Taking Software Integration from Zero to Hero – by Julian Bryan, Quill

When it comes to software, attempting to be ‘all things to everyone’ is a naïve goal necessitating a never-ending journey.

You’re inevitably going to have a number of software applications in your business, from business intelligence and case management to document management and legal accounting, plus everything in between.

Central to any law firm, in every respect, whether software or service based, is of course, your clients and their matters:

• It’s your clients you need to undertake checks for money laundering
• It’s your clients for whom you need to complete statutory forms and e-submissions
• It’s your clients for whom you need to present evidence for court
• It’s your clients with whom and about whom you need to correspond
• It’s your clients you need to service as best you can

That’s why we focus software development on integration relating to managing clients and matters. With our complete practice management software, pick ‘n’ mix solutions and third-party integrators, you get the right systems for optimum client and matter management. Whichever route you select – Quill-only or Quill-and-other-suppliers – you enjoy best-of-breed IT with full and seamless integration. Meaning that everything operates as a coordinated whole.

Compared to the alternative – running standalone systems with data stored in different disparate places – integration streamlines processes, enhances efficiencies, simplifies administration, reduces costs, provides analytical insights in real time, strengthens security, improves collaboration and much more besides. These benefits add up to superior customer service provision. Happy clients bring repeat instructions and recommend your legal services to others. And that’s good for business.

As we’ve established the plentiful advantages of software integration, let’s take a moment to think how you go about your daily work. Your desktop is central to what you do, right? The majority of us begin, repeatedly return to and end the working day on our desktop. That’s because our desktop is where we host shortcuts to our most-used systems and documents. To get technical, it’s the central area behind the windows in our graphical user interface.

It’s for this reason we’ve made integration with the desktop environment the focus of our recent software development efforts. The integration between your desktop and our Interactive Cloud application keeps getting cleverer. You can now hop between a client’s matter in Interactive and Word or Outlook, and vice versa, really quickly and easily. What’s more, with our new qSync application, you can send any documentation – for example file, spreadsheet, picture, scan or PDF – from your desktop to Interactive’s Document Hub with a simple right click. This allows you to save the correct documents against the correct client matter ready for reviewing or possibly bundling (more on this later!) on another day.
‘Why is this important?’, you may ask. Put simply, qSync empowers local working and global sharing. To all intents and purposes, you work locally on your desktop. In actuality, your desktop’s connected to the cloud so you work collaboratively with the rest of your team.

We also effectively cater for the trend of spending each day working in Microsoft Word and Outlook. Our MS Office add-in is the tool that makes this happen. It’s document management at its finest.

The add-ins create deep integration between your familiar Microsoft Office systems and your Interactive database and matter files, affording productivity enhancing features such as auto-detected-and-stored case-related emails, auto-saved documentation and appointment calendaring. A comprehensive library of folders of all Word-and-Outlook-generated correspondence is then readily accessible from your Document Hub.

On the subject of correspondence, Interactive Forms is the latest addition to our ongoing integration initiative. Comprising an extensive catalogue of essential legal forms, you sign in singly to Interactive, edit popular and template forms from the customisable control panel, enter data once which is then populated from your database to merge fields, and assign part or fully completed forms to the relevant matter in your Document Hub.

There’s a whole lot more to Interactive Forms than this though, not least e-submissions to government agencies, document bundling for court pack production, and sharing of forms with clients and counsel. Even better, you can choose outsourced typing support for dictation via our Type App with auto-typed-up forms saved straight back into your Document Hub within agreed timescales. The bonus of our typing service is that our pay-as-you-go, flexible outsourcing model can lead to up to 40% reduction in administration overheads when compared with in-house costs and gives you more time for servicing your all-important clients.

Taking into account, too, the growing demand for flexible and remote working, due to court attendance and other off-site commitments, Interactive has its own smartphone app for iOS and Android. This is yet another example of smooth integration in play. With an internet connection and using the same secure credentials to log in, users of our Interactive App can perform all manner of tasks to progress matters on the go. Functionality includes adding new clients and matters, viewing client and matter information, accessing listings of recent documents, using stopwatches, recording fee earner time and authorising e-chits. It’s pretty much the same capabilities as the standard version of Interactive.

At the outset of this client-centric activity is the requirement to execute due diligence with reliable anti-money laundering and credit checks. Doing so ensures your customers’ identities are legitimate and they have the funds to pay for your legal services. Our integrated AML tool is the ideal way to protect against financial crime. You undertake AML or AML plus credit checks during client set-up, with instant pass or fail status, and lifetime storage of results.

So far, we’ve covered only Quill products on their own and demonstrated how Interactive is more than just a legal accounts system. As intimated, there’s the Quill-and-other-suppliers route as well. Our close API with a number of third-party software vendors facilitates the automated transfer of data – be it client and case details or time recording information – between the two systems. Whatever’s entered into the third-party system is auto-populated to ours. Although there are two systems in use, they operate as one.

We currently have integrations in place with various suppliers of case management, legal forms, document bundling, compliance management and workflow automation software. And we’re dedicated to continued third-party integrations in order to keep building our volume of integrators.

Reflecting back on our introduction, we offer this impressive range of integration options on a pick ‘n’ mix basis. You’re totally in control. Our role is to sort out the integration accordingly. Every bespoke package can be yours for a surprisingly affordable sum and backed up by award-winning support.

Do get in touch with your integration enquiries. We’re all ears. Email info@quill.co.uk, call 0161 236 2910 or visit www.quill.co.uk.

Julian Bryan joined Quill as Managing Director in 2012 and was also the Chair of the Legal Software Suppliers Association from 2016 to 2019. Quill has been a leading provider of legal accounting and case management software, and the UK’s largest supplier of outsourced legal cashiering services to the legal profession for over 40 years.