When Pickering & Butters announced the replacement of the incumbent IRIS AIM system with SOS Connect from Solicitors Own Software, for integrated practice and case management last autumn, expectations were high. The Stafford and Rugeley practice was determined that the new system would significantly enhance the way that lawyers work while delivering greater efficiency. Live since May, SOS Connect is already exceeding expectations.

IT manager Rachael Shaw said she was surprised and delighted at the “painless” implementation of SOS Connect. The extensive groundwork paid off: “We wanted to thoroughly test the system to iron out any glitches before rolling out to everybody. We also chose not to be a slave to the original March go live date as we decided to use the flexibility of SOS Connect to make a few changes. This meant the system worked the way we wanted it to from day one. We also carried out extensive training both with SOS and in internal workshops to help familiarise everyone with the new way of working.  The outcome was a surprisingly smooth and easy transition from the old to the new with minimum inconvenience and none of the resistance to change that one usually expects with a new system.”  SOS' dedicated conversion team provided a transaction-level electronic conversion of the data from the previous system to speed up the changeover.

The feedback from the launch was very positive. “Already people are telling me that email integration is an absolute joy compared to how difficult it was before; the whole billing procedure is streamlined, business processes are now standardised in both offices and integration is improving efficiency,” Rachael Shaw continued.

Pickering & Butters sees the successful implementation as a beginning and a platform upon which to grow. Plans are well in place to introduce the marketing module after the holiday season. Mindful of the changes in the legal marketplace, Rachael Shaw added “We are really confident that SOS Connect will allow us to be competitive and help the firm to succeed in the future. This is just the start and we are confident that we now have an integrated practice, document and case management system that will help us to continuously improve and meet the needs of a changing legal services world.”