Boab IT Blog

Starting a new law firm? Don't buy a computer

Posted by Maria Hurtado on Sep 21, 2017 1:06:49 PM

starting a lw firm

New law firm usually means new everything! New office, new chairs, new business cards... New computer? Think again...

So you made the leap, you and a couple of partners decided you're moving on and are starting your own, brand new law firm. Congratulations! So, what now?

The time has come for you to set up your new practice. You could be in a shiny new office in the city or taking calls from your mother's garage, it doesn't matter as long as you are able to service your clients in a comprehensive and timely fashion. What does matter, and big time, is the kind and quality of the technology you will use.

If you think about it, how many hours of your day you're sitting in front of a screen, whether it is a computer, tablet, laptop or phone? Go ahead, do the maths, we'll wait. That is A LOT of hours. Are you really going to cut corners here, of all places? Good luck, you will likely spend the money you saved in migraine pills..

There are lots of upfront costs when starting a new law firm: office bond, desks and chairs, permits, business cards, etc. Don't pile up more costs when you don't have to.

 

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

 

In the old days, you would have to buy computers, printers, phones, software and servers just to open the doors of your practice. Luckily for you, that is a thing of the past. Don't buy any of the above and go straight into a managed IT solution. Let me explain why:

  • Unless you are a very techie person, chances are you are not going to know exactly what you actually need in terms of a computer. Sales people at major computer stores will probably try to sell you either the most expensive computer they have in stock or the cheapest, nastiest piece of technology you've ever seen; after all, you did ask them for a cheap computer. You need a fast and reliable computer that will run your legal software and documents seamlessly. No more, no less. Save the expensive video cards for your kid's online gaming, your law firm doesn't need them.
  • When you get a managed device, the support is included. This means no more calling the IT support guy, arranging an appointment for him to come by, take your computer, fix it and return it in a week, charging you the amount they deem convenient. After all, it's not like you have that many options once your computer fails. Just one call to the IT guy might pay for a full year of managed support in most cases.
  • Small law firms don't need servers anymore. Your data can be stored in the cloud at a minimal cost, protected and backed up in case a disaster strikes: a ransomware attack, an office fire or even a break in. Most legal softwares nowadays are cloud based for the same reason.
  • Do you really have the cash to buy everything upfront? If you've done your research, you know by now how expensive it is starting a law firm. Don't add to that when you can get all your services, hardware and software in a (very managable) fixed monthly bill, with the added bonus of unlimited support at no extra cost. 
 Finally, if you are old school and still want to buy your own equipment, make sure you read our post about choosing a computer or tablet for lawyers before you do. Also, download our whitepaper Key technology considerations for law firms in 2017

 

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

 

Trust Boab IT for your Managed IT needs

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.

Topics: new computer, starting a law firm, managed IT, new law firm

Beginners Guide to Websites for Lawyers

Posted by Maria Hurtado on Aug 9, 2017 11:33:00 AM

Website for Lawyers.jpeg

Gone are the days when your customers would look at the bulky business directory to find help with their legal matters. Nowadays, most of your law firm's new customers will find you via word of mouth or through your online presence. And even if they knock on your door because of a trustworthy referral, I can assure you they had a good look at your website before calling in.

So how do you take full advantage of your law firm's website? How can you increase the probability that a visitor will actually get in touch with you? Here are some handy tips, specially tailored to websites for lawyers:

 

Custom made, pre-built or DIY?

A law firm's website has to look and feel professional and serious. You are not selling cupcakes, you are offering your vast knowledge and hard earned experience to clients that are looking for the best in their field. So you have to show them you are the best, starting with your website.

If you want top of the line, you can hire a marketing agency to design your entire website, from your logo to your law firm's biography to the staff's headshots. But most small and medium law firms can't afford to spend thousands in a custom made site, at least not straight away.

There are some brilliant managed websites companies that provide pay per month solutions, so you get fantastic professional looking sites at a fraction of the cost. A great one specialised exclusively in law firms is Zaliet. It caters for pretty much every law firm's size and budget.

Now, if you are tech savvy and have the time, you can always build your own website from scratch using tools like Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace and many more. If this is you, there are a few things you need to know to get the best out of your website and actually getting found in the world wide web:

 

Let's start with Google Juice

Google Juice is the colloquial name for PageRank, the algorithm used by Google to rank websites in its search engines. According to Google:

PageRank works by counting the number and quality of links to a page to determine a rough estimate of how important the website is. The underlying assumption is that more important websites are likely to receive more links from other websites.

