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Wolferstans drop Axxia & Winscribe in favour of DPS hosted solution

Plymouth-based Wolferstans Solicitors is the latest law firm to take advantage of a fully-managed hosted IT solution from DPS Software. Wolferstans selected DPS Software after a detailed and comprehensive tender process in which nine legal software suppliers were originally invited to participate.

Wolferstans currently comprises 120 staff and departments that specialise in various legal areas. The firm’s case management will now be conducted through DPS’s Outlook Office platform and applications with tailored workflows will be supplied to departments working in Conveyancing, Family Law, Personal Injury (Claimant & Defendant), Industrial Disease, Wills & Probate, Debt Recovery and Employment Law. One Office case management will be fully integrated with the DPS Cashier legal accounts package which will replace the firm’s current Lexis Nexis Axxia system. In addition Wolferstans will be switching out their current Winscribe digital dictation software in favour of DPS’s TeamTalk product.

“The suite of practice management software that DPS can offer represented the best overall package that we looked at during the tender process” says Alisa Willows, Managing Partner at Wolferstans. “The innovative case management integrated in to Microsoft Outlook will provide a powerful system but also an instantly recognisable and accessible environment for our staff.”

The Plymouth firm describe themselves as ‘second generation hosters’ in the sense they have previously taken advantage of a hosted infrastructure and were reviewing their options when coming to the end of a three year contract.

Comment: So is this the trend for the future with hosted/SaaS/cloud (choose your own term) environments? Select a supplier then after three years, turn them off and switch to a new provider if you are not happy? If it is, then legal IT vendors are going to have to ensure they deliver a far better quality of service and product support throughout the life-cycle of the contract than some of them have done so in the past – which can only be good news for their customers.

One reply on “Wolferstans drop Axxia & Winscribe in favour of DPS hosted solution”

(the royal) we are not anywhere near the level of technological resilience that's needed for a truly cloud hosted service, plus hosted solutions are by their nature 'stock' offerings, with limited customization and configuration options (this is true across legal, finance, medical\academic, at least in my experience). I'm sure plug & play hosted services will be with us one day, but simply flicking the switch and moving to another provider is not a simple process; data migration and system setup still needs to be taking into consideration, as does end user training and the general culture shift of implementing a new solution. It ain't cheap, and vendors will simply up the ante around this particular area to make their product offerings more 'sticky'.
Currently, the majority of vendors try to design their apps using an application, data and presentation layers; this essentially allows the upgrade of the application\logic layer to ensure the app is current in the market (SIlverlight, Flash\FLEX, HTML5 etc) and is achievable due to the data layer (SQL\Oracle) being much more static in terms of advancement, whereas the presentation layer moves far quicker. If we could separate out the data and logic layers into cloud and onsite services, we'd have a consistent data schema structure, and could rely on the likes of the W3C to standardize methods of integration (XML…), allowing clients to switch the presentation layer much more frequently. Of course that would require a standard, regulated data structure to apply across the board, plus eliminate what is probably one of the biggest barriers to moving vendors; data consolidation, conversion and migration.

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