As a marketing consultant, I like to keep to date with the developments in systems available to marketers and their firms and so I spent some time with the folk at Thomson Reuters to see what is on offer with Hubbard One which is used by a significant number of larger law firms (55 across Europe and many more in the USA). The system comprises a series of integrated modules supporting the majority of law firm marketing and business development applications.
Web site development and content management
Thomson Reuters offers web site design and management services and I was shown examples for Squire Sanders Hammond, DLA Piper, Hogan Lovell and Kennedy. Its creative team is US based but they have worked with firm’s existing creative advisers – as was the case with the rather nifty web site they produced for Mills & Reeves (as well as a procurement minisite). There’s also a good facility for micro-site building and accommodate alumni and recruitment sites so the HR folk should be happy.
Experience manager – Who knows what?
We all know what a pain it is to maintain up to date biographies of lawyers and to ensure that case studies are up to date and readily available so the proposal generator appeared to be a really helpful feature. Denton Wilde Sapte’s use of the system was a good example – and won a LEMA in 2008. There were impressive statistics from US firm Loeb & Loeb showing that it now takes only 15 minutes to produce a first draft pitch document and is saving 8.5 weeks pa. Allen & Overy’s (recent winners of the FT Innovation awards) EPiC – Experience Pitches & Contacts system, which went live earlier in 2011, was also showcased.
Campaign Management – CRM/ERM – Who knows who?
I liked that the system recognised the difference between CRM (Client Relationship Management) and ERM (Enterprise Relationship Management). All the acronyms reminded me of my happy times in the technology sector where I lived and breathed 4GL, EIS and OLAP! Whilst there are a number of excellent mailing and campaign management systems in the legal market, this one looked rather elegant without sacrificing its analytical capabilities. Nabarro’s system was showcased – how things have moved on since I helped with the development of its first CRM over 20 years ago!
ContactNet – Big brother is watching you!
The thing that I liked best – and which I think is pretty unique – is ContactNet. This nifty piece of software scans incoming and outgoing phone calls and emails as well as address books, calendars, HR data and billing records to identify who has relationships with people – even if they have not been entered onto the database. I was also told that it can calculate relationship strength – but I didn’t see this feature in action. The case study said: “As a result of using ContactNet, Lewis Silkin has been able to uncover over 22,000 new ‘email only’ relationships in less than six months and with no data entry required by our fee earners.”Privacy issues aside (which I was reassured are dealt with), I’m sold! The global intranet at Reed Smith also looked pretty powerful too. The IT folk should be happy with the use of Sharepoint.
I didn’t have time to see the opportunity management features so I can’t comment on the extent to which HubbardOne integrates the sales processes such as opportunity and pipeline management – but I should imagine that it will provide at least similar support to that offered by InterAction (which I like because the sales process can be tailored for different markets/services).
My only question was really about how the system will accommodate the contacts and connections that professionals maintain through social media channels – conversation management being something that is managed extremely well by specialist new entrant CubeSocial http://kimtasso.com/cubesocial-personal-conversation-management-rather-than-corporate-client-relationship-management
The system is impressive and frankly I can see no reason why it wouldn’t be of equal relevance and value to accountants and other professionals. It is designed for firms with at least 100 lawyers and is available on a one-off purchase basis or a monthly subscription basis. You can pick and choose which modules are required. My only wish is that it was available to smaller firms where I have to deal with day-to-day realities of inadequate databases and separate systems for web content management, proposal production and direct/digital marketing campaigns.
See the previous blog about similar system Vuture – which integrates with InterAction. http://kimtasso.com/marketing-communications-technology-for-professional-firms