Peer to Peer Magazine

Winter 2014

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 12 of 75

14 PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGA ZINE OF ILTA ASK THE VENDOR name . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alan Rich company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chrome River Technologies website . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The advent of real-time collaborative software is revolutionizing the way we communicate. Google Hangouts is a great example of zero-cost group videoconferencing — complete with available screen-sharing. A link to a Hangout, or equivalent technology, will soon be part of every calendar invite. Similarly, real-time collaboration on documents will replace the back-and-forth sending of redlined versions. Google Docs provides a great example of this. I regularly find that people are willing to give up formatting sophistication in exchange for the benefits of group collaboration on live documents. These collaborative environments are available across all platforms: mobile and desktop. What one technology is revolutionizing connectivity? (Think lawyers connecting to clients, users connecting to info, staff connecting across global offices, etc.) Want to appear in the next Peer to Peer? Here's the question for the Spring edition: How will outsourced technologies and cloud service providers affect the role of the legal professional? Send your answer to Consumer Technologies Rescue Timekeeping Performance Peter Zver of Tikit North America There are many ways law firms can connect with clients: events (workshops, seminars, roundtables, fancy dinners, etc.), collaboration technologies, social media, etc. While these are rather mainstream options, sharing financial management — specifically timekeeping metrics — with firm clients to demonstrate transparency and efficient business and billing practices might be an unorthodox, but highly effective (and respected) connection method. Legal professionals' ability to enter time accurately and in a succinct fashion for "anytime" client consumption should be where the law firm bar is set in defining collaboration best practices around timekeeping and related value. GAUGE CURRENT PERFORMANCE The metric that has gained popularity and correlates directly with demonstrating client value is the "Velocity of Capture" ratio, which measures the delay in days between time worked and time recorded. A timekeeper entering time daily would have a velocity metric of zero days, whereas a timekeeper entering time Friday for work done on Monday work equals four days' lag. The closer to zero the better. It is an excellent gauge to measure the quality of a firm's time inventory and shows clients you mean business when it comes to transparent timekeeping. A client requesting immediate, real-time access to work in progress entries can see the same metrics for the specific matter or client. BETTER VELOCITY WITH FAMILIAR TECHNOLOGY These days, the value of the velocity metric is greatly enhanced by our professional use of consumer technologies, including the use of mobile applications (thanks in large part to Apple) as a reliable way to improve timekeeping performance. Consider mobile the low-hanging-fruit opportunity for better timekeeping. Many firms are already engaged in extending their timekeeping policies to incorporate these technologies that significantly extend the capture opportunities available for professionals. Consumer technologies are sticky, addictive, always accessible and personal —ingredients that bode well in engaging busy professionals and improving their velocity metric. Law firm timekeeping is an important means of communication with firm clients, and timekeeping accuracy and timeliness delivered via the velocity of capture metric helps strengthen the trust and transparency communicated via the firm bill. Add in the pervasiveness of consumer technologies and users' willingness (based on familiarity) to use their iPads, iPhones and other mobile devices for real-time time capture, and traditional timekeeping challenges will be a thing of the past.

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