Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 in November was an ‘eye-opener’. The size of the conference hits you instantly – even the biggest legal IT events are a fraction of the size of most mainstream technology conventions. However, the reaction of law firms on how advanced technology adoption is outside the legal sector was noteworthy.
Hearing CIO of Kodak Alaris, John Milazzo, talk about why the company underpinned the business with Dynamics AX was a revelation. The company is a global turnaround success story – within two years Kodak Alaris has made a remarkable journey from bankruptcy to a $1.2 billion business. John’s presentation clearly established that if there’s a better, proven way of doing things, there isn’t much point in ‘doing it your way’ – especially if ‘doing things uniquely’ doesn’t add value for your customers and means supporting custom solutions unnecessarily. This message resonated well with many law firms as they are warming to the view that law firm processes aren’t that unique after all and leveraging best practice is the way forward.
Admittedly, many of the showcases we heard were from big corporates compared to even some of the largest law firms, but there was little doubt among firms that adopting ERP as a concept will deliver value to their organisations. Furthermore, there was also a realisation that with their customers well-versed with industry best practice in business, it’s a matter of time before corporates start demanding that law firms too adopt enterprise-grade business management systems to better engage with them.
Understandably, technology can be a minefield and so a question I was asked most was: ‘where do I start’. In all honesty, LexisOne presents the best start point. The majority of the solution is Dynamics AX with a legal layer built on it. The solution gives firms all the benefits of a globally recognised, enterprise-grade ERP system along with the legal specific functionality that they need.
I recommend a visit to Convergence 2015. The event is extremely engaging, and a great opportunity to learn from front-runner technology adopters. It provides a collective perspective (and evidence) on the best way of doing things, which is impossible to get only from talking to individual organisations. It also offers a chance to step away from traditional legal sector thinking and see what other businesses are doing to stay ahead in their respective markets.