Why is this important to you? In simple words, the more "juice" you have, the highest you'll appear when someone searches for the keywords that are relevant to your law firm.

You can get Google Juice in a number of ways, but the basics of it is having a website with a clear structure and a SEO strategy in place.

 

SEO for Law Firms

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process by which your page is visible in a web search engine's unpaid or "organic" results. The majority of web traffic is driven by search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing. SEO is a very complex process that considers many variables, but the basic aspects to a good SEO strategy are not hard and quite easy to implement:

  1. Have a clear website structure. Google "crawls" your website looking for keywords that will rank your site according to its relevance when a user enters a search query. Messy websites might not get crawled in their entirety, as some of the pages might be unintentionally hidden. So make it simple: Homepage, a few categories (ie. Specialties, Our People, About Us, Contact) and a few subcategories under those if needed.
  2. Define relevant keywords. Define how you want people to find you. It is very unlikely that your law firm is going to appear first when someone searches "Best Law Firm in Australia", however, you might make it to the top ten results of "Personal Injury Lawyer in Hornsby" with some good SEO. So try to find what your clients would type into Google to find you and subtly spread those keywords around your site.
  3. Include Meta Descriptions . So you have your keywords, what's next? Each page on your site has the option to add a short description to it. This will appear as a 2-3 line description on Google under the link and will directly affect your SEO. Try to include your keywords in this description when possible, but be careful not to overdo it.
  4. Use the Alt Image field. Including images in your website is always a good practice. Not only does it makes it more visually appealing, but it's a little known way of improving your SEO too. Each image has the option of an Alt Image description. Technically, this is the text that would appear instead of the image in case it doesn't load. But including your keywords in the Alt Image field, even when the text won't be seen normally in your site, it will be detected by the search engines, boosting your Google Juice.
  5. Write a Blog. If you have the time and dedication, a blog is a brilliant way of improving your SEO. Not only will it drive traffic to your website, it will also position you as an expert in your area. Write quality content, good and useful articles are shared online fast. Try to keep it constant, it's better to write once a month rather than 3 posts in a week and then nothing for a year.

 

A few extra tips

  • Have a clear and easy to find contact form, ideally in the top right corner of your homepage.
  • It's a good idea to have names, photos and a short bio of the lawyers in the firm. Remember that your clients are engaging not only with a company but with the people working there.
  • If you have social media accounts, link them to your website and vice versa. It's common practice to place the icons somewhere in the footer of your site.
  • Keep track on how your site is doing with Google Analytics, an extremely powerful tool that will give you a full view on what is working and what isn't in your website. It will show you the traffic, where it's coming from, which ones are the most popular pages, etc.

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

Why is cloud-based software the best legal software?

Posted by Maria Hurtado on Aug 3, 2017 12:54:00 PM

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When you operate a small law firm, time and money are precious commodities. Typically, you’re so busy providing the best possible service to your clients, it can be hard to take a step back and evaluate what’s best for your firm overall.

This is particularly the case when it comes to choosing the best legal management software for your firm. 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.

While cloud-based software can deliver a whole raft of crucial benefits, here are the top four benefits we believe are particularly relevant for the legal sector:

 

1. Easier, more effective collaboration

When it comes to collaboration, the best legal software is most undoubtedly cloud-based. 

Perhaps most importantly, cloud-based software means your people have many more ways to work and share information on clients and specific matters. Storing all your files in one central and easily accessible location, rather than on silo-based servers and on individual hard drives, empowers everyone in your business to work more efficiently and effectively.    

With cloud-based data, you can ensure everyone is working with the most up to date files, and has immediate access to all required files and correspondence. The cloud also facilitates enormous flexibility, enabling your employees to access the data and details they need anywhere, anytime and from any device. As a small law firm, where your people often wear many hats, this is crucial.

 

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

 

2. More scalability and flexibility

Another important feature of the cloud is the scalability it enables your organisation. By taking you away from fixed, up-front costs and weighty infrastructure, the cloud allows you to capitalise on the mobility and flexibility inherent in your small firm.

You can purchase or cancel licenses for your cloud-based software as you need them, making it easy to scale and react to the market – ideal for a small operation. So, for instance, if you win a new client, you can very quickly get new team members up and running.

 

3. Reduced financial outlay

The cost benefits of migrating your legal software to the cloud can be significant, especially for a smaller firm. By doing away with large, cumbersome, on-premise servers, you can eliminate your ongoing IT maintenance and support costs. Also, rather than spending time providing patches and rectifying technology issues, your IT person (or team) can focus on using technology to further fine-tune the way you work. 

