The ILTA sessions: Tikit talk forecasting in Carpe, integration with NetDocuments, and cloud complexities

In the first of a series of high level ILTA briefings, Legal IT Insider caught up with chief operating officer Simon Hill and development director Mark Garnish, who reveal that Tikit has developed a new two-way integration with NetDocuments; discuss the expense capture and forecasting functionality in the new version of Carpe Diem; and say that law firms are starting to realise the complexities involved in their vendors moving to the cloud and are beginning to ask some tough questions.

What new product launches should we be aware of?

We’re launching our new version of Carpe Diem, which we tried to take time recording in a different direction. In addition to standard time capture, we’ve added expense capture and forecasting. The logic behind both of those is that if the lawyer is time recording on the desktop or mobile the obvious thing they need to do is capture expenses, either personal or client, and they might as well use the same interface.

There’s a real opportunity for expenses but that’s just adding functionality – the really interesting area is forecasting because at a very simple level what we’re moving towards is asking more firms to forecast or anticipate the time they will be spending in the future. Again, that’s using the same interface because you’re already recording time and capturing expenses so why use a different interface for forecasting future expenses.

It could well be the practice managers or bid managers tendering for work who might decide to fulfil this piece of work and they can create notional time entries in Carpe. When the lawyer gets to that work, instead of re-recording time they can knock off the time that’s been recorded – you will start to get an idea of how busy individuals are and how accurate people are with their forecasting.

The new dashboard that goes with that reflects how well people are contributing to forecasting but you can also go into Carpe and say ‘I need three banking associates in New York in December’ and it will tell you there isn’t anyone in New York but there is in Boston and you start allocating time.

The key is we’re using the same interface and that’s part of the vision across our software: to give lawyers the same interface across all our products.

What’s hot at ILTA?

Last year one of the most popular hashtags was Cloud2020 but this year people are looking at what that really means: they are looking at it seriously and they’re asking vendors some fairly taxing questions, realising vendors have some issues in moving their on premises solutions to the cloud.

Our view is that its technically complex and it’s usually impossible to migrate a legacy system to the cloud. So as a vendor, you will almost have to rewrite your software and invest millions in it. That’s what the law firms at ILTA are discovering, so they are coming to challenge their suppliers on what their strategy is – how are they doing it and how close they are to achieving it.

Office 365 is a good example. The hardest question is ‘ is your Office 365 software compliant’ and most firms don’t know what they mean when they ask it. Office 365 is incredibly complicated – if you want it just to use the latest version of Office on your desktop  that’s one thing, but if you want to use it across devices that’s far more complex. The version on your desktop won’t work on your mobile phone and has to work across all of those devices or it’s not Office 365 compliant and firms don’t realise the level of investment required to achieve that.

Any new announcements?

We’re going to make a formal announcement in September but we can tell you that we have now developed a two way integration into NetDocuments which we believe will be the first CMS and DMS in EMEA to have this functionality.

What are the financial highlights of the past six months?

The 100th firm upgraded Carpe Diem in June/July. Last year was a record year for our own IP, with significant growth over all product lines. P4W had a record number of six figure deals and with firms inside the top 200. We’ve seen a resurgence in eMarketing sales  also driven by the new relationship Legal Publish.

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