Boab IT Blog

The ultimate support for law firms:  introducing the Boab IT Portal

Posted by Maria Hurtado on Jul 20, 2017 12:13:00 PM

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Legal matters don’t cease to exist at the end of the business day and, consequently, neither does your work. Typically, you’re so busy working on matters and looking after your clients sometimes around the clock – that it can be hard to focus on improving your own firm, and fine-tuning the way you and your people work.

It’s for this reason that the experienced team at Boab IT recently launched the Boab IT Portal.

Designed as a one-stop-shop for law firms, this straightforward and easy to use portal provides you with access to everything you need to efficiently and effectively manage your firm’s technology – including your devices, services, internet, phones, printers, server backups and even your web domain. 

 

How does the Portal offer support for law firms?

Created specifically for, and available only to law firms, the Boab IT Portal is available to your firm at any time of the day and night.

Importantly, it allows you to manage the devices, services and technology that your firm relies upon, from anywhere. It also lets you make any changes immediately, even out of office hours.

The portal offers you a single view of your firm’s technology suite, so you can quickly see where your IT spend is being allocated, and determine if you are getting a suitable return on your investment.   

If required, there are also tools available via the portal that enable you to quickly and easily access your backed-up data, and restore it as necessary.

Plus, you can rest assured that all of the products and services available on the Boab IT Portal have been specifically chosen by Boab IT’s experienced team, for law firms just like yours.

 

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER:   Key technology considerations for small law firms in 2017

 

How does the ordering process work?

Once you have logged into your portal, you will see a range of categories – including devices; internet, phone and print; and web domains. Under each category, you can see the options that are available to you, with a monthly cost attributed to each. You simply add the items that you are interested in to an order, and once you are happy with it, you can pay securely online. It’s that easy.

Boab IT’s service team will ensure that all devices are delivered to you as quickly as possible.

 

Does the equipment come with any guarantee?

Absolutely. Boab IT provides clients with the comfort that all hardware devices, with the exception of Sharp multi-function devices, include a replacement guarantee. So if any workstation, laptop, tablet, firewall, data switch or IP Phone provided by Boab IT and under contract fails due to a technical failure (not dropped or damaged accidently or by a user), we will send a replacement.

 

What support does Boab IT offer?

At Boab IT, we specialise in providing technology solutions to the legal sector. Our expert team is available over the phone on 1800 675 805, 24/7, to answer any questions you may have, or provide guidance on which technology options are right for you and your firm.  

 

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER:   Key technology considerations for small law firms in 2017 

 

Learn more about how the Boab IT Portal offers support for law firms that could help your firm, or contact the expert team at Boab IT on 1800 659 765

 

Is Dropbox safe for lawyers? How to ensure data security in a cloud-based world

Posted by Maria Hurtado on Jul 13, 2017 9:38:00 AM

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Did you know that if your law firm uses a data storage solution such as Dropbox, you may unknowingly be putting your clients’ most valuable data at risk?

By utilising an off-shore data storage service such as Dropbox, you are completely dependent upon the terms and conditions of the provider, as well as the local law pertaining to the physical location of the data storage – which in the case of DropBox is in the United States.  

In addition, if your clients’ data is stored outside of Australia, on a site such as Dropbox, and you do not make your clients aware of this fact, then it is quite possible you are not compliant with the Australian Privacy Act and the associated Privacy Principals.

So is Dropbox safe for lawyers to use in a professional context? The answer, in our experience, is no.

In the age of Wikileaks, and with hackers constantly honing their skills, the threat of a serious breach of your security, and resulting leak of your highly sensitive and confidential client data, is ever-present.

Any data leak, even on a small scale, could see your law firm’s reputation in tatters.

So how can you protect your firm’s data? Here are our three tips:

 

1. Invest in on-shore data storage from a reputable provider

Rather than using an offshore service such as Dropbox to share and store documents, consider a trusted, local solution.

When you choose an Office 365 Business Essentials Bundle, Business Bundle, Business Premium Bundle or Enterprise E3 solution via the Boab IT Portal, for instance, you receive access to Skykick Unlimited Cloud Backup for your email, SharePoint and OneDrive. As well as the confidence that your data will be regularly and securely backed up, you also have the peace of mind of knowing that your data is hosted on-shore, in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

With Microsoft Azure, all of your data stays on-shore, in local data centres. 

