support Organisation with Appointment of Technical Support Manager

London, U.K., 12 October 2017 - Ascertus Limited, a provider of document and information lifecycle management solutions to law firms and corporate legal departments, has appointed Chris Thomas as Technical Support Manager across the company’s product portfolio. With this appointment, Ascertus has bolstered its Support organisation to further enhance the delivery and quality of services, which forms a fundamental part of the company’s offering to customers.

Chris joins Ascertus from Mitratech, where he was a Project Manager, delivering Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Policy Management solutions to large financial institutions. He has held IT operations, support and consulting positions at large UK-based law firms, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Kennedys Law; as well as in corporates, such as P&O Maritime and Euler Hermes. He also previously worked for another iManage partner, so already has extensive knowledge and experience of the products Ascertus sells and supports, including iManage Work. He has a unique perspective into what clients expect of their support partner.

“We are very mindful that without top quality support, even the best and most proven solutions can fail,” said Roy Russell, CEO of Ascertus Limited. “Support sits at the heart of our organisation and regardless of customer budget or size, we endeavour to give each and every one of our clients the same attention and quality of service. This has been recognised in the two most recent, independent iManage customer satisfaction surveys where Ascertus was rated the top iManage Support Partner in the UK. Chris brings with him a wealth of experience, which we will utilise to ensure that as we continue to grow, our quality of delivery remains high.”

“Ascertus’ reputation for providing excellent support precedes it, and I’m delighted to join such a high performing team,” commented, Chris Thomas, Technical Support Manager at Ascertus Limited. “I’m looking forward to further developing the proactive and caring Ascertus support team; and to ensuring that we continuously enhance the quality of service that Ascertus provides to its customers.”

About Ascertus Limited

Ascertus provides information and document lifecycle management consultancy, software solutions and IT support services to law firms, corporate legal departments and other professional services organisations. Based in Central London, the company offers a full range of professional services – from consultancy, business analysis and project management; to software implementation, training, documentation and technical support – delivering bespoke email, contract and document management solutions in on-premises and privately hosted environments. The company has successfully delivered and managed some of the largest iManage Work installations at customer sites in the UK. For more information, visit: www.ascertus.com Follow Ascertus on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media contact:

TagusPR

Vidushi Patel

+44 07958474632

Monday, November 13, 2017

RadcliffesLeBrasseur Awards iManage Work Support Contract to Ascertus

Ascertus to upgrade RadcliffesLeBrasseur to iManage Work 10 in 2018

London, U.K., 13 November 2017 - Ascertus Limited, a provider of document and information lifecycle management solutions to law firms and corporate legal departments, has won the contract to provide iManage Work Product Management system support services for RadcliffesLeBrasseur. Additionally, this UK-based law firm, which provides business, regulatory, not-for-profit and private legal advice; is planning for Ascertus to upgrade the firm to iManage Work 10, the latest version of this next generation of email and document management system.

Presently, there are 160 users of iManage Work across RadcliffesLeBrasseur’s three offices in London, Leeds and Cardiff. Once transitioned to iManage Work 10, users will be able to take advantage of the improved mobility and security-related functionality offered by the solution.

Following the termination of RadcliffesLeBrasseur’s previous support agent from the iManage Partner Programme earlier this year, the firm was extremely diligent about finding a replacement. RadcliffesLeBrasseur selected Ascertus, after a rigorous tender process, for its customer-focussed approach, company ethos, consultancy-led attitude and willingness to work with other solution providers to meet the technology needs of the firm.

Simon Gatward, Head of IT at RadcliffesLeBrasseur, explained, “Very early on in our interaction with Ascertus, we concluded that they are all about customer service and aren’t chasing the money as many other service providers do. They completely engaged with us to understand our needs.

“For instance, rather than conduct the Health Check of our IT remotely – which is what technology vendors typically do – an Ascertus engineer was stationed in our office to conduct the activity. Additionally, they are able to provide ‘wrap-around’ solutions and advice on the best approach to technology. This capability will be valuable to us for the long-term.”

In the latest survey conducted independently by iManage, Ascertus was voted the number one by customers for the quality of its support services in the UK.

Recently, Ascertus strengthened its customer support organisation with the appointment of a Technical Support Manager with responsibility across the company’s product portfolio. Responsibility, responsiveness and reliability underscore the support offering at Ascertus. Support is also a core part of the account management function at the company. Its London-based support desk comprises highly experienced and technically sound engineers, all of whom have previously worked either within law firm IT departments or in professional services firms providing support to law firms. They understand the pressures that knowledge workers face, are excellent at problem solving and proficient in inter-personal communications.

“Good support underpins the success of any technology in an organisation,” said Roy Russell, CEO of Ascertus Limited. “We are mindful of this and so are continuously raising the bar for what constitutes a good quality support service. This approach is winning us business as many service providers today tend to focus on implementation with support often viewed as an aside.”

About Ascertus Limited

Ascertus provides information and document lifecycle management consultancy, software solutions and IT support services to law firms, corporate legal departments and other professional services organisations. Based in Central London, the company offers a full range of professional services – from consultancy, business analysis and project management; to software implementation, training, documentation and technical support – delivering bespoke email, contract and document management solutions in on-premises and privately hosted environments. The company has successfully delivered and managed some of the largest iManage Work installations at customer sites in the UK. For more information, visit: www.ascertus.com Follow Ascertus on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Media contact:

TagusPR

Vidushi Patel

+44 07958474632