Importantly, transitioning to the cloud also enables you to move your IT costs from a capital expense to an operating expense, which can be ideal for your small business’ cash flow. You simply pay by the month and there are no more costly, up-front outlays.

 

4. Improved security and stability

For a small firm, system downtime simply isn’t an option.

With a cloud-based solution in place, your precious data is also out of harm’s way should physical disaster strike, such as flood or fire. Your data is also protected from system crashes and is constantly available and backed-up, so there’s no risk of it being lost or corrupted.   

 

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

 

Find out more

At Boab IT, we can help you transition your services to the cloud. Simply give us a call on 1800 659 765 to find out more, or visit our cloud Q&As here. 

 

The best printer for law firms? Why a managed print service is best

Posted by Maria Hurtado on Jul 27, 2017 1:02:00 PM

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When you run a small to medium sized law firm, every dollar counts. For this reason, it’s vital that you choose the right hardware, and the right hardware services, for your firm.

As a legal practitioner, you can easily output a large amount of printed material. As a lot of documentation is still reviewed and cross-checked manually so choosing the right printer for law firms is vitally important. Plus, if you on-charge your printing and copying costs, as most legal firms do, having an in-built cost recovery feature can save everyone in your business a huge amount of time and effort.  

When it comes to selecting the best printer for lawyers and smaller law firms, it makes financial and logistical sense to invest in a managed print service, where everything is taken care of for you. This includes the provision of hardware, cost recovery, toner costs, and ongoing remote and onsite technical support, you just need to provide the paper.

At Boab IT, we have been providing managed printer services since 2013, and understand the unique requirements of law firms.

Here are a few reasons why it’s worth choosing a managed printer solution from a provider such as Boab IT.

 

Automated cost recovery

For paperwork-heavy legal firms, being able to automate the cost recovery process for printed, scanned, copied and faxed documents is vitally important. For this reason, Boab IT developed in 2014 a solution that allows for each of the Sharp MX series printers to come with a built-in integrated cost recovery solution

With the cost recovery solution, each member of your team can simply nominate a particular matter (or use an in-house administration code) whenever they use the printer. This information is automatically tracked and collated into easy-to-understand cost summaries, which you can simply pass on to your clients.     

Even if you are working on several matters for one client – and each needs to be billed separately – you can set this up via the printer so the costs can be allocated appropriately.

By avoiding the need to manually check and collate this information – or even provide a guestimate – you’re increasing the accuracy of your billing, and ensuring that all your costs are accounted for.

 

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

 

Fast, reliable and easy to use machines

When you choose a managed print service, you also don’t need to spend time or effort reviewing all of the available options in the market, and determining which is right for your business (a task that can be nearly impossible to do without the required level of hardware expertise). Instead, you simply gain access to a shortlist of machines that have been specifically chosen – by experts – to match your specific needs and printing requirements.  

At Boab IT, we realise that your clients demand fast, efficient service. When you’re on a deadline, you certainly don’t want your printer to be holding you up, or letting you down. It’s why we have specifically selected the Sharp MX range of printers – all of which are robust, technically sophisticated, powerful and able to output large amounts of documentation quickly and easily. They also maintain exceptional print quality.

Each of the Sharp MX machines also comes with a very user-friendly interface, meaning your people can transition quickly and utilise the full range of advanced functions.

 

Cloud-enabled printing

All of Boab IT’s printer solutions are cloud-enabled, which means you can print documents directly to (or from) your Practice Management application like LEAP or  your Microsoft Office 365 document storage. This provides you with an enormous amount of flexibility and enables you to connect with your hardware even when you’re not in the office. Scan to LEAP is also included with every Boab IT managed printer, along with cost recovery for scanning, copying and printing.

 

Expert maintenance and support

When you choose a managed print service, you also have a single and reliable place to turn if an issue does occur rather than needing to wait for your internal IT resources, who may not have expertise in the machine.

Thanks to Boab IT’s partnership with Sharp, all of our quality printers are maintained on an ongoing basis by Sharp’s expert technicians. So if you have a problem, it will be resolved quickly and effectively – without you having to worry about maintenance or repairs internally.   

 

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

 

Which is the best printer for lawyers? Call Boab IT to discuss your needs.  

Talk to Boab IT about choosing a printer that’s right for your law firm and your specific needs. Give us a call on 1800 659 765 or visit www.boabit.com.

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

Black Ring Binder with Inscription Confidential on Background of Working Table with Office Supplies and Laptop. Confidential Business Concept on Blurred Background. 3D Render..jpeg

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.

 

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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.