Two new product announcements from Tikit…
UK: The first is for the UK market only and involves the introduction of BT cloud voice service for small and medium sized law firms. BT Business has launched a new cloud service that delivers all the traditional office phone system call features and quality using a BT internet connection, providing a more flexible, future-proofed service. This service is now available through Tikit, BT´s specialist arm that provides software and IT services to legal and accountancy firms
BT has expanded its range of phone services aimed at office-based UK small to medium sized firms with the launch of BT Cloud Voice. BT Cloud Voice is a new business-grade IP Voice service that uses cloud technology. Users can now make calls over the internet without compromising on call quality and benefit from a management system which ensures calls no longer go unanswered due to its intelligent call handling features. In addition BT Cloud Voice also offers advanced features like conferencing, call recording, desktop sharing, soft phones and a smartphone app.
BT Cloud Voice delivers great call quality and reliability and is a cost effective business solution for firms with up to 100 employees. Users only need a BT Business internet connection and an IP phone to make calls across single or multiple office locations.
Tim Springham, CEO, Tikit said “BT Cloud Voice is a highly reliable and flexible business communications system and future-proofed solution for small and medium-sized firms. And, because it’s an IP-based service, there are no initial hardware costs or engineer visits, and calling plans can be easily shared across the business. Our clients, in the legal and professional services sectors expect great value and high quality products and BT Cloud Voice delivers on both counts”.
Designed specifically for small and medium sized businesses, BT Cloud Voice is available via a software license with three license options available.
BT Cloud Voice Basic is the entry level functional service; BT Cloud Voice Connect is aimed at office based users who need more flexibility than a simple phone system, whilst BT Cloud Voice Collaborate is designed for mobile or home workers who want to be able to use additional features such as audio and web conferencing and make calls via multiple devices. All calls run over the BT Business network and users are supplied with an IP phone and a BT call plan. Call plans are designed to be shared amongst users and minutes are purchased at a company level.
The BT Cloud Voice set-up is managed through an online portal, providing a flexible service for firms to manage their own specific communication requirements. This means administrators have the flexibility to add new or additional users and set call preferences such as call forwarding and call waiting, without the need for any engineer visits. As it is a hosted solution, and requires limited upfront investment, there are no separate maintenance contracts and businesses can simply add users or minutes as they grow. The service manages call traffic back to BT’s national network, meaning that neither call capacity nor quality is affected by surges in company data or internet traffic. Customer support is provided by a dedicated business Cloud Voice Team of experts who provide a single point of contact to place and manage orders set-up and in-life support.
GLOBAL: Tikit has also announced the availability of Carpe Diem Classic 2014. This completely re-developed version of the existing Carpe Diem Classic solution, forms part of Tikit’s signature timekeeping software suite which includes various traditional web and mobile time collection methods. The release of Carpe Diem Classic 2014 is an important milestone for Tikit as it delivers the trusted, well liked and efficient timekeeping user experience that lawyers are accustomed to, but with an entirely new technology foundation rewritten from the ground up. These developments remove the technology risk of legacy platforms (specifically the dependency on the Borland Database Engine) while preserving the user interaction, delivering zero change management to Carpe Diem users.
The new technology platform delivers several notable features and functions including:
100% database compatibility with earlier versions
New improved reporting based on Microsoft Reporting Services
Multi-lingual and Unicode support
Enhanced ethical wall support
Overall modern desktop compatibility including 100% Citrix support
Published Data Service API
Tikit say “the launch of Carpe Diem Classic 2014 is part of Tikit’s ongoing commitment to developing our industry leading timekeeping suite. This update is all about maintaining the affinity lawyers have with the existing Carpe Diem software whilst introducing what they want and need in order to meet with the evolving environment in which they work.
“Carpe Diem Classic 2014 signals the first in a major evolution of the Carpe Diem suite of products, which will culminate in the launch of our ‘next generation’ solution in 2015. This ‘next generation’ version of Carpe Diem is set to be a game changer and will advance timekeeping for the legal industry as a whole. It’s unique, innovative, and takes into consideration the latest UI trends and device platforms, including integrated passive timekeeping. Taking the best of the past and adding this to the future with a modern holistic next generation interface across all platforms, which will ultimately provide law firms and their lawyers with choices on how to capture time.”
So here’s the plot with Carpe Diem. There are currently two flavours available: Carpe Diem Classic and Carpe Diem Enterprise – both of these will eventually be replaced by the 2015 ‘Next Generation’ system however if you are on Classic you will not be able to jump from the current version (technically Carpe Diem 2010) directly to Next Generation. Instead you need to move from Classic 2010 to the new Classic 2014. The good news is these are all (including any subsequent migration to Next Generation) standard upgrades covered by users’ existing maintenance and support contracts. There will be no need to buy fresh licences and nor will there be any hikes in maintenance terms.
What about the rest of the market? Currently most major deals are coming down to a straight fight between Intapp Time and Tikit Carpe Diem however in the UK market, Rekoop are proving a viable alternative challenger, while in the US, it is Bellefield that is the alternative. For the sake of balance, two other contenders need mentioning: Smart Time Apps – here’s a link to a case study on one of their recent wins and Element55. It is also worth noting that among larger law firms, the only practice management vendor still providing a serious challenge to best-of-breed time recording solutions from the likes of Tikit and Intapp is Aderant.