You also own all of your data, including text, sound, video or image files, as well as software, and you have full control over where your data is stored, and how it is securely accessed and deleted.

In addition, if the Australian government wants your customer data – including for national security purposes – it must follow the applicable legal process, serving Microsoft with a court order for content or a subpoena for account information. If compelled to disclose customer data, Microsoft will promptly notify you and provide a copy of the demand, unless legally prohibited from doing so.

 

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER:   Key technology considerations for small law firms in 2017

 

2. Make sure your people know the answer to the question: Is Dropbox safe for lawyers?

Your people are your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your client’s data.  

Ensure your employees are aware that Dropbox is not the most secure choice for storing and sharing documents, and let them know why.

It’s also important to keep your people informed regarding all the ways security can be breached, and the sources of viruses that can infect your systems. This can include viruses sent in email attachments, social media spread malware, and websites that are designed to appear trustworthy while offering false software updates for download.

 

3. Step up your security

Today, backing up your data in the cloud is becoming an essential part of data security. When you choose a solution via the Boab IT Portal, you have the peace of mind of knowing your data is continually backed up. This means that in the event of a ransomware attack, your data is still easily accessible and current, and can be restored quickly and easily.

For peace of mind, it’s worth securing extra protection for your data and email. By investing in Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection as an add-on for Office 365, for instance, you can protect your email in real time against unknown and sophisticated attacks.

It’s also important to keep your antivirus and security software up to date, and put a good firewall in place. If you are operating with a bring-your-own-device model, ensure you have very stringent security measures in place, or talk to an expert team like Boab IT about managing this aspect of your business for you.

 

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER:   Key technology considerations for small law firms in 2017

 

Find out more

Learn more about Dropbox and alternative document storage solutions for your business, contact the expert team at Boab IT on 1800 659 765. 

 

New firm deciding software? 5 key IT-related questions to consider

Posted by Maria Hurtado on Jul 6, 2017 1:04:00 PM

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Getting a new law firm up and running can be a complex and time-consuming task. As well as finding an office and employing staff, you need to get all of your IT organised and operational. 

Today, as more and more law firms are using technology to reduce overheads and be more responsive to the demands of clients and employees, choosing the right IT infrastructure and assets from the start is essential.  

Here are five key questions to ask regarding your technology set up when you're a new firm deciding software:

 

1. What hardware do you need?

As a new law firm, your hardware needs can be fairly straightforward – especially if you’re just starting out. Key items you’ll need to consider include:

  • Computers and Devices: Depending on how often you and your people will be working remotely will help you answer the first question you should be asking yourself. Do I need a tablet or laptop, or just a workstation? Before the Cloud, a workstation was the only answer, but now as more services available to practitioners are available via the cloud, we see tablets and laptops selling 3:1 more than workstations. The returns in productive by allowing staff to work remotely are significant. It’s also wise to choose the same type of machines across your firm making it easier for support. Read more about choosing a computer for your law firm >
  • Printers and Scanners. As a law firm, you will inevitably output a large amount of printed material as true paperless office’s are just not there yet. A lot of documentation is still reviewed and cross-checked manually, so choosing the right printer is vitally important. Capturing the documents that you receive into a digital format for filing is also a very important function in your firm. Here’s a quick tip, make sure it can scan both sides of the paper at the same time! Also be sure to choose a scanner that can send documents directly to your Practice Management application along with a cost recovery feature, so you can automatically bill your clients for any scanning you do, or at least see how much it might be costing the firm. You may also want to choose a managed print service from a provider such as Boab IT. 
  • Digital fax. Rather than renting a phone line, a digital fax can help you send and receive information digitally whilst being a fraction of the cost. Today, digital faxes come with a raft of great features and can also interact with your other assets, which can reduce paperwork throughout your office.

 

2. What internet provider will you choose, and what package is right for you?

As a legal practice, you simply can’t afford to be let down by technology, especially when you’ve got important deadlines or pending court cases.  For this reason, you need to ensure your internet provider can offer an appropriate internet speed for the size of your business and your number of users as well as reliability.

