Law Firms – Using Time Matters in the Cloud
Right now, there’s a mass exodus of law firms moving to the cloud.
It’s a phenomenon that’s very satisfying to observe (and be a part of), considering just how much benefit cloud computing brings to law firms. As I’ve talked about before, law firms, perhaps more than any industry, have so much to gain from the cloud, which is exactly why we made it our mission to bring the benefits of the cloud to law firms nationwide.
Different law firms move different components of their technology to the cloud in different ways, at different paces.Some law firms move to web-based practice management software.Others subscribe to Office 365 for email and document storage.
But what about the many, many law firms that use premise-based software, like Time Matters®?Can you use Time Matters in the Cloud?How does it work?
Here, I’ll answer all those questions and more.
Time Matters – a Brief Overview
In case you haven’t used Time Matters in the cloud (or on-premise) before, a quick overview:
Time Matters is part of the LexisNexis suite of software products. Time Matters is a powerful, robust practice management platform, and focuses primarily on front-office functionality. This includes client and contact management, case/matter management, calendaring, task management, lightweight document management, billing and more.
Related: Time Matters – an Uptime Review
Time Matters in the Cloud
Time Matters has been around for a long time. That means it’s had decades of development behind it, years of new features, new functionality all aimed at helping you manage your practice, better.It also means that the software is premise-based.
This used to mean that running Time Matters in your firm necessitated an onsite server—and someone to maintain and mange it. Today, it also means that your firm can leverage a private cloud to host time matters in the cloud (along with the rest of your law firm’s software and data).
Not a New Version of Time Matters
The first thing to clarify: We’re not talking about a new, different version of Time Matters. What I’ll describe here is not a “cloud edition.” Rather, it’s the Time Matters that you know and love, hosted in a secure, private cloud.
What is a Private Cloud?
Great question. The general term “cloud” means, ultimately, anything hosted elsewhere, not on your own computer or severs. “The cloud” includes web-based software, cloud-based storage, even email hosting.
A private cloud is your own, dedicated cloud, hosted and managed by a professional hosting company. Take Time Matters, for example: As I explained earlier, being premise-based software, it requires a server.
And in the case of a private cloud, the private cloud is the server.
A private cloud will host your Time Matters, in the cloud, just like an onsite server would. But, without the IT headaches that usually comes with owning and managing a server.
A legal-centric private cloud will not only be optimized to run Time Matters in the cloud, but will also include other essential software and IT services, including:
- Hosting for your other legal and productivity applications
- Support and maintenance for your legal software
- Microsoft Office
- Storage for your documents and data
- SQL Server (required by many legal and business applications, including Time Matters)
- Local IT support
- Printer and network support
Put another way, a private cloud is a wholistic, end-to-end solution that hosts and provides support for all of the technology your firm uses.
Okay, but how do I use Time Matters in the Cloud? How Does It Work?
You and your firm will log into a virtual desktop from whatever device you choose to work from (a PC, a Mac, an iPad, and so on).You can access this virtual desktop anytime, anywhere on any device. In fact, this virtual desktop becomes your new home base.
Within this desktop you’ll find all of your firm’s application and data. Your Time Matters. Your S: drive. Your Outlook.And so on.
You’re literally logging into a remote system (a remote PC, conceptually, though not actually), and when you open a case in your Time Matters, or send an email in Outlook, or work in an Excel spreadsheet–it’s all happening on the private cloud server. Modern computing equipment and Internet speeds make this not only possible, but (with the right provider) as seamless as if you were working on your own local desktop.
So, imagine coming into work the first day of your new life in a private cloud. You log into your local desktop computer.And other than maybe your recycle bin and Google Chrome, you have one important icon on your desktop: The icon to log into your cloud platform, or your virtual desktop. Your local desktop looks something like: