As we come out the back of the latest round of Covid restrictions and start to deal with the challenges of getting co-workers back into the office, and getting clients into face-to-face meetings, I start to reflect on the past two years and how much my life has changed, and how much the conversations I am having have changed.
On Friday the 20th of March 2020, I finished delivering my last iManage Certified Systems Engineer course in Sydney. We had a beer, packed up and went home, for an unexpectedly long time. Clients had to quickly transition to enabling and supporting remote working. CIOs were driving around frantically trying to buy up the last HDMI cables and monitors. People at home were starting to understand the true impact of having or not having high-speed home internet. Zoom and Microsoft Teams exploded onto our desktops and into our calendars. We all had to become experts in online meetings, mute buttons and video effects. Who remembers the joy of “I’m here live. I’m not a cat!”?
At an organisational level, firms moved quickly to migrate core systems to the Cloud. One law firm told me they had an old, critical server in Perth that no one could get to and maintain, because all the borders were shut, and they had no IT staff in WA. iManage Cloud became a very popular service. The rush was on, and, globally, iManage now have over 50% of their clients in iManage Cloud datacentres.
Now that firms have put their critical systems in the Cloud, they have started to look around at their remaining systems, legacy on-premises-only systems which still need to be maintained, backed-up, rebooted, upgraded. A lot of the remaining systems are Practice Management Systems (which we expect to be the next big thing in Cloud migrations) and Matter or Case Management Systems (which are typically small companies, or really old code, or both). Firms can’t wait to get off their remaining on-premises systems and go fully Cloud.
I am holding my breath to see who wins the PMS Cloud battle that is looming.
We have found the perfect Matter or Case Management Cloud solution, which is also fully integrated into iManage Work 10. We have been working with Co-Flo (https://www.co-flo.com/en/) over the past few months, and I have to say, Co-Flo Enterprise is one of the most comprehensive products I have seen. It ticks all the boxes of being modern, cloud-based, iManage Work integrated, delivering: matter management, O365 / Teams / OneNote / Planner integration, eSignature integration, workflow, contract lifecycle management, task management, BI and analytics, matter requests, client portals, document automation, clause libraries, and on and on. For the first time you can consolidate all those “add-ons” that you buy and deploy to meet your lawyers’ needs, and throw out all your legacy on-premises code. They are a wonderful company to work with too, responsive, and flexible. Let me know if you would like an introduction, or just contact the local Brisbane team directly (and mention my name!).
Project delivery changed enormously too. We had to change our methodology to online training and virtual “floor-walking support”. During the later half of 2020 and throughout 2021 we continued to successfully deliver new projects without leaving the comfort of our couches and Ugg boots.
We realised that a new approach was needed to drive adoption of new systems and we had to move forward from considering them as just technical projects. We had to ensure that people were brought on that journey too. It’s harder to motivate and encourage a workforce who are sitting at home trying to come to terms with tech and process change, and you lose people pretty quickly.
And so Morae Change Management was born, lead by Alison Laird (https://www.linkedin.com/in/alisonlaird/). Over the past year, we have super-infused our projects with Change Management, ensuring the changes in people are as successful as the changes in tech and processes. Suddenly people felt a part of the journey, rather than feeling apart, alone at home, expected to be dragged along on the journey.
We have developed a suite of cool assets, comms plans, schedules, scripts, videos, thought pieces, etc. etc. which are reusable and translatable into any type of tech and process change.
This has been the biggest change in the conversations I have with clients and one that will forever change our approach to project delivery.
What will the next two years bring? I think we can all agree that we have no idea. And that’s OK. We’ve done the last two years, been through unimaginable situations, shown ourselves to be malleable, flexible and adaptable. And come out stronger for it. Bring it on!
Oh, and this month, I am running my next iManage Certified Systems Engineer course. And it’s fully-hybrid! 6 people in person in Sydney and 6 people online from somewhere else in the world. That’s a good change.h, and this month, I am running my next iManage Certified Systems Engineer course. And it’s fully-hybrid! 6 people in person in Sydney and 6 people online from somewhere else in the world. That’s a good change.