Dave Kinsey 0000-00-00 00:00:00
What’s going on at Omega Legal Systems? In April, Omega Legal Systems, a Scottsdale-based company providing legal time/billing & accounting software to mid-sized law firms, was purchased by Atlanta-based Aderant. As a locally-based company operating for 37 years, Omega had a particularly large market share in Phoenix. Shortly after this transaction, Aderant effectively announced the end-of-life of Omega software. They dramatically reduced the size of their Omega staff and communicated that no new functionality would be developed for this software. Aderant did provide some reassurances in that it is their intent to provide continued support for Omega software for the foreseeable future. Assuming adequate staff remains, it is reasonable to expect fixes and support for some period of time, possibly the next couple of years. However, it seems clear that Omega users should seek a different solution over the long-term. Aderant, of course, has excellent alternatives as do other providers. This is a good time for every firm, not just Omega users, to consider just what software is best for your firm. Many firms haven’t given this significant consideration in quite a while. The largest deciding factor in what firms are using for practice management is often what software they are most familiar with. This is understandable. The prospect of switching software is not something to be undertaken lightly, so changes occur infrequently. New software purchases often happen when a new firm is created. In these situations, it’s often easiest and least risky to stick with software people already know, regardless of whether it’s still the best fit or not. Unfortunately, there is no one “best solution”. The ideal fit depends on the size of your firm, nature of your practice, and what features are most important to your firm. While it takes valuable time to evaluate options, I’d encourage you to make time to do this review. You may determine that a change is beneficial. Ensuring optimal software can help maximize the efficiency of your company and boost your bottom-line. Recommendations: • Evaluate Your Needs: For example, does litigation represent a significant portion of your practice? If so, docketing & litigation support software should be important considerations. Look at your firm as it is today and where it might be 3-5 years from now. • Determine Software Versions Deployed: Is your software on reasonably current versions? Are you current on your software support agreement? Newer versions often provide further functionality. However, upgrading to a new version of your existing application can sometimes be just as expensive (if not more) than going to a completely different solution. • Confirm Perceived Functionality Gaps: Functionality may exist in your current software of which you are not aware. Don’t assume that you are utilizing your current software to its full potential. • Evaluate Integration & Workflow: How well do your systems work together? Is duplicate data entry occurring? Are there multiple sources for items such as calendar and contacts? Are these automatically synched? • Evaluate Reporting: How easy is it for you to get the information that you need to manage your business from an operational standpoint? From a financial standpoint? • Consider Cloud Options: Hosted options are increasing in popularity, particularly among smaller firms. I’ve received so many questions on this topic that we’ve started a monthly technology round-table discussion with a number of law firms around the valley. This is helpful since it’s a more efficient way for these firms to share information and make better decisions. In addition to comparing notes on what other firms are doing, we expect to be performing some joint demonstrations of various software options. This seems to be a more efficient means for multiple firms to pool resources to review and compare opinions of various options. Initial response has been so strong we will continue to offer these every month on an ongoing basis.
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