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Another firm drops AIM Evolution

Leeds Day Solicitors in East Anglia has selected Linetime’s Liberate legal accounting and Liberate Signature Edition case management system to replace its AIM Evolution (now part of the IRIS group) software. The eight partner, 70 staff practice provides a range of legal services from three offices throughout the region, specializing in conveyancing, personal injury, commercial work and litigation.

Leeds Day partner Bob Dewdney commented: “We carried out extensive research of the current market offerings and looked closely at products from several well-known suppliers. There were three main reasons why we selected the Liberate products from Linetime…
• The comprehensive functionality within the core system and the integration between the accounts and case management modules. This has enabled us already to identify several areas for immediate operational improvement.
• The commitment of Linetime to develop products using mainstream Microsoft technologies, particularly Microsoft SQLServer and .NET. This provides the high level of investment protection we were looking for.
• The customizability of the Liberate Signature Edition case management system means we can tailor the core system to our exact and changing requirements.”

24 replies on “Another firm drops AIM Evolution”

I think that there will be a few more announcements rather like this one.

Agreed. Iris have stopped all development of Evolution, and the replacement ILE has failed in every firm because it simply doesn't work! I hear that support is getting worse as people leave.
On top of that, they are sacking 10% of their staff and the good ones are looking to leave anyway. I've received quite a few c.v.s from Iris employees.

You mean companies changing products. No crystal ball needed for that!

True, but it will be interesting to see how many AIM sites do migrate to ILE. It is fairly clear to all that IRIS are not in a position to migrate ILE from Progress to MS SQL (find a ILE site that really is using SQL and that is not the subject to “confidential discussions”), and this may have some influence on many who choose Aim becasue it was a SQL based solution. I am sure some one will advise us all that the dbase behind a product is no longer a “real issue”, but that tends to be the case when you are pushing a non SQL based product. I am confident that the rumours about staff going at Iris have some basis in truth although greatly exgeratted. eg Tom Bell is still there.

Slight correction. They are still doing some development on Evolution but that is just for Legal Aid changes. Some of them are actually surprisingly good. However everything else you said is true. The support has gone to the dogs across all the products we use and we're looking for a way out!

Interesting to see the comment regarding SQL Server and .Net.
Charles,
Would you happen to know how many vendors are providing a .Net based solution of some kind ?? and out of of those how many are offering a genuine 100% .Net application, eg, not just a Client side UI refresh in .Net or a asp.Net add-on of some kind for online case tracking ?
Also, as a side point, do most Law firms know the difference or is this a case of them being blinded by science ? Am guessing the vendors with genuine 100% .Net applications have microsoft certification to back up their claims ?

Actually we first commented on this in the Insider newsletter two or three years ago – when .NET first raised its pointy little head – namely that vendors were trying to confuse the market with claims along the lines that our system is more dot-nettier than their's. The key is whether the system has been redeveloped from the ground-up in .NET or just given a .NET facelift that amounts to little more than adding go-faster stripes to an old banger.

Fair enough, but the question still remains valid.
How many vendors are claiming to have a .Net Solution, How many out of that number have redeveloped from the ground up ?
Controversially, do law firms even care whether its a facelift or a complete re-write ?

From our investigations (medium to large firm market) Elite 3E is the only true entirely .NET application. So I suppose you have to give Elite the credit for actually being the guys with the only true 'next generation' solution. All the others (not sure about smaller firm products) are in some part 'racing striped' as the previous guy put it. Aderant Expert for example is simply Aderant CMS with a new largely 3rd party (but still .NET) front end. President Obama, were he interested in PMS systems might say “that's like putting lipstick on a pig”…

So are you saying Aderant is the software equivalent of Sarah Palin? Does it shoot moose as well?

What's the 3rd party front end on Aderant? I thought it was their own stuff?

