As the professionals at Cox Business Northeast know, the pandemic has changed everything. Although cloud services were in demand before the COVID-19 hit, they now play an even bigger role in bridging the gap between a home office and an on-premises office, and can be of particular benefit to lawyers and firms. lawyers, say Steven Hughes and Michael Calabro.
“No matter the size, whether it’s a small firm with a single file server or a multi-office firm with IT people on site, we can meet the needs of a law firm. Says Calabro. Additionally, says Hughes, Cox can serve as a single source, providing voice, data, internet and cloud services, all with the security needed to protect privileged and confidential information.
Here is more of Lawyers Weekly’s conversation with Hughes and Calabro.
Q: As the world oscillates between working remotely and in person, how do cloud solutions help law firms move forward, regardless of their physical location?
Hugues: Accessing documents or other items physically located in an office can be a real challenge for law firms. Lawyers and their staff should keep their files secure and maintain a hierarchy of who can access documents and when.
We can help you design solutions using cloud services that don’t require people to be onsite or rummaging through filing cabinets. Instead, as long as someone has permission, they can log into the system and retrieve documents whether they are in Warwick, Boston, or Hong Kong. The beauty of cloud services is that you can access them wherever you are.
Calabro: Cloud services are scalable, so we can work with a single law firm or a large law firm with multiple locations. We can evolve with lawyers to provide the solutions they need, and we can provide the necessary security and signal that we are meeting the security requirements.
Q: How do cloud solutions help law
offices modernize their activity?
Hugues: Our approach with clients is to learn their business so that we understand what their weak points are and how we can help them. For example, many law firms like to have files on-site so they can have physical access to them. But if there is a flood or fire, or the building is lost for whatever reason, customer information may be gone, in some cases forever.
In many cases, law firms back up their data and then keep the backup in place. It doesn’t help much if we’re talking about an event like a flood or the loss of a building. Cloud services modernize law firms by putting data in the cloud, where it is easily accessible and safe from physical disasters.
Calabro: Cloud services are also modernizing the way lawyers work together and collaborate. We offer software products that facilitate a workflow where multiple attorneys could work on a contract. A lawyer can handle a certain point or part of the contract and then move on to the next person, all in the cloud, allowing lawyers to work together without having to physically send paper back and forth around the office. It also provides better physical security, as confidential documents and papers don’t hang around the office.
Hugues: By working with Cox, law firms also enjoy the benefits of working with other firms. If you have an IT specialist on site, there is usually a think tank. By working with us, the firms not only benefit from the scale, but with more lawyers and law firms involved, there is more discussion: what works in this firm, what are the challenges of this firm and how to solve them.
Q: Are there potential cost savings associated with cloud services?
Calabro: Law firms often rely on their own server, which must be maintained. That means electricity, heating and cooling, maybe IT staff, forcing the company to invest in its own infrastructure. It may make more sense to develop these solutions and save money on environmental and office needs, especially with more people working remotely. Hughes: Also, for companies that have an IT person, outsourcing means potential savings on wages and benefits.
Q: By 2022, how law firms potentially use technology in ways they haven’t in the past?
Hugues: Law firms are no longer linked to a site. Lawyers have access to anything in an office without being seated there. This allows law firms to reimagine the way their offices exist and operate. They could increase the staff to 20 lawyers without adding new real estate.
Calabro: Cloud services allow lawyers to work on any device from any location, which also significantly expands the talent pool for law firms as they are not tied to a physical location.