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Beginners guide to apps

Here’s a handy guide to apps by Dave Wilson  of TigerEye Consulting

Apps – the buzzword of the moment. You hear it mentioned all the time. On the train and in the pub, people discuss the latest App they have downloaded and what it can do. It appears that the more Apps you hold on your device, the better. They can help you with so many things ranging from finding out the weather forecast for the day ahead, to how to carry out CPR on an unconscious patient. But what role can Apps play within the business world, and more specifically within the legal marketplace?

Competition for customers in the legal world is hotting up. To remain competitive, firms need to find their key differentiator and deliver a clear and consistent brand message to staff, clients and potential clients. What is it that sets your law firm apart from the others? Are you up to date, “moving with the times”, offering and using current technology to improve and enhance the client experience? Maybe this is where Apps come into their own as a method of improving communication both externally and internally for the forward-thinking law firm.

The great advantage that many law firms already have is the sophisticated backend systems that manage their intellectual property, knowledge, documents and other content. It is this that holds the key to what can be delivered via an App. Although all this can be harvested and leveraged via our set of connectors, law firms need to decide how much of this information is of value and this will differ according to the intended audience. Developing two or three different Apps, each with its own content and functionality for specific target audiences, can be a good approach.

There are 3 main types of customised App:

Public – These are Apps launched to the App Store and available to download by anyone, they must provide a Service of benefit to anyone that downloads it, but they are also a useful way of engaging with new customers and spreading your brand. Your App needs to be tested and approved by Apple before they will release it and this process can take up to a month, so bear this in mind and leave yourself plenty of time at the final stage.

Client (Private) – These are Apps that are offered to Clients to deliver information specifically tailored to them. Providing a secure login to identify the client, allowing you to provide access to the information you wish to share and appropriate updates for that person. If the client is of significant value you could potentially provide the branded device too.

Corporate (Internal) – Apps specifically written for use within the firm by staff members and distributed by IT without the need to involve Apple. There is a coded file that can be used to ensure only known internal devices can use it.

Once you have decided on the type of App you want, your next decision relates to its functionality. What do you want the App to do? For example, do you want to use it to explain and display your talent; deliver documents to your clients or allow users to search a database? There are many options available dependant on your budget, for example Tiger Eye has developed a subscription based model which makes developing and owning an App a more affordable prospect for most companies.

One thing is for sure – Apps are here to stay and now is a good time to begin exploring their potential. Download our App for more information.