The July issue of the Legal Technology Insider newsletter (issue #244 – UK & EMEA edition) is out now. Our top story (yes, as ever we had the news first) is Tikit entering the CRM sector with its own offering. You can read the text below – meanwhile we are taking our summer break and (apart from two upcoming issues of the American Insider + ongoing news coverage on this blog) our next issue will be out on 22nd September.

Tikit enter CRM sector with own offering

The Tikit Group has just announced details of its own new and inhouse developed marketing and client relationship management (CRM) system for law firms. Called ClientConnect, it comprises contact management, business development, sales and marketing support, reporting and e-marketing.

Tikit say the key differentiator is it combines professional, firm-wide marketing and CRM functionality with a low cost of ownership and ease of implementation (Tikit reckon the installation to go-live process should take less than a third of the time taken to implement traditional CRM systems) thereby addressing issues that have previously hindered the wider adoption of CRM systems within the legal market. Although primarily designed for SME law firms that have previously not implemented CRM systems because of their complexity and price, the system should also appeal to larger firms, looking for an alternative to their existing platform.

Training should also be simpler as the entire application (including e-marketing) is embedded within Microsoft Outlook, so if you can use Outlook, you can use ClientConnect. Another potential saving is the full audit trail should remove the need for elaborate data change management processes, as well as the additional cost of employing data stewards. Unlike many new CRM projects, Tikit ClientConnect has not been developed in Microsoft Dynamics CRM but built entirely within Outlook (v2007 & above) with an underlying SQL Server database.

Comment: Not all that long ago, looking for a ‘serious’ legal market CRM meant a simple choice of either Interaction or Interaction. As we reported in May, that choice had already widened to Interaction plus Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sugar CRM and Salesforce.com. Now we have Tikit tossing its hat into the ring with ClientConnect and this could be a game changer making it accessible to firms that previously struggled to find suitable, cost effective CRM and e-marketing systems – as well as large firms unhappy with the other current market offerings or wanting to migrate away from existing CRM systems.

But there’s more… To-date Client Profiles CRM4Legal software has been the most widely deployed flavour of Dynamics CRM but the Insider understands two other major vendors are now evaluating Dynamics for their own next generation CRM products. (It’s also worth noting Microsoft has changed its licensing model to make the price of Dynamics CRM more attractive to law firms.)