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TWM swap out IRIS in favour of Axxia

Guildford (UK) based TWM Solicitors LLP, which currently ranks No.213 on the Insider 250, has just announced it is to replace is current IRIS-based IT infrastructure with a new platform based around the LexisNexis Axxia DNA system. The firm, which will be rolling out the system across approximately 200 seats, will be using Axxia DNA to provide its accounts, practice management, BI reporting, workflow, case management and document management functionality. Commenting on the deal, the firm's head of IT Alan Barrett said “Our selection is the result of a very thorough consideration of similar solutions on the market. Axxia dna is without a doubt, the most sophisticated solution available. It not only meets our current requirements, but is a future-proof technology too, which is a major issue we face with our existing* solution.”

*According to the Insider 250 archive, TWM were an AIM Evolution site.

22 replies on “TWM swap out IRIS in favour of Axxia”

This is a major win for Axxia and I am sure they will be as delighted with it as Iris will be upset.
It throws into doubt their (Iris) current product strategy, will it be long before we get a new one? In times gone by this would have been an almost certain Videss deal. How the mighty fall.
As has been the the way in the past with Axxia wins I am struck by the phrase:-
“Our selection is the result of a very thorough consideration of similar solutions on the market. ”
Sorry about the anonymity of this post but who? We are one of the suppliers that might have been expected to tender for a deal of this size and we weren't asked at all.
Sour grapes? Probably, but I didn't use the phrase “thorough consideration”.
I wonder if TWM were advised by a consultant or did they do their own review?

As a legal technology consumer, any supplier that displays an attitude where there is a clear expectation of being asked to tender would not get get past my thorough consideration either.
Clearly Axxia's marketing team did a better job in presenting themselves to the market, or indeed sniffing out the opportunity in the first place.
And as for consultants………….

as a sales person in the industry if I waited for tenders or calls from law firms I would of lost my jon some time ago!!
not the attitude to sit and wait for the business to come to you.

And before the pedants jump in, I think we can assume that was a simple typo 'jon' instead of 'job'. No toilet jokes please.

No toilet jokes – but surely “would have” not “would of”. Pedant I acknowledge.

I wonder if the Iris UK powers that be are blaming their poor sales of both new and existing business on the credit crunch to their American backers!!
Is it possible that the focus on numerous direction changes (last count more than a TomTom going from Lands End to John O'Groats in reverse), consolidation of applications and backing the wrong horse (Mountain .net/Connected/Iris Law Business) has made the market too nervous to invest in them. Still after a little settling down period – say 3 years – I am sure that they could return to the fore if they can survive that long!!

The thing is though, I know of quite a few new bits of business for Iris but they never feel the need to blow their own trumpet whenever they make a sale and issue a press release.
Bong!! News at ten! Company makes 1 sale!!!!! Whooo
As to 'backing the wrong horse', what would you have suggested they do instead, Stick with Legacy products?

Oh wise poster, I'm curious to know which “dead cert” horse Iris should have backed, I completely agree that backing a solution that is scalable and built on the most robust development platform available to date was an horrendous mistake.
Please enlighten us with your wisdom.

Just in case any one wondered One half of TWM were Axxia users before they migrated to Iris, and I suspect that many at TWM wondered why they did?.

So I may have been right and the “Our selection is the result of a very thorough consideration of similar solutions on the market. ”
phrase was the normal cobblers put into a press release to turn it into something it isn't. I bet it was a two horse race and the supplier whose product has been issued with an “end of life” lost out.

“What would I have suggested they do instead?” To use an F1 analagy – It is easier to make a fast car reliable than it is to make a reliable car fast; Mountain Connected was neither fast or reliable, add to that lack of functionality, the non single database and the woefully slow reporting (I think they were suggesting warehousing the reports to make them quick but not live) I would suggest anything may have been a preferred starting point!

“more than a TomTom…..”
Is that a journey from Lands End to John O'Groats in reverse gear or a journey from John O'Groats to Lands End?

