CMS in May rolled out Thomson Reuters Elite’s sunsetted practice management system Elite Enterprise across the firm, following a three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang, which are both Elite 3E clients.
The move, said by CMS to be driven by its need to achieve merger within a six-month period, saw the combined suite of Enterprise applications released to the finance and business support functions on 15th May and to the wider business on 22nd May.
Elite announced in 2016 that Q2 of 2016 would see the last packaged enhancement release for the Enterprise platform. Bug fixes will end 31 December 2022. Elite will continue to provide phone and portal support for all versions of Enterprise as customers plan their progression.
A spokesperson for CMS said: “Elite will confirm that whilst future development of Elite Enterprise has ceased, Elite Enterprise will be supported for later versions until 2023.”
One key factor in the decision is that CMS’ workflow is heavily integrated with legal process outsourcer Integreon, which can be expected to complicate any roll out of 3E.
The spokesperson added: “In addition, as part of the combination planning – we have agreed a “Best of Breed” program that may result in a migration of the combined entity onto a new instance of 3E that has been specifically designed and constructed to be suitable for use by a global law firm.
“This is a planned and strategic approach, we have one of the best and virtualized support structures around the existing systems and their integrations that allows us to instantly jump to supporting the entire new firm from locations including India, Romania, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Manila in the best interests of our clients and fee earners.”
The approach by CMS was decided and endorsed by the three firms, Elite and Opes Consulting, which is an Elite 3E and Enterprise partner.
The spokesperson said: “One final point to note is that we could not have moved to 3E in six months and neither Olswang nor Nabarro’s 3E was fit for all three firms without risk to client records.”
The move is a blow to Elite, which is investing in significant resource to help law firms convert from Enterprise to 3E. But one IT director who was recently involved in a major merger said: “It doesn’t surprise me at all. It will give the merger time to bed in before they start a complex practice management system roll out.”
This story first appeared in the May newsletter – you can download your free copy here: http://www.legaltechnology.com//latest-newsletter/