I think law firms would be better off buying on the functionality they require rather than technology on which it sits. All things being equal the technology then becomes a factor.
There are a number of .net products out there that fail to deliver some pretty fundamental functionality.

Thats a pretty naive comment to make, Especially given the context of this post, AIM Evolution has been in development for a number of years so you are not telling me that functionality was the overriding factor in the decision to move vendor ? (However, I agree that Tech behind the functionality was not 100% the reason for moving either, even if it was cited in the press release).
New tech stack = new innovative solutions to help deliver functionaility.

Ok, so not many vendors fessing up to having complete .Net application by the sounds of it.
Next question, How can you be really sure that your vendor has a complete .Net application and hasn't tried to pull the wool over your eyes.
Any takers ?
HINT. Ask them to prove it, our friends over at Microsoft provide all sorts of certification on this sort of thing, anyone whom is re-writing from the ground up will surely be in bed with Microsoft and won't have a problem acquring the relevant tick in the boxes to help put your firms mind at rest.
EXTRA HINT, Stuttering answers or color draining from face tends to suggest your local vendor is telling you a few white lies over what you are thinking of buying and you should perhaps steer clear. It really is a simple Yes/No answer.

Aderant's matter centre product is 3rd party (UK firm called FWBS), their workflow is Microsoft, I think their Records module is CA Records… This isn't unusual – Elite's older solution Enterprise, which 3E replaced was the same. I think the gist of Aderant's roadmap from the Momentum conference was that they were moving away from the 3rd party apps and building a new .NET front end that did all this stuff, but still based on their current CMS platform, to be delivered at some point in the next few years (so make that 3-5 years!), but again not a completely .NET solution. Pretty sure 3E is the only one that's all .NET.
And as for the guy who said technology doesn't matter – yes it's about business benefits, but are you still using a CRT monitor to read this post? Of course you can still read it on a CRT, but there are significant advantages to LCD, as there are with all new technologies both tangible (financial) and intangible (cultural). The Luddites would be proud…

I believe IRIS has a complete .Net solution that is Microsoft certified?

Doh. AIM Evolution is a dead product with no future development and support being withdrawn in 2012. Thats the reason for moving vendor…Nothing to do with functionality vs technology (although that comes into new vendor choice of course).

When are we going to hear from other customers instead of vendors firing cheap shots at each other. Grow up!
Charles many of us are getting bored of this, your rag is becoming worthless.

Yes I understand that Tom Bell their top Videss salesman is still with Iris but no thanks to Comical Al i – He also pushed out Sean Town their top Mountain salesman as Sean knows more about the legal market than Ali will ever know. Sean will probably do more damage to Iris now that he works for TFB.

Iris now have a new Legal Division Sales Director – Greg Adams from Borland Software

Sean is just as capable of doing as much damage to TFB now he works there!
Nice guy, but can be such a pain in the ass sometimes 🙂

Poor analogy; CRT provides a far better range of colour AND they are able to scale to different resolutions which is why many graphic designers still use CRT; it's right for their needs.
What *should* be the primary driver is what is the most appropriate technology for solving the issue(s) facing a business. Is it LCD or CRT, .NET or .not? Business leaders need to sort that out first and worry about technology second.

Of course you're correct on the resolution issues friend, however this is not a graphic design blog so I think the analogy holds for the audience. Larger screen sizes, better use of desk real estate, lower heat, lower radiation, easier on the eye for long term use, portable (as in have you ever seen a laptop with a CRT screen (OK I mean in the last 10 years!), oh and less power usage for the green vote. In short, not many mac users here…
So once more as another poster noted, it's the capacity of an entirely new technology stack to provide new BUSINESS functionality that makes it valuable. So in the end we're in agreement. It's about solving business problems, and though there are exceptions (I still don't get why I need a $500 'home coffee machine' in my kitchen for one coffee a day) new technology usually provides new and more powerful ways to drive efficiency and solve business problems. That's why people invent it. That's why people buy it.

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