The end of 2013 is fast approaching, and law firms, like other businesses, are scrambling to spend their IT budgets before it’s too late. The popular legal webzine Law Technology Today, published by the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Division, recently posted a list of 12 technology equipment purchases that small- to medium-sized firms could make now to best use those dollars.
The list was filled with popular items, such as dual monitors, desktop scanners, Windows® upgrades, and 4G mobile devices.
And smack in the middle of the list? New phone systems.
Now, a new phone system isn’t something a firm can just run to the nearest big-box store and grab at the last minute. There are myriad options depending on the size of the firm, the features required, the number of offices, the size of the budget, and more.
Plus, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement is gaining more acceptance among firms. It’s undeniable that mobile smartphones have saturated the consumer market, and they are ubiquitous among lawyers, with nearly 90 percent using smartphones for work-related tasks [Productivity in the Legal Profession (ALM)/2012 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report].
That said, ESI’s own data indicates that over 70 percent of billable phone time is still conducted from desktop phones. And lawyers have also told us that between forgetting to track the time spent on calls from their desktop phones and then reconciling those calls for billing at the end of the month, they lose an average of five billable phone hours each month. That’s why we’re introducing Abillity®, a productivity app to capture call records from mobile and desktop smartphones, classify their billable status, and submit them to a cloud-based portal where they can be viewed, edited, and exported for billing.
Combine Abillity with an IP phone system and a touchscreen desktop phone running the Android™ operating system, and a savvy law firm can bill for every call every time, no matter which device their attorneys prefer. Between the efficiency and features of the new system and the found time previously lost to unbilled calls and reconciliation, there’s an immediate return on investment.
So, if Santa’s bringing a new phone system for 2014, start a new trend that blends the features that lawyers love most: the dependability and security of a desktop system with the ease and flexibility of a mobile operating system running productivity apps.
The complete list of top 12 technology equipment purchases for the end of 2013 is available at http://www.lawtechnologytoday.org/2013/12/the-end-of-the-year-is-coming-what-equipment-should-i-buy/.
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