PCLaw® and Time Matters® – Why Your Law Firm Needs an Annual Maintenance Plan

PCLaw® is a powerful legal billing, accounting and case management application, made by LexisNexis(R). It is arguably one of the most robust, nuanced solutions for tracking time, billing clients and managing accounting (including trust accounting).

Time Matters®, also by LexisNexis, is a powerful practice management platform for law firms. Where PCLaw focuses more on billing and accounting (with “light” practice management functionality), Time Matters has robust practice management functionality as well as document management capabilities that can be customized and configured to the way your business operates.

Both products are acquired through the perpetual license model. This means when you buy the software you buy (and own) a perpetual license of the software. In the case of PCLaw and Time Matters, as soon as you buy the software you get one complimentary year of their Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP), chock full of helpful resources to help you hit the ground running.

Like with many perpetual software, this AMP is optional (after your complimentary year and initial purchase). And like any business-critical software: It’s absolutely something your firm should get and renew each year.

Here’s why.

LexisNexis Annual Maintenance Plans – More than Just Updates and Support

There’s a lot of value packed into a PCLaw and Time Matters AMP.

Software Updates & New Versions

Every year, LexisNexis, like any good software developer, is constantly working to improve and evolve their applications. Driven by market trends and customer feedback, each update and new version of PCLaw and Time Matters has more functionality and tools to help your law firm do its job – make money! You may need some of these capabilities right away, or you may need them as your practice grows and evolves.

Technical Support

When a piece of software is mission-critical, such as Time Matters and PCLaw, it’s important that you, and everyone in your firm, has quick access to help when they need it. For instance, people in your firm will likely ponder subjects like:

  • How do I customize my invoice?
  • How do I resolve this error message I’m getting?
  • How do I back up my PCLaw database?
  • How do I move my Time Matters to a new server?
  • How do I back out this General Ledger entry?
  • How do I sync my Time Matters (or PCLaw) calendar to Outlook?
  • How do I export a particular PCLaw report to Excel?
  • How do I define a new matter type?
  • How do I save an email to a matter in Time matters?

The members of your law firm are simply going to need help from time-to-time. And it’s your job as the law firm leader to make sure they have access to that help.

Account Managers and Coaches

What we like about working with LexisNexis is that they don’t just sell and support legal software. They are true partners and fully committed to their clients. LexisNexis truly wants you to get the most from their products and services, and to that end, they offer:

Account Managers – Personal go-to managers that are dedicated to the success of your law firm.

LexisNexis Thrive™ Coaches – “Business-of-Law” coaches that will help you identify firm challenges and reveal solutions within your software to help you improve business efficiency.

Cloud Hosting

With an Annual Maintenance Plan, you can leverage PCLaw or Time Matters in the Cloud. A LexisNexis AMP enables your firm to move your software—and all your firm’s technology—to a secure private cloud.

Today, more and more law firms are eliminating servers (and the IT headaches that come with them) and are moving to the cloud. A private cloud, compared to an on-premise server is:

  • More reliable – Cloud providers have vast, robust server infrastructures
  • More secure – Cloud providers typically deliver bank-grade security
  • More accessible – Allowing your firm to work anytime, anywhere on any device
  • More scalable – Scale your users, data and applications up or down as you need to
  • More economical – Compared to the ups-and-downs of server purchase and repair cycles

A Cloud Provider within the LexisNexis Authorized Hosting Provider Program, such as Uptime Legal and Uptime Practice, gives your firm all of the benefits of the cloud while keeping the software you know and trust.

Related:

Anytime Training

Support is great for day-to-day needs. But you, and your firm, will need training. You’ll need it when you first implement PCLaw or Time Matters. You’ll need it as you hire new team-members. And you’ll need it as your firm evolves and begins to use more and more of the software to its fullest capabilities.

Your Time Matters and PCLaw AMP includes 24×7 access to self-paced, interactive online training sessions and tutorials. Some of which are free, only to Annual Maintenance Plan customers. LexisNexis’ training program, called LexisNexis University, includes self-help/how-to resources as well as product training and CLE courses.

Webinars & On-Demand Resources

Beyond even training, a LexisNexis AMP opens up a rich set of resources that your firm is likely to find incredibly valuable. Other resources available include:

  • Quick-Tip Videos
  • Answer Centers and Self-Help Resources
  • Live (and recorded) Webinars
  • Newsletters and more

Closing the Loop

At Uptime Legal, our standing advice to all customers is: Maintain a Maintenance Plan/Support agreement for all your business-critical software[GC(1] like PCLaw and Time Matters. You’ll need it. And this advice isn’t unique to law firms: Businesses of all industries should maintain their central applications. Law firms especially, who rely heavily on their software, are not only not an exception—they’re a prime example.

For most law firms, PCLaw and Time Matters are the epicenter of their law practice. It’s important to protect and get the most value from that investment.

About the Author: Dennis Dimka
Dennis Dimka is the CEO and founder of Uptime Legal Systems, North America's leading provider of technology, cloud and marketing services to law firms. Dennis is the author of Law Practice as a Service: How and Why to Move Your Law Firm to the Cloud, and was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2016. Follow Dennis on LinkedIn.

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