Stretching your tech dollars   lawyers circa 1994
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Stretching your tech dollars lawyers circa 1994



Chaim Yudkowsky, CPA, CITP, CGMA - Byte of Success

Chaim Yudkowsky, CPA, CITP, CGMA - Byte of Success

Delivered to legal professional association group in 1994. Reflective of nearly 20 years ago technology trends.



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  • How many are changing the way you use automation over the next year? For the next 2 hours we will be discussing automation in the context of maximizing your dollars. Therefore, throughout this presentation I will be asking you to tell me about yourselves, and your automation experiences. To maintain focus, I ask that you participate throughout with your questions and thoughts about topics we discuss as we discuss them. Please save very specific questions about your organization or topics we are not discussing for the end.
  • Why are we here today? For those already using automation, you will be better equipped to continue with technological advances. For those new to automation to give you focus, purpose and approach to introducing automation to your group. Because no organization is exactly the same, while not everything I say will apply to everyone, I consider this meeting a success if each of you goes home with at least six new ideas or ways to consider automation.
  • How many of you have at some time asked: Why automate? How many of you have been asked the same question? Here are some of my reasons: Do you want to add anything to this list?
  • After considering your answers to “Why?” consider this: Now what is the why!!
  • Doing work efficiently is clearly not synonymous with productivity!
  • Work where it makes sense The concept of reengineering the workplace that is today’s management philosophy tounted about.
  • To establish greater success in establishing real answers to “why automate” we have to establish some ground rules: 1. While technology enables new processes, take a step back. The media in many respects are under-educated about many of the innovations they hype. Changes in technology may not necessitate change. 2. Successful technology is often not a statement about trendiness or fashion - it represents a well-thought out process which we will be talking about shortly. This leads to3. Needs determine what and why? As business owners, you are each in business with objectives. Some of you provide training and some perform research. Is anyone here today that has the objective just to install hardware and software and use them? This leads to 3. How many of you have heard of the 586? How many of you think that you need a 586 even if Apple MAC software best met your needs. Approach anything new with a truly open-mind! 4. Not everything will work in every environment - know the players and your environment
  • 6. Usually, people can not afford to automate everything at once. Instead automation is implemented over time. Therefore a cohesive strategy is critical to significantly increase the value of this year’s investment in the context of what “you are planning for next year.” An added plus is that the budgeting for automation related purchases will be more predictable. 7. Always establish official rules for equipment and software usage. Those rules can include Not running illegal software Using virus protection software Protecting the original software disks Buy software from reliable sources 8. 9.10. Never underestimate the value of training! For instance, according to a a recent study, 25 million PC users waste 5 billion hours. Unsurprisingly, a large part of that waste stems from inadequate training. Inefficient daily use of anything automated is far more costly than initial training. Always! Make it available and mandatory for all users. And remember, if you are not sure if you are doing enough training, you usually aren’t!
  • Lawsuits: Recent decision against Borland using Lotus-like commands in Quattro Pro. Suit against Novell and some of its largest customers. Recently one customer, Bank of America settled for $125,000. Suit against Novell is $200 million. “ Computers are like dogs -- they know when you are scared of them.” In fact, Dell Computer Corp. said as a result of a survey they did,”Fear of technology may well be the phobia of the 90s.”
  • For every big ticket purchase we make a cycle is followed. For instance, I am considering purchasing a new car. First I determine “Do I need one?” - Feasibility study Next I determine “What do I need it to do?” - transportation, statement, maintenance free - Requirements definition Next I visit dealers, take a few test drives, and haggle over price check out amenities - Selection & negotiation Next I accept delivery and learn how to play with all the new gadgets. I also buy The Club for my new car Next I take it off the lot and test it one time now as the proud new owner I then establish procedures for it such as where to park it and that my teenage brothers can not drive it. Finally I always evaluate whether it is meeting my performance expectations, whether it continues to meet the requirements originally defined, and whether my requirements changed. In every automation purchase you pass through these steps, though you may have focused on it.
