Exploring PCLaw in the Cloud
LexisNexis® has long been known as an innovator in business of law technology. As more and more successful law firms began exploring a move to cloud-based solutions, it became time for PCLaw® to help firms streamline their finances and provide insights without the hassle of an on-site server. Understanding that all cloud-hosting services are equipped to serve the complex needs of legal service providers, our Authorized Hosting Program was developed. This blog post is our take on a recent post by one of our experienced partners, Uptime Legal.
All the convenience and security of cloud-based practice management software is now available to PCLaw customers.
Before we define and explain exactly what a private cloud is, we should clarify one important note: Cloud-based hosting for PCLaw is not a “cloud edition,” or a new iteration of the software that you’re already familiar with. It’s the same PCLaw that you know and love, hosted in a secure, private cloud by trusted partners.
What Is a Private Cloud?
Generally speaking, cloud computing includes any software, storage, service, or platform where the applications or data are stored with a third-party hosting provider, rather than your firm’s own computers or server. This could range from web-based software to cloud storage services.
Within the broad world of cloud computing exists the private cloud, which is a specific and dedicated cloud server for your firm’s software and data. A private cloud solution provides your firm with its own private server that is professionally managed and maintained by the hosting provider.
PCLaw is a comprehensive software solution that requires a server. In the case of a private cloud solution, the private cloud is the server. It will host PCLaw just like an on-site server would but without the maintenance and IT headaches associated with owning and managing your own server.
A private cloud is a holistic, end-to-end solution that hosts and provides support for PCLaw.
Our legal-centric hosting partners are evaluated thoroughly and they understand the complexities and requirements of hosting legal software. They are not only optimized to run PCLaw in the cloud, but also include other essential software and IT services. Because they have such extensive expertise in legal-focused cloud hosting, they are prepared for emergencies and have backup procedures in place. For you, that means greater security and a reduced risk of downtime.
How PCLaw Works in the Cloud
Now you understand how PCLaw works in the cloud but how does it work in practice? What does it look like? What is the user experience?
When you run PCLaw in the cloud, everyone in your firm will log in to a virtual desktop. Within your virtual desktop, you’ll find your PCLaw, other applications, your documents, and your email. You and your firm can log in to your virtual desktop from anywhere: the office, a client site, or from home. You’ll also be able to log in from any device, like your work desktop, laptop, even your iPad. This makes you far less dependent on any one computer or device (or location). You’ll have access to all the tools that PCLaw provides to capture more time, bill more effectively, track performance, and ensure compliance.
Functionally, you’re logging in to a remote system—like a dedicated computer in the cloud. When you open and work with any application (such as PCLaw) you’re actually working in that application on the private cloud server, not the device you’re connecting from. Current Internet speeds make this not only possible, but (with the right private cloud platform) as seamless and secure as if you were working on your own local desktop.
Imagine the improved workflows of your firm after you have moved to a private cloud. You log in to your computer from any location, on which there are only a few icons: Your favorite browser, your recycle bin, and a shortcut to log in to your virtual desktop. Once you log in, you have access to all the tools and benefits that will make it easier to manage your firm, including:
- Access to PCLaw and all your other software solutions
- Add-on options, including compliance applications
- Personal/individual files and folders
- Faster and easier upgrades
- Ultimate security and backup options
PCLaw is truly a holistic solution for the ever-changing needs of today’s law firms. With quick, secure access and easier upgrade capability, it makes perfect sense to move to the cloud.
Official Path for PCLaw in the Cloud
In October of 2017, LexisNexis announced the launch of its Authorized Hosting Program. This new program gives users of PCLaw an authorized, supported roadmap for using PCLaw and LexisNexis products in the cloud. It also ensures customers that the providers they partner with truly understand the complexities of hosting a legal solution in the cloud.
Now, when a firm wants to move their PCLaw—or their entire practice—to the cloud, they have a defined path.
Authorized Hosting Program companies have been thoroughly reviewed and vetted by LexisNexis. And more important, the support teams of both LexisNexis and its list of Authorized Hosting Program partners work hand-in-hand to deliver best-in-class customer experience and a smooth transition to running your firm in a private cloud.
Closing the Loop
PCLaw is a powerful tool to manage your law practice. And using PCLaw in the cloud is a great way to eliminate servers, streamline your technology, secure your data, and work anywhere.
Many law firms have taken up this marriage of practice management and private cloud, and as a result have experienced a new level of security and productivity. Are you ready to join the top-tier firms that are moving PCLaw to the cloud?