As I outlined in my last post Lexis Nexis is releasing a new version of Time Matters (Time Matters 11) this month and the major selling point for the application is a mobile platform called Time Matters 11 Mobility(c).  Time Matters 11 Mobility allows your users to have secure access to their Time Matters 11 Data from any computer or mobile device with internet connectivity. Unlike some of the functionality that was bundled with version 10, this has the potential to be leveraged as a power tool for productivity.  However, with great power comes great responsibility. In this post we’re going to take a look at the service, how it can help your firm, and what considerations you need to keep in mind.

How it works

Time Matters 11 Mobility utilizes Microsoft’s cloud based PAAS (Platform as a Service)Windows Azure to act as an intermediary to allow you to create, update, or delete data from any phone or laptop.  The service is unique because it is not device specific, the service requires only a browser.  Regardless of whether you’re using a Blackberry, IPhone, or Droid as long as you have a browser you have access, and none of the data is stored on the device.

What it can do for your Firm

Having real time access to  data is a major advantage for many firms.  Often time attorneys are out of the office for the entire day and having access to create, review, or update records on the fly can equate to major increase in billable hours.

Lexis Nexis is touting the following benefits:

•Allows you and your staff to bill more hours.
•Reduces your employees’ reliance on in-office staff.
•Eliminates extra time to process notes and expenses.
•Provides you and your staff with instant, up-to-date access to the information you need, when you need it.
•Facilitates faster client responses—no need to wait until you’re back in the office to get back to clients.

Really this is a no brainer, provided your area of practice allows you to utilize this feature.  It simply equates to a more productive work environment with less steps necessary to accomplish tasks.  This equates to a more productive firm and a better bottom line.

Yeah, but what’s it gonna cost me ?

Time Matters 11 and the Mobility Platform are provided free of charge to customers who are enrolled in Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP).  If you’re currently not enrolled in the AMP plan you really have to consider it (or an alternative) as Lexis is making it more and more unrealistic to continue utilizing their software otherwise.  I will be putting up a post about the AMP in the next couple of weeks.

Security Concerns

Time Matters NY

As much of a benefit as this service stands to offer, there are some things that you have to consider before implementing it for your firm.   The intrinsic security is a non issue, Windows Azure Platform is extremely secure.  It is is utilized by NASA, and various other government agencies.  Quite simply your company’s server has an exponentially higher probability of being hacked than any windows data center ever will.   Most small and medium sized law firms do not implement high security architectures, whereas Microsoft locks down their data centers like Fort Knox.  This is really a non-issue as far as I’m concerned.  However, the issues that come into play with any Cloud Platform are federal data sanctions.  As of the date of this post the United States Government has unfettered access to any Data Center hosted in the United States (Azure falls under this umbrella).   For the vast majority of  firms this, as well, is a non-issue.  However, certain niche practices should be aware of this reality and may wish to share away from any forms of service based architecture.

The Bottom Line

Time Matters 11 Mobility is quite possibly the strongest functional offering that has come from Lexis Nexis since their acquisition of Time Matters.  As said in my earlier post it would be wise to wait a couple of weeks before doing an upgrade to make sure that the apps have shipped without bugs.  If you’re thinking of moving to Time Matters 11 and utilizing the Mobility service, contact us today to plan your upgrade.  Our expert consultants can help you get it done right.

David Wetherell