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Legal software: has your supplier been bought out?

15 January 18

In association with Insight Legal: what if your office system is no longer supported?

by Deborah Edwards

Purchasing a legal software product is not something firms do very often. The research involved, time taken and pressure of choosing the right system can seem a daunting task.

The legal software market is currently in the midst of a period of significant change, with many providers, after being owner-managed for many years, having been bought up by larger venture capitalist backed businesses seeking to consolidate the market. 

We are hearing from a lot of law firms that the company that has bought their software supplier is deciding not to continue developing and supporting all their products. They look to regain some of their purchase cost by increasing their monthly fees and releasing the staff who developed and supported these products. At the same time, any investment they do make goes towards their own “go-forward” product. Unfortunately, the end result can be that the original software products are no longer supported, and in many cases are “end-of-lifed” or “sunsetted”.

This, of course, puts pressure on firms to change. Whether your main concerns are the withdrawal of support, the lack of development, the increased cost or the change in personnel, it is unlikely that you will want (or be able) to stick with the product which you invested so much in choosing in the first place.

Before withdrawing your current product, the consolidator will invariably ensure that they present you with a migration option or an “upgrade path”. In some cases this will be a newer, shinier product than the one you currently have, with, if you’re lucky, increased functionality. In other cases, you may find that the system they offer you is entirely different. This is, perhaps, to be expected given that the new product wasn’t built to be a natural successor to your system; it just happened to be the product owned and developed by the consolidator. 

It is inevitable that, under the heavy “guidance” of the provider and the timescales that are enforced, firms can feel they have no option but to follow this migration path. 

There is, however, an alternative. There are independent companies out there that win awards for their service, who have very modern and functionally rich software, have an expertise in migrations, have a product roadmap to enhance their offering and are very much like the company that you invested in in the first place.

Food for thought…

Deborah Edwards, Director of Professional Services at Insight Legal Software Ltd
To discuss this topic further or the services we can offer, please give us a call on 0141 406 1355, email us at info@insightlegal.co.uk or visit our website: www.insightlegal.co.uk 
 

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