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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Law Office Systems Fall 2016 Newsletter

Technology Changes Afoot

Technology has changed every job over the last few decades. Even the appliance repair people and package delivery people now carry a laptop they use for recording notes, documenting their work, getting directions and other tasks.  The practice of law and even being a legal technology consultant has changed as well.

When I first founded Law Office Systems, my days consisted of going to client’s offices to install, train and troubleshoot technology related issues. Today, visits to client offices are the exception instead of the rule.  Over the last 25 plus years, I've seen many large companies come and go. As one of my mentors, Bob Butler, founder of Time Matters, once said, “just because they [large companies] are big doesn't mean they can't make big mistakes.” Many major corporation’s products were market leaders and then were replaced by other vendor products when there was a change in the technology platform.  Each time it has happened gradually. We are in a transition now as we are moving from server based products to cloud based subscription licensing.   What is not clear is which companies and which products are going to gain steam and become the market leaders and whether they will replace the current server-based products. 

No matter what product(s) you are using, you owe it to yourself and your staff to periodically review how you are using those products and consider ways to improve and streamline your procedures.  If work is getting done, even if not as efficiently as it can be, we tend to keep doing the same steps.  Saving even 30 minutes on a process you do regularly can translate into real cost or time savings over the course of a year.  For example, if you currently print mailing labels which then need to be stuck on envelopes, printing directly on envelopes would save time and effort.  The added bonus is the end result would look better to the recipient.  We would be happy to meet with you and your staff to brainstorm ways you can improve your firm’s procedures. 

Time Matters 16 Released

Over the next few weeks, Lexis will begin sending out email entitlement keys with the link to Time Matters/ Billing Matter version 16 to firms.  As has been true for the last few versions, Lexis has focused on improving product stability and functional improvements.  The most notable, particularly for firms still on versions 11, 12, and 13, Lexis has listened to our complaints and has reinstated some of the calendar functions that were omitted from version 14.  The Detail View button leys you display Events and Todos together for multiple staff for a single day.  The Monthly and Weekly Calendar View update will have a few fly out when there are more records that can show in the box so you will no longer be forced to view those records in a Daily Calendar view as was the case in versions 14 and 15.    Version 16 also includes improved Active Directory support which eliminates a separate TM login as well as support for SQL Server 2016 and Windows Server 2016.  Version 15 added integration with Microsoft OneDrive.  Version 16 makes use of OneDrive more flexible.  It is currently anticipated that support for Timeslips 2017, which uses Firebird SQL, will be included in Time Matters 16.1. 

Consultants were not involved in beta testing this release.  As soon as we have access to the new version, we will test it and monitor other consultants’ experiences with upgrades so we will know when to recommend upgrades.  Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or if we can be of assistance. 

Law Office Systems Changes

We’ve grown and have added new consultants and are supporting more products! We are pleased to announce that Marc Cantor and Amy Tarazona have joined Law Office Systems, Inc.

Marc Cantor brings almost 30 years’ experience as a software consultant. Marc will continue to assist New York Metro area professional services organizations such as law firms and accounting firms with his technical knowledge. For 21 years Marc was the owner of CAS Consulting, LLC and for the last 7 years, Marc was part of WCA Technologies, Inc. Prior to consulting, Marc worked as a CPA in both public and private accounting. Marc is a Certified Consultant on Timeslips and Cosmolex. Marc has also been certified as a Certified Consultant in the past on netdocuments, LexisNexis Time Matters, Billing Matters, and PC Law. He also supports clients with QuickBooks. When Marc is not assisting clients he is volunteering with Temple Israel and JCC or playing guitar/mandolin in his band Two and a Half Mensch. Marc can be reached at marc@losinc.com or by phone at 973-771-5124.

Amy Tarazona has been supporting law firms as a paralegal for 10 years.  At every firm, Amy was the go-to person for technology issues.  Prior to her work with law firms, Amy studied technology.  Joining Law Office Systems, she is now able to combine both strands to assist firms with their software to support their legal clients.  Her knowledge of cloud applications has added resources and options for our clients. She understands how these programs can be used to improve law firm procedures and streamline workloads.  Along with Carol, she has recently been certified on LEAP.  Amy can be reached at amy@losinc.com or by phone at 973-746-6454. 

Timeslips 2017 Update

Timeslips 2017 began shipping on June 28th, 2016.  This means that versions 2014 and earlier are no longer supported by Sage.  For firms on older versions, we are still able to support you when problems arise.  Older versions of Timeslips may have problems running on Windows 10. With that in mind, you may want to think about upgrading.  The big changes are that Timeslips has been rewritten using a SQL type database known as Firebird and they are offering a subscription version with more features available.  Both the one-time purchase and subscription version are benefitting from more frequent service releases.  The biggest advantages of this new platform are that the program will be more stable, perform tasks faster and will no longer be limited to 300,000 records.  With version 2017, Sage is offering a subscription option as well as a one-time purchase (perpetual) version.  We anticipate that they will only offer an annual subscription option in the future. If you prefer the flexibility to purchase and upgrade again in a few years, this may be the right time to purchase the perpetual version. 

If you are interested in pricing or more information about this upgrade, please let us know. For pricing, please confirm the number of licenses you currently have (under Help, About Timeslips) and how many licenses (per workstation) you will need if you upgrade. We appreciate if you can purchase through us so we can continue to provide direct support for your firm.

If you are no longer using Timeslips, please let us know and we will update our records.  If we can be of assistance with this or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Thanks!

We truly value your business and are committed to continuing to provide you with the best advice, service and support to enable your firm to work at its best.  If you know a firm who would benefit from our services, please share our newsletter with them!




Law Office Systems, Inc. is based in Montclair, NJ and provides technology consulting and training to law offices in the tri-state area and beyond.



© 2017 Law Office Systems, Inc.
168 Midland Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042
| Phone: 973-746-6454
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