When it comes to choosing an internet provider, service is a major factor, and service level guarantees are extremely important.

You should also look for a provider that offers 24/7 monitoring, and that can provide you with automated alerts regarding your connection. 

If using Cloud services, the selection of your internet service is one of the most crucial you will make as it is your principal way to access all your information related to various matters.

Whilst very rare, some firms also consider a secondary link to ensure a reliable fail-over process can occur minimizing any impact to the firm and their staff’s productivity.

If you’re unsure which internet solution is right for you, our expert team can help.

 

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER:   Key technology considerations for small law firms in 2017

 

3. Will you choose cloud-based or on-premise software?

When you operate a small law firm, time and money are precious commodities.

Today, more and more firms – of all sizes – are moving their legal software to the cloud; opting for pay-by-the-month licensing rather than investing in expensive, on-premise software solutions that expires after a few years if expensive maintenance agreements are not maintained.

Cloud-based software delivers several important benefits for new law firms.

For a start, when your software is in the cloud, your people can access the information they need – securely – from any connected device and from any location, rather than needing to be in the office. This means everyone can work more efficiently and effectively. 

With cloud-based data, you can also ensure everyone is working with the most current files and has immediate access to all required files and correspondence. As a small law firm, this level of flexibility is crucial.

When your software is in the cloud, it’s also easier to maintain and manage, especially in you invest in a managed solution. Updates are made automatically, meaning your software stays secure and current, and you don’t need to rely on your internal IT resource/s to do manual patches and upgrades.

Security is another vital consideration. When you choose a cloud-based Office 365 Business Essentials Bundle, Business Bundle, Business Premium Bundle or Enterprise E3 solution via the Boab IT Portal, you receive access to Skykick Unlimited Cloud Backup for your email, SharePoint and OneDrive. As well as the confidence that your data will be regularly and securely backed up, you also have the peace of mind of knowing that your data is hosted on-shore, in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

 

4. What phone system will you use?

Phone systems can be difficult to understand, and potentially, very complex. There are all kinds of options on the market, and various features and benefits.

At Boab IT, we recommend our Cloud IP Phone solution which includes all the features expensive enterprise systems do. You just pay for it and all usage on a month-to-month basis. This can include both traditional desk phones, as well as a soft-phone on your computer and mobile phone.

As a small law firm, this solution enables you to benefit from features such as unlimited calls, and 24/7 unlimited support.

Take a look at the Boab IT portal to learn more about this solution >

 

5. How will you set up your web domain?

To ensure your users can find you, it’s important to have a professional online presence – especially as a new firm. You don’t want to be communicating with clients from my.name@gmail.com or similar, it doesn’t look very good.

Registering @mylawfirm.com.au is a breeze via the Boab IT Portal. It will also be setup automatically to integrate with your Office 365 in a snap!

Whether you’re setting up a new domain, or transferring an existing one, ask Boab IT about how we can automate and streamline the process for you via the Boab IT portal.

 

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER:   Key technology considerations for small law firms in 2017

 

Want to know more? Ask the experts at Boab IT

At Boab IT, we specialise in providing technology solutions to the legal sector. Our expert team is available over the phone on 1800 675 805, 24/7, to answer any questions you may have, or provide guidance on which technology options are right for you and your firm. 

  

Choosing a computer or tablet for lawyers: 6 questions to ask

Posted by Maria Hurtado on Jun 29, 2017 12:17:17 PM

 

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Second only to you and your brain, your computer is the most important tool in your profession. Depending on your area of expertise, you can spend up to 90% of your time working on it: reading, typing, sending emails and generally managing matters.

Ensuring you have the most appropriately suited equipment is therefore essential. Yet choosing a computer or tablet for your law firm isn’t necessarily as easy as it might seem. 

At Boab IT, we are often asked for our advice on the most appropriate computers for the legal sector. Typically, lawyers don’t require overly powerful machines, so it’s usually about finding hardware that gets results, without unnecessary cost overheads.

If you work in the legal sector and are looking to upgrade your computer, here are six important questions to ask yourself:

 

1. Do you want a Mac or a PC?

This is an important consideration, especially if you’re purchasing a collection of new hardware. Whichever option you choose, it’s wise to be consistent across your firm.

