A round-up from the P4W National User Group Conference 2015

For those who attended last week’s P4W National User Group Conference, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! It was held on the 19th and 20th November in the BT Centre and focused on competitive advantage.

In the evening we moved on to the Sky Bar at the stunning Grange Hotel at St Pauls with its panoramic views over London’s skyline. Everyone enjoyed a great evening with friends new and old with many continuing their networking until well into the early hours of day 2!

See photos from the event on our Flickr account by clicking here.

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Day One, 19th November 2015

Are you using P4W’s full functionality?

Mark Garnish, Tikit’s Development Director, kicked off day one with the results of the Partner for Windows (P4W) Usage Survey.  Some blank faces started to light up as it was revealed the extent of P4W functionality that some users are not exploiting to their advantage.  There was shock as it was revealed only 13% of clients are using the Land Registry integration, while 57% are using PDF Manager – a function that is “a must have” according to Nick Masheder of Beaumont Legal.

Accounts, Case Management and Legal Aid

This was followed by the first round of Tikit workshops: Accounts, covering recent enhancements you may have missed, Case Management, to look at 5 quick and simple processes which can easily be set up on your P4W system and P4W and Legal Aid where being efficient and minimising cost is crucial.  The latter was delivered by Jane Pritchard of London based TV Edwards Solicitors.

Closed loop communications using Tikit Connect and eMarketing

Jeff Hemming and Carol Cook took us through Tikit Connect and eMarketing and how you can increase business from existing clients and attract new ones. All of Tikit Connect’s contact data comes from P4W so you immediately have access to a wealth of contact information built up over many years. And it works in Outlook so it’s an immediately familiar environment for your staff to work in.  Quickly generate mailing lists based on client preferences and produce tailored content which makes your client feel valued. Track what your mailer recipients are interested in via the analytics dashboard, and invite them to provide any missing or additional information so their details are automatically updated. Tikit Connect is a key driver of any forward-thinking law firm’s business development objectives.

Event sponsors

Then followed workshops from our event sponsors: Mimecast, Conscious Solutions, Oyez and BT Business Direct.   Mimecast made everyone ponder the question of whether their firm could be the next data breach.  Conscious Solutions went for shock factor by broaching those “lies, damn lies”.  But those shocked faces soon became enthralled as Rich Dibbins took them through a guide to measuring website effectiveness.  Oyez chose a different tact and had the delegates engaged with an Oyez Gateway and E-submissions charge registration companies house demo.  The newest addition to the NUG, BT Business Direct, covered technology and how it can make your firm’s everyday tasks easier.  And with special guest appearances from Plantronics, Microsoft and View Sonic, they certainly covered a broad spectrum of technology.  Not to mention our other sponsors Orbis who sponsored the drinks reception in the evening and GB Group, who were on hand all day to talk us through ID3 Verification and how it works with P4W.  Matt Jeffers of GB Group reflected the view of all of the sponsors when he said “we found [the NUG] valuable, extremely interesting and great fun.”

Latest features and functionality of Partner for Windows

Then followed the much anticipated ‘Latest features and functionality of P4W’ with Richard Higgs. Richard provided a brief recap of 2015’s key developments including Expense Manager, Document ID Verification, UTBMS & J Codes functionality, and our enhanced client portal, WebShare.  Looking forward to the imminent release of 3.02.18, Richard highlighted the new Verification tab for at a glance confirmation of a client entity’s compliance, the new PDF Manager Wizard, and the new Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet reports to name just a few.  Watch out for one of Gillian’s P4W User Briefing emailers in a couple of weeks which will cover key elements of Richard’s presentation.

Most interesting of all perhaps was the sneak preview of the newest string to our bow, FormShare. FormShare is due for launch in Q2 2016. For those of you who didn’t make it this year, FormShare allows users to create PDF forms for external and internal use. The exciting end result is that the information collated on the form, is then captured automatically into the P4W database, when the form is submitted.

Welcoming Jane Pritchard as the new User Group chair

Tikit staff then made a swift exit from the auditorium and the User Group chairs took to the stage for the National User Group AGM.  Sadly we had to say goodbye to Nick Masheder as the chairman as he decided to step down after two years of service, but we welcomed Jane Pritchard of TV Edwards in his place.  “Jane is Systems and Business Development Manager, managing the firm’s IT systems to improve business efficiency and productivity.” Welcome Jane!

Assessing IT Literacy in the modern law firm

Sue Pasfield of LTC4 then took centre stage.  As an international non-profit organisation, LTC4 has established legal technology core competencies certification that all law firms can use to measure ongoing efficiency improvements.  And the name LTC4?  Well that stands for the Legal Technology Core Competency Certification Coalition, the reason for the four C’s is simple according to Sue, “we were going to call in LTC3 but that turned out to be some sort of explosive!” Hence LTC4.   In fact Tikit is already signed up to the scheme with an initial focus on time and billing.  Read more about this here.  But the key point to take away from Sue’s talk is that “firms with the highest rate of technology adoption billed 25% more in the last year,”  which we think is a pretty big deal.

A packed first day, but it proved relevant and interesting to delegates. Frank Saxby of Quality Solicitors Barwells said it was “most useful [NUG] to date” and Melissa Parry of Boyd Legal said that the “areas covered are good – really broad and relevant and researched as being useful to attendees.” Others took to Twitter to show their enthusiasm:

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Day two, 20th November 2015

Social media dos and don’ts

“Keeping your name out of the Daily Mail: Doing Social Media Properly” was delivered by David Gilroy of Conscious Solutions live in the auditorium and through Periscope, a live video broadcast first thing on Friday morning.  This boded well for many of our delegates who were still nursing sore heads from the night before and chose to attend this talk virtually from their hotel room, or rather bed.  David talked us through his top 10 rules for social media which included not doing social media ‘when drunk’ and how out of every ten things you post online, only two to three should be about you – content is king people!

The challenges and solutions to searching the electronic file

After another successful round (and repeat) of our Tikit workshops for those who missed them the day before, we moved onto to our final talk of the event.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming a hot topic in legal with the advent of IBM’s Watson and the lesser known ROSS.  With this shift towards AI it seemed fitting that we should invite Peter Wallqvist from RAVN to speak at this year’s NUG.  Peter covered the challenges and solutions to searching the electronic file, a topic hotly anticipated at this year’s P4W regional user groups.  He showed the delegates how to “extract business intelligence from unstructured data” using pioneering product RAVN Ace.

And the winner is …

We closed the event with announcing the winner of Partner Bingo.  Despite a moment of panic when Mimecast seemingly disappeared:

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A fierce race ensued as delegates battled to get their card stamped by every event sponsor for their chance to win an Apple Watch.  The winner we were delighted to announce, was Scott O’Brien from Irvings Solicitors. Well done Scott and thank you to all who attended a very successful NUG.

We are already thinking ahead to next year’s conference and making it even bigger and better. Further details will follow into next year, but for now please save the dates in your diary for NUG 2016 which will be held on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th November at BT Centre, near St Paul’s Cathedral. We’d love to hear from you with any suggestions as to how we can make the event even more of a success next year, so please send your ideas to enquiries@tikit.com.