Hmm, First of all well done on a nice deflection away from the actual question in hand. Suggesting anything would be better is not really a constructive answer is it now ?
To me, and probably to a lot of other readers on this site your comments will be construed in one of two ways, either as someone with a personal vendetta against IRIS/Mountain or someone that doesn't actually know what they are talking about and has a personal vendetta against IRIS/Mountain.
Your statement regarding Mountain Connected is about as credible as F1 itself following a few weeks of controversy in that sport.
As an IT manager I can guarantee anyone that speed issues surrounding new .Net products are common and are easily resolved by a few hardware upgrades.
Reliability was an issue in the early days of Mountain Connected along with some issues in reporting but not so nowadays and I am unaware of any plans Iris have to put in a non live dataware house reporting tool.
Lack of functionality is purely down to a matter of opinion in my eyes, however ;
“non single database” – What is this meant to mean, are you implying there is more than one database in Mountain Connected ? If so, You can't just go around telling porkie pies regarding database structure of Mounain Connected. (See above paragraph about you not knowing what your talking about)
PS …. Just in case you do know what your talking about, can you let me know what the other databases are so I can add them to my SQL backup plan, would hate for our DR plan to go tits up. 🙂

That is a terrible analogy, and it isn't even true in motorsport terms…
Anyway, i'm sure Solicitors would rather start with a slow system that didn't corrupt their data everytime they sneezed than a system that was ever so snappy with the promise that sometime; in the not no soon future someone might get round to making it safe to use.
Plus, it is obvious to anyone who has seen 'Mountain Connected' that you have no idea what you are talking about. What is 'non single database' even supposed to mean? Is it married or something?

There seems to be some doubts about TWM being able to make their own technical decisions.
Let me confirm for all the people interested in this topic, that the Firm considered in depth, the four major players in the market and the product was assessed in depth by myself a full time employee of the Firm as Head of IT(15 years in City IT, Management Consultancy and a Software House), Andrew Hayes – Head of Finance (ex head of Finance at Shoosmiths), Systems Analyst – Jane Hirst (12 years in Legal IT Training and Systems at Intl Firm Watson, Farley and Williams) and a significant number of Members of the Firm. We are also supported within our IT dept by our other highly experienced staff.
We based our selection criteria on a significant range of important issues to our Firm and eleminated those who we felt did not deliver what we required.
Axxia were clearly the best, both in terms of their product, their professionalism, their reference sites and they understood what we required. We were also impressed by their development programs and technology.
If any IT Managers wish to speak to me, I'm happy to discuss our decision process with them.

Quite clearly the truth aspect is a personal opinion however just a few seconds on google will find that I was quoting Ron Dennis of McClaren; if you are a Ferrari fan then this may not count but to me it is valid.
The fact that you start with a system that does not corrupt data is a poor starting point, a little like a ship that does not sink on the maiden voyage.
I thank you for the opportunity to clarify the non single database aspect; essentially what the market demands is a database with contacts. It could start off as a conveyancing client; Simple straight forward Mr Smith buying a house. If Mr Smith is happy with the service he received he may recommend others or may in turn be a client of the firm providing services to them. In the single entity database Mr Smith's details would be entered once. If he changed his address it would be changed once – that is what I meant by single database. If a firm was using Mountain Connected this could not be acheived – Mr Smith would morph into Mr Smiths and would be enetered mulitiple times; if Mr Smith moved it would mean changing his address more than once. If this is not clear please advise.
The question of it being married is a little obtuse as a database should be single and in the single form encompass all functionality and continuity; it may form alliancies or relationships with other databases but that woud be out of desire as opposed to necessity.

