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May 23, 2017
Cloud service providers are the guys who get you connected to the cloud. In many ways, they are similar to the cable provider that hooks you up to the Internet. A managed service provider takes care of all the day-to-day IT services for your law firm. The physical servers are managed at the provider’s facility. Through monitoring tools and analytic software, providers help to keep your cloud service active 24/7.
Law firms are in the business of law. They take in clients to exercise rights allowed by local and federal statutes. Nowhere in a lawyer’s job description is there anything about computer operations or networking. IT departments are expensive regardless the size of the firm. The larger the firm, the larger the IT department, which means more personnel, more salaries, more insurance and more benefits packages. Outsourcing through a provider changes everything. Law firms pay a monthly fee and get all the benefits of a local IT department and more. Don’t get caught behind the curve:
There is also the issue of servers breaking down and causing problems within the office. When servers go down the office slows to a halt. It may also include overtime paid to various departments until everything is up and running again. When you talk to a managed service provider you can find out what their uptime percentage is, and in many cases the percentage is higher than they state.
The Mobile Lawyer
Lawyers have no time to slow down and managed service providers understand this. Jeff Taylor, owner of the Droid Lawyer loves an app called Fastcase. This app allows lawyers to access court rulings, statutes and case law from anywhere they can get an Internet connection. About 50% of all lawyers now carry a tablet around with them everywhere they go. These little tablets are the equivalent of a laptop from just a couple of years ago.
ABAJournal states, “Apps also have a reputation for appealing to an extremely specific need and no more—a welcome change for attorneys with little time for learning software overgrown with features they’ll never need.” Besides having access to everything within your office you can also Skype clients. This feature can bring the client to the courtroom with you, or allows you to brief them between cases.
The Save Plan
Managed service providers not only back up your data, but they can create backups on redundant servers. In other words, your data will be backed up on several servers at the same time. How often the backups occur and how many copies are made, is entirely up to you. When you talk to your managed service provider regarding backups make sure to ask them how they will handle your data, and what options you have for more intensive data-saving techniques.
Managed service providers have come a long way in the past couple of years, and new technologies give them options for handling law firms in the cloud. Virtualization technologies, AI interfaces, and new client portals are all expected in 2017. Get a free assessment, and see how TOSS can help you make your office mobile. Request a quote today!
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