The Ashurst/Microsoft legal working group: your comments

Comments have been flowing in on our story that Ashurst, led by global head of IT Bruna Pellicci has formed a Microsoft legal working group designed to put the software giant at the centre of law firm efforts to move their infrastructure into the cloud, with the market widely welcoming the move.
The working group, which has now met twice and includes law firms such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Herbert Smith Freehills, RPC, BLM, Bird & Bird and Clyde & Co, has brought in senior representatives from Microsoft in a bid to help answer recurring law firm cloud challenges such as the security issues raised by client RFPs.
Bev Nicholls, a consultant with The SAM Club, comments on the story: “The SAM Club are Independent Licensing & Software Asset Management Consultants. About 60% of our clients are law firms. We’re seeing that the move to the cloud is very slow because of multiple concerns & unanswered questions. Microsoft, through its Large Solution Providers (LPS’s) are pushing the cloud as the way forward. However, those pushing hardly understand law firms concerns yet alone able to provide re-assuring answers. Of course, Microsoft wishes to generate more business for itself & assure its future so it’s healthy to be sceptical. The Microsoft Legal Working Group is a welcome & essential initiative.”
Also welcoming the new group is ‘Stephen’, a legal IT consultant who adds: “I think this is a great step in the right direction and clearly MS and the SRA are trying to make cloud a viable option. The recent documents released on the topic certainly go a long way to provide reassuring answers.”
And Arlene Adams, founder and CEO of cloud-based practice management system provider Peppermint Technology, which is built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, says: “Great to see this collaboration with Microsoft. Global tech giants are driving everything to Cloud so it’s really a question of when, not if. This raises a very interesting question for every firm looking to change their PMS and Case systems. Most consider this a 5-10 year investment so what happens if you commit to on premise now and the underlying tech stops supporting on premise. Software is becoming a utility – you don’t have a sub station in your back yard, you simply plug in and go. That’s the future of software.”
Keep your comments coming in – Microsoft is watching – and if you’ve seen any helpful recent guidance send us the details and we’ll attach a link.