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Re-affirming our commitment to Visualfiles - Ensuring it has a new and long lease of life article image

Re-affirming our commitment to Visualfiles - Ensuring it has a new and long lease of life

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Visualfiles has been a successful product for many years, both in its current form and in its predecessor format, SolCase. With over 25,000 users at more than 360 sites around the world, it’s one of, if not the leading case and matter management system and supports many of the UK’s most successful law firms.

But recently there has been some confusion in the market about its future. It’s our own fault. Because the user interface was perceived as a little tired and the Visualfiles Business Language wasn’t ‘industry standard’, we started looking at developing another product – Streamline. But, as of the beginning of this year, I am delighted that we have re-appraised the situation and, as a result, we’ll be making significant investments in Visualfiles over the coming years.

Protecting customers’ investment

In the first instance, the perceived issues with Visualfiles are not actually that difficult to put right. It’s not hard to modernise the user interface and the product can be integrated with more ‘industry standard’ technology relatively easily.

But the most important reason was the investment many of our customers have made in Visualfiles. It works for them. They like it and to move to another platform would be a major upheaval both in cost and business risk terms. By committing to developing Visualfiles over the long term we are protecting their investments.

So we’re taking the lessons that we learned from the Streamline project (and where appropriate the technology), and the resources that were engaged in it, and reinvesting them back into Visualfiles.

Three key strategic areas

As part of the brave new world, I’ve recently announced the Visualfiles 2013 roadmap and 2014 statement of direction. Our development focus initially will be on helping you get more out of Visualfiles, with enhancements such as a modern, intuitive and improved look and feel, extended case history functionality to include document management capability, Microsoft SQL Server reporting options, integration with other Microsoft and LexisNexis applications, and perhaps most importantly, ramping our education programme back up to ensure the necessary skills are available in the market.

As we move forward we will concentrate on three key strategic areas. Firstly a great user experience is imperative for all interfaces, including our mobile and online offerings. Secondly, providing easy and real-time accessibility to data to support decision making. Finally, offering a choice of development tools to enable customers to adapt Visualfiles to their own environment more easily, including tools for mobile applications.  We want to facilitate a ‘built on Visualfiles’ world.

Delivering a re-invigorated product

Personally, I am particularly pleased that LexisNexis has re-committed to Visualfiles and delighted to be asked to be the Product Manager for the re-invigorated product. I have long been a fan of the technology, having been involved with it both as a customer and at LexisNexis. As many of you will know, I was responsible for the first live implementation of a Visualfiles system and I also chaired the National User Group from 2005 to 2007.

So I am looking forward to working with our development teams and customers to deliver a superlative product that continues to meet the needs of legal firms today and into the future. Watch out for more details about the developments we are planning.

About the Author:

Nigel has led the product function since 2013 and has worked with Visualfiles since it was first released. With wide experience the legal sector, including Head of IT in 2 separate law firms, before joining Solicitec in 2004, he has also worked in the NHS and served for 9 years in the RAF, in the UK and overseas. Outside of work, Nigel lives in Gloucestershire and is married with 3 grown up daughters. He is a long-suffering Gloucester Rugby season ticket holder, hoping rather than expecting! Aside from the rugby, Nigel is a qualified hockey umpire and a keen photographer.

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