  • How many of you have had a disasterous automation story? Keep your hands-up please How many of you know of a disasterous automation story? How many of those stories had happy endings? Let me share something that automation vendors know. New automation as any major organizational change has a honeymoon period where there are high expectations and high satisfaction This is always followed by even higher expectations but lower satisfaction In a successful installation, satisfaction improves over time as the learning curve is navigated.
  • What should you look for in software? We’ll use WordPerfect, the wordprocessor as an example. over 1,000 types of printers can be used with it 800 phone support most of the day for free 11 million legal users internationally Does anyone have any other general requirements to add?
  • GUI - are like multiple choice tests. Ideally they are intuitive and have a shorter learning curve. Wireless: When the first cellular system was activated in 1983 in Chicago, AT&T predicted fewer than 1 million people would use such service by 2000. The reality by the end of 1993 there were over 16 million users with 14,000 new users joining every day! OCR- HP Scanjet (with optional paper feeder) and Calera recognition Systems’ Wordscan
  • In a recent article in the Communications Week trade publication, Vice President Al Gore told the story about Michael Faraday, the inventor of the electric generator. Once he was showing Benjamin Disraeli, the great statesman, through his lab, taking pleasure in demonstrating all the effects he could produce. At the end of his tour, Disraeli said, "Well, what good are all these things?" Faraday answered, "What good is a baby?" HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Acc. to Voice Information Association voice recognition marketplace will reach $750 million in 1997 and synthesis of $550 by 1997. Used now in education i.e.. Microsoft’s Encarta CD-ROM that has single disk for the 29 volume Funk & Wagnall's encyclopedia. Voice recognition by Dragon Systems and Mead’s new software for attorneys that responds to voice. “ Multimedia is a timely and necessary solution to information access, presentation, and communication problems.” Robert Aston President Market Vision Ben Delaney, Publisher & Editor of CyberEdge Journal said in a October 4 article: “VR now is like the PC in 1979 -- a solution looking for a problem. You’ll see things like spreadsheet add-ins that give you better ways to look at data, network access front ends for data cruising, and software for almost any training scenario.” Videoconferencing - face-to-face = trust
  • Now that you know how to buy let’s talk about what to buy. These are the functions we will discuss today
  • Word processing Document Management: PC DOCS, Backtrack Lotus Development Corp. - AmiPro Comparison : CompareRite (Juris) and Docucomp Microsoft Corp.. - Microsoft Word Citation checking: CheckCite WordPerfect Corp. - WordPerfect Desktop publishing Aldus Corp. - Pagemaker Frame Technology Corp. - Framework Microsoft Corp. - Microsoft Publisher Ventura Software - Ventura Publisher Electronic forms Futurus Corp. - Team (formerly Right Hand Man) WordPerfect Corp. - InForms (new) Does anyone want do define for us the difference between wordprocessing and desktop publishing? In my mind, wordprocessing is the ability to produce standard office correspondence. Desktop publishing is the ability to produce “published quality” documents on the desktop. With the advanced capabilities of today’s software and hardware, the line between the two areas have become blurred and this trend will continue. Still, for true publishing quality, often text is created in a wordprocessor and formatted using a desktop publishing package. Regardless of how you are accomplishing desktop publishing, don’t forget to do it right. We are not all born with a talent to graphic design artists. Therefore, learn about it read about it. Here are some good books on the subject. I’ve brought three of them here, all by Roger Parker. There are quite a few magazines and newsletters on the subject as well including Publish ! Electronic forms is a relatively new way of preparing paperless documents - electronic forms. This type of technology is just in its infancy but may be worth considering for expense reports, survey forms, info gathering devices, etc.
  • As an accountant though, my focus is to look for software that does double-entry accounting where the controls and trail are intact. Timeslips with One Write Plus, Peachtree for Windows TABS III PC Law Jr PACS MAS90 Juris
  • In addition to accounting software that captures financial transactions, there are some types of financial software that may make sense to a business depending on the size, man-power, requirements, and reporting built into the accounting software. They are: Cash flow is as essential as water is to life. Tax return preparation + 5500 (employee benefit plans) Spreadsheet - for manipulating information, budget what-if analysis, etc. Other- Does anyone have an example of of a financial function that we have not addressed? Cost ranges from under $100 for Up Your Cash Flow (cash flow) on up for these features.
  • E-Mail Futurus Corp. - Team Lotus Development Corp. - cc:Mail Microsoft