Ensure that the software you are intending on running in your practice is available in the platform you are choosing. Most tools for law firms run better on the Microsoft platform than they do on Mac. Virtualising Windows on your Apple computer doesn’t always provide the same performance or level of integration you may expect.

 

2. Do you want to work with laptops, tablets or desktops?

This is a very personal choice and has to do with the way you practice. Do you work often from home? Are you often on the go?

Thanks to the cloud, you have more freedom and flexibility than ever before regarding your choice of computer for law firm use.

If you never work from anywhere else rather than your office, a desktop is probably the ideal choice. However, a laptop is a good option if you work from home as they collapse and are easy to transport around the house.

The Microsoft Surface Book, for instance, is a fantastic laptop with a long battery life. You can also order this laptop (for a monthly fee) via the Boab IT Portal.  

If you are on your feet a great deal, a tablet may be the best option, as it’s light and as powerful as any desktop. Nothing beats the comfort and practicality of being able to take and access your information in your briefcase and just read it anywhere. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, for instance, is a robust device with a whole range of exciting features. You can also order this device via the Boab IT Portal.

 

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER:   Key technology considerations for small law firms in 2017

 

3. How much budget do you have?

Just as you wouldn’t buy a cheap, uncomfortable pair of shoes that are likely to cause you pain every day, the same rationale should apply to your choice of computer.  

A slow computer will end up costing you time and money and may give you endless frustration that will end up affecting your work. Choose equipment that is right for you, without overspending or cutting corners.

 

4. Custom-made or out of the box?

When it comes to choosing a computer for your legal practice, different law firms have different needs. As well as seeking the advice of friends and family, it’s important to ask your IT consultant which is the best solution for you.

The main point to consider is that generic or ‘white-box’ computers, whilst cheap, usually end up costing more in the long run. They are generally made up of retail parts which are superseded every 6-12 months, and a replacement may not be available in the event they fail. This means you may end up having to replace a lot more than just one failed computer part. All of this equates to downtime when your staff can’t work, and support costs from your IT consultant.

 

5. What level of support do you require?

While you can approach your technology with an independent spirit, managing all of the research, purchase and installation on your own, the reality is that your clients still need to be serviced.

By investing in a managed cloud solution, you take support out of the equation, as it simply happens automatically. It’s also far more economical to have someone else providing support rather than detracting from your billable hours and customer service. When choosing a support provider, do your research, and appoint one before you necessarily need them, so you don’t have to waste your precious time in the middle of a crisis.

Also, be aware that unless you have signed up for fixed managed services, your provider may charge you a call out fee on top of their minimum charge per visit, not to mention parking and travel time, so you should also consider this when calculating costs.

 

6. What supplementary gadgets do you need?

If you’re upgrading your computer, it’s worth evaluating your other office equipment and determining if it should be replaced at the same time. You may receive substantial discounts from your supplier if you are purchasing multiple options at once.

Other equipment could include:

  • A quality scanner – as a legal firm, you do a greater deal of scanning. Forget about the small home scanner toys you can buy anywhere. You need a powerful and fast device to meet your needs (preferably, make sure it scans both sides of the paper at the same time). Today, quality scanners can send your documents directly into a matter whilst also allocating a cost recovery amount, so take advantage of these features and save even more
  • A digital fax – this can be a great way of sending and receiving information rather than renting a phone line. While not technically a device/gadget, it will enable you to send and receive faxes digitally, significantly reducing the amount of paper passing through your office. Ensuring all your documentation is accessible from all your devices helps your people work faster and more effectively. You can also do some clever things with your digital fax, including indexing the text, or even attaching it to a matter based on the caller ID. 
  • A second computer screen – having two computer screens can result in an instant jump in productivity. It enables you to respond to emails on one screen while dedicating the second to reading documents or reviewing a matter.

 

DOWNLOAD THE WHITEPAPER:   Key technology considerations for small law firms in 2017 

 

Trust Boab IT for your IT support

The Boab IT portal offers you a fast, convenient and easy way to manage your law firm’s IT needs. Talk to us about how you can get started, and how we can help you choose hardware and devices that are right for your business.   

Give us a call on 1800 659 765 or visit www.boabit.com.