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Exclusive: Seward & Kissel selects SAP with Fulcrum GT

Added on the 29th Jan 2019 at 12:22 pm

Respected Wall Street law firm Seward & Kissel has selected SAP with Fulcrum Global Technologies, we can reveal, swapping out sunsetted incumbent Thomson Reuters Elite Enterprise for Fulcrum’s intake, conflicts, time, billing, finance, collection and expense modules.

The selection process began around a year ago and involved competitors Thomson Reuters Elite and Aderant. Speaking to Legal IT Insider, director of information technology, Leon Goldstein said: “We wanted to involve our accounting department in the process. We are coming from Elite Enterprise and don’t have a lot of add-ons apart from Intapp Time, which we put in a year ago. Whatever product we selected needed to have all those components.”

Director of finance Colleen O’Neill added: “The version of Elite that we’re on means we don’t use any third parties for anything, so we needed a robust replacement system.”

The entire accounts department was involved in the decision making process and took a vote at the firm, which also has an office in Washington DC. O’Neill says: “It was unanimous.” Interestingly, the department took a vote prior to the selection process and Goldstein says of the decision made: “The result was completely reversed.”

He adds: “In the demo they were able to make changes on the fly of things that we wanted to see that the others couldn’t.”

SAP Fulcrum has a reputation for being prohibitively expensive, but when asked about the cost, Goldstein says: “When we did our cost analysis over a five-year period, they were all pretty much the same. If you take into account the cost of software implementation and add-ons, it was all very close. With Fulcrum we didn’t have those third-party costs to factor in.”

Seward & Kissel made a decision to go with Fulcrum in October but didn’t finalise that until the end of December. The firm, which has an office in New York and Washington and 160 attorneys is looking at going live in six months.

SAP is still regarded warily by the legal market but law firms now using the system include Baker McKenzie and Norton Rose Fulbright, with Bradford & Barthel due to go live in March – see the Orange Rag out on 30 January for a significant update on that story. If you’re not already signed up for the free newsletter sign up here: https://www.legaltechnology.com/latest-newsletter/

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