Firstly thanks for the praise and secondly why would anyone have a vendetta agianst Iris/Mountain – do you now something that I don't? If so please share!
I am sure that speed issues with .net applications can be partially remedied by hardware upgrades, however a slow application will remain a slow application; with new hardware it will just be a little less slow and you will have less budget to spend on something useful.
If, as you are implying, you are a user of the software I would imagine you have grown acustom to the speed of the reports, I suggest you research some other applications to witness what can be acheived with live data and a well witted application.
Porkie pies or not I am unsurprised that you are concerned with your DR plan if you are a user of the software – it could be far more reaching than just a backup!!

Thank you for your clarifiction both of what you meant by 'non-single database' and also your lack of understanding about Mountain Connected.
Anyone that has any actual clue about Mountain Connected; such as someone who has used it for about 5 mins or who has seen a demo or similar would know that there would be 1 single person entity, your 'Mr Smith' just as you described.
Mr Smith could be added as a general contact, upgraded to a client, associated with his wife and a matter added to both of them and everything would still reference the initial persons object in the database; an example of perfectly formed normailsed application and database design. Updating this one entity would be reflected everywhere else in the system.
Oh and on that note, if you use the word 'normalised' in place of where you have said 'single' then it would actually make sense and make it appear you know a little about databases and IT.
On a personal note; i'm quietly confident I know more about Motorsport than you but i'm not going to Labour the point on a Legal IT blog.

It would be easy to point fun about what I don't “Now” but that would be childish, I am actually relieved that after a week there has been a response, I thought this discussion was over and that I would have to comment on other less interesting posts, though I have come up with a really good F1 Analagy for the LineTime Axxia Migration post, “It is easier to make a fast car reliable than it is to make a reliable car fast, and migrations from differing case management systems are neither fast or reliable.
I totally agree that you should not be spending valuable budget on upgrading IT infrastruture to run software developed using Microsoft .NET, god, your hardware supplier will be expecting you to upgrade from Windows 95 next. No, No, No, your budget is much wiser spent on those tractor fed cheque formats for your clunky old dot matrix printer that's sat in the corner of your office which only one person uses, but doesn't cost you any money bar a few replacement ink cartridges (oh and the cheques of course which are stupidly expensive)
To come back to a car analagy, can you just confirm what car you drive, I am assuming its somewhere along the line of a classic 1980 Volvo 240 series, because, why waste your hard earnt cash on a new car when you can have an old one, which runs smooth enough and doesn't cost you much in the short term as well as being exempt from tax, but WAIT, parts cost a fortune when it does go wrong and it's uneconomical. But hey, you can still afford those dot matirix cheque formats, perhaps you should buy a bundle of them as you can prob save a few pence by bulk buying, just prey the dot matrix printer doesn't explode.
I'm sorry for the tone of the post but I just think your being naïve, back to the DR and reporting speed, I agree that some of the more data intensive reports are not as quick as our legacy product was but equally not as bad as you are implying, please do inform me of these great modern systems with their light speed reports, NOTE, legacy systems (or even new systems) running inaccurate header based accounting reporting need not apply, a modern world using Open period accounting has no place for inaccurate header based reporting, unless of course you print out hard copies of all your reports and save them for the auditors, hardly environmentally friendly now is it (a bit like the volvo).
As for DR, I am curious to know what your previous system was, because if it were anything like ours we were constantly having to restore data following power cuts, server failures, stuff like that, losing hours in down time etc, would be interesting to know just how many times you've had to roll back Connected to a previous point in time, eg, effectively testing your DR methods.

“On a personal note; i'm quietly confident I know more about Motorsport than you but i'm not going to Labour the point on a Legal IT blog.”
I am, McLaren (Hamilton) take pole in Japan, love Ferrari with a passion but cars and drivers are “sensitive” leaving McLaren to steadily produce the end result.
Furthermore F1 takes a leaf from the Accounts standard, Green stripes on the tyres – so reminiscent of the green stripes on our listing paper.

You two are obviously in IT management, I must start looking for one of these jobs that allows me to sit around all day chewing the fat over F1 cars and the future of Iris!

You have obviously not been in attendance when TWM were doing their annual tour of Legal IT, spending up to 3 hours on a stand…

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