Common Questions about Running Tabs3 in the Cloud
Tabs3 is a popular billing and practice management software solution for law firms.With more than 40 years serving law firms, Tabs3 is a trusted name and boasts an impressive 96% satisfaction rate from its users. With robust features and customizable options, there’s a lot to love about Tabs3. And, for law firms considering Tabs3 in the cloud, there are often a lot of questions. We’ve put together this article to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about moving and using Tabs3 in the cloud.
Related:Tabs3 – An Uptime Review
1. Is It Even Possible to Run Tabs3 in the Cloud?
Tabs3 can be used both as a desktop-installed application (what you might call “traditional” software that is installed and runs on your on-premise servers and desktop computers) or it can be managed on a private cloud.
A private cloud can host traditional (non-cloud) applications; that is:server-based/desktop-based software, such as Tabs3. For both the on-premise or cloud-based implementation, a key factor is that you’re looking at both storage space and the proper resources to allow Tabs3 to run optimally without lag, downtime or other system or software problems.
2. What Is a Private Cloud?
A private cloud is essentially a sever for software, files, and data that isn’t located within the law firm. One of the benefits of using Tabs3 in the cloud is in having a fully-managed IT platform to improve the user experience. A private cloud:
- Will host your Tabs3 (and other legal software)
- Hosts your firm’s files and folder (think: “The S: drive”).
- Can be used to host the law firm’s email
- Eliminates the need to have physical servers within the law firm
Put simply: Tabs3, being server/desktop software, requires a server. In a cloud implementation, the private cloud is the server.
In a private cloud, Tabs3 in the cloud (along with any other installed and managed program, file, data, or email program) is accessed through a virtual desktop.A virtual desktop helps lawyers and other key staff access Tabs3 and other firm applications or files from anywhere.
Related: Virtual Desktops for Law Firms
3. Does Hosting Tabs3 in the Cloud Have Any Benefits?
Yes! Some of the most impressive benefits experienced by hosting Tabs3 in the cloud include:
- Reliability. By choosing a reputable private cloud platform, law firms benefit by receiving reliable access to Tabs3 (and anything else they’ve chosen to host on the server). Because it’s fully managed, there’s no worry about how lawyers and staff will finish important daily tasks and meet deadlines if a physical server holding important programs and data were to crash. No waiting for an IT guy and hoping they can quickly remedy the situation. No worrying that it will happen at another inopportune moment.
- Security. We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that hosting Tabs3 in the cloud through a reputable provider creates better security for both firm and client data. It can be difficult, costly, and time consuming for law firms to research, purchase, implement, and maintain the best available data security options. Technology changes quickly. For law firms, it would be a never ending (and expensive) job.
- Accessibility. No more being stuck in the office. Tabs3 in the cloud gives lawyers and staff the ability to access the program at any time and from any location.
- Scalability. While “scalability” is a bit of a buzzword, it is a real concern for law firms.The term simply means the ability for something to grow or shrink depending on need. Tabs3 in the cloud makes it easy for law firms to add users or remove users within minutes. It’s extremely fast to install or remove software applications. For law firms acquiring or merging, centralizing resources is easier with a private server compared to a physical server. Firms relying on physical servers may need to purchase additional servers if their current set-up doesn’t offer enough space. Private clouds can be expanded to meet present needs.
- Peace of mind. Tabs3 in the cloud brings peace of mind. Backups, security, and antivirus is all managed on behalf of the firm. There’s less time worrying how to fix IT issues and more time actually handling the substantive part of the law practice.
4. What Risks Exist for Tabs3 in the Cloud?
In a perfect world, everything would always be perfect and smooth. But…that’s simply not reality. The biggest risks associated with Tabs3 in the cloud include:
- Downtime and system problems
- A security breach
- Lack of familiarity and support for the Tabs3 software
These risks happen when a law firm selects the wrong private cloud provider. And there are certainly a lot of providers to choose from. Not all private clouds are great for law firms. Look for a cloud service provider that:
- Is designed specifically for the legal industry. It’s important that the private cloud provider (a) understands the software being used (such as Tabs3) and (b) knows and follows the required security measures for storing sensitive legal data;
- Is well-known and has a good reputation in both the legal and tech communities;
- Doesn’t store or backup data outside of the United States. The last thing you need in your professional life is a data sovereignty issue;
- Is a legitimate private cloud provider and not a company that just resells public cloud options like Amazon AWS;
- Uses the appropriate cybersecurity systems and best practices;
- Provides IT support beyond the private cloud. It’s extremely frustrating for a law firm to not be able to log-in and the private cloud provider telling them that they can’t help because it’s not on their end;
- Provides superior customer service and support staff;
- Doesn’t try to lock you into a long-term contract.
5. Are There Ethical Considerations for Tabs3 in the Cloud?
Most jurisdictions have their own rules related to cloud-based technology (and data security). So, make sure that if you’re considering Tabs3 in the cloud (or using a cloud for any other reason) that you review the rules in the jurisdiction(s) where you’re admitted.
6. Is the Private Cloud Transition Process Difficult?
With the right private cloud provider, the private cloud transition process (also known as migration or onboarding) is easy. In our experience in moving Tabs3 to the cloud, a private cloud transition overview looks like this:
- The discovery process. The private cloud provider should listen and learn about your needs and your current technological environment. They should understand the applications used by the firm (including the version) and any potential issues that could arise.
- The planning process. Onboarding should be carefully coordinated.You should never feel left out of the loop. Good communication can solve a lot of problems. The cloud provider should be able to tell you exactly which components will be moved to the cloud, how they will be moved, and when they will be moved. This level of communication can help you plan for any potential down time.
- The setup process.The cloud provider takes the time to build the actual private cloud that will be used.It will be provisioned and prepared to host the firm’s software, including Tabs3. This is an important step because many legal applications may have different requirements.
- Systematic data collection.The cloud provider should have an established (and painless) plan to collect your data and transfer it to your private cloud.
- Launching Tabs3 in the cloud.The private cloud provider should be able to provide your firm with an easy transition to launching and using Tabs3 in the cloud.
- Training and support.Your private cloud provider should provide proper training and on-going support to make sure that everyone gets the most from this transition.
7. Where Can I Learn More about Tabs3 in the Cloud?
If your law firm currently uses Tabs3 and you’re considering a private cloud, contact us.We will gladly answer your questions and help you decide if a private cloud is the right choice for your law firm.
And in case you missed it, check out our Webinar on moving Tabs3 to the cloud.