Virtualizing a Law Practice In Miami Florida

law-firm-cloud-miami

Instead of talking about all the possibilities a law firm can have with a Private Cloud environment, I thought it would be better to reverse engineer the process and share examples from my very own Abacus Private Cloud clients. Now obviously I’m not going to refer to them by name, but each scenario will be descriptive enough to give you valuable insight on how firms I work with have benefited from a Private Cloud environment.

About The Law Firm

This particular client had heard about Abacus because he had used our software (AbacusLaw) while going through law school years ago. Fast forward a decade (Abacus has been around for 32 years), and this gentleman had now opened his own practice and was in need of a Practice Management solution to help his growing client base. As I spoke to him we identified quite a few interesting points which lead us to discussing a cloud based solution.

Here’s a quick snippet of what I learned about the potential client;

  • Solo Practitioner with one legal assistant working for him
  • His office was based in Miami but he traveled often and his legal assistant lived and worked from a town near the Florida border but in the State of Georgia
  • He specialized in Real Estate Law, which required him to frequently meet clients outside the office
  • On a scale of 1-10 of technology savviness, I’d rate this client at about a 6
  • Ensuring that there was a way to do a backup from the Private Cloud to his local office was of utmost important to this client
  • Additional applications the client had and wanted access to were Quickbooks, and a Real Estate specific software that worked on Windows 7

The Solution

Why was the Private Cloud the right choice? Well through a Cloud based environment, the fact that the attorney and his assistant are in physically different locations doesn’t matter. He could be in his office in Miami, and she could be at her home office in Georgia and it would seem like they’re both in the same location (albeit virtually). They would have shared data, and the ability to instantly collaborate. Because our servers are running Microsoft Server 2012 R2, it’s like you’re viewing a Windows 8 desktop when you connect to your Private Cloud. So we installed all the additional software he needed onto the server for him as well. That included his copy of Quickbooks and the software he was using for his Real Estate needs.

The Abacus Private Cloud system has a collocation in Katy Texas, with another one scheduled to be fired up soon in Chicago Illinois. There really wasn’t a need for a local backup, but to give the client the peace of mind he desired, we setup a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to communicate with his server at the physical office in Miami. We’re very clear about letting our clients know they maintain ownership of their data, but when you move your entire firm into somewhere virtual, I can understand the desire for the extra backup.

Conclusion

As I’ve mentioned in a prior post, a Private Cloud solution isn’t for everyone. At least not yet. It still has to make sense financially for firms to adopt a cloud solution. In this case, because the client and his assistant are in physically different locations, it made the decision pretty easy. Now the alternative could have been to setup a VPN to his local server, but that would have required an IT professional on his end. That means you’re now adding the cost of an IT professional, the maintenance for the server, the networking, the cost of backups and the occasional “oh @*$#! moments which are bound to happen with tech.

From what I remember the cost of this project was less than $500 to setup and the monthly fees ended up being less than $100 per user. In my mind if you’re able to collect more billable hours as a result of the mobility and flexibility that the Private Cloud gives

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