DTE AxiomThe legal world is changing and so are law firms customers. They are demanding more from their lawyers with improved terms and challenging billing models. The problem the lawyer now faces is how to continue to deliver an excellent level of service when every minute of delivered time is being heavily scrutinised by the client.

In some cases the very foundation of the billable hour, the cornerstone of the professional service firms billing mantra, is being questioned and criticised. Such a scenario has led to huge debate about alternative billing structures and combined with a change in the Legal Services Act and law firm’s competitors, newly increased interest in how a firm tracks their lawyer’s time and whether their staff bill enough time against their clients.

The DTE Axiom suite has been dealing with this changing landscape for the past 20 years. It’s bedrock of knowledge and understanding of traditional Practice Management still shapes the software developed today and it can call upon over 300 client firms worldwide to testify to its scalability, flexibility and usability. The constant need to evolve is fundamental within the software industry and the Axiom suite of products has managed that magnificently over the past two decades continually putting client needs and market needs at the forefront of its development cycles.

The latest set of changes has been greeted by APS (Advanced Productivity Software) in a similar fashion. No panic, no rush to market of a product that is under-researched or fundamentally flawed. Instead a steady, meticulous analysis of what the existing client base requirements really are. What are users struggling with? How can our software improve their daily experience? Then a methodical delivery of an elegant, unobtrusive solution, integrated into its existing software. For while bold statements are being made from one area of an organisation about change and billing practices there are other areas who remain un-swayed, firm, in their beliefs that the billable hour will continue, certainly in their practice area. The answer to all of these questions was to create something that to allow individuals within an organisation to work in the way they wanted.

The DTE Axiom suite allows lawyers the flexibility to manage their time in whatever manner they desire while retaining the traditional features that have that have made DTE a favourite with lawyers for the past 20 years. In a world where all clients seem to demand a 24/7 service allowing users to work where and when they want is key. There are mobile solutions within the suite to allow users access to the system on Blackberrys, iPads and iPhones. Users have the ability to create timers on a mobile device and arrive back at their desk to see the timer still running on their desktop. New functionality mingles seamlessly with the old in the calendar view where users are able to enter their own time in a traditional timesheet view while overlaying their Outlook calendar to check for gaps in their diary.

It is, however, the newest additions to the suite that are really empowering users to make the most of all of the applications at their fingertips. The DTE Axiom AutoCapture product simply monitors the user’s workstations. It can tell you at any time what documents a user creates, phone calls a user makes, internet pages a user visits during the day and present them back to the user in a calendar view recreating their day for them alongside the time they have recorded. It is then down to the user to discern the information that is useful and add it to their timesheet for the day. It is this unobtrusive yet vitally helpful overlay of information that so emphasises the hard work that APS put into their care, maintenance and development of the Axiom suite. When it would have been simpler to create a module to head off questions around time capture and bolt it on to their existing suite they delayed; steadied the ship and thought about the long game. The result is a piece of software that deals with the past and present methods of billing -billable hour and fixed fee arrangement. Phoenix is excited about working with APS and this software suite. Early adopters of the upgraded version have lauded its simplicity and usefulness.

Contributed by:
Mathew Crocker, Global Operations Director
Phoenix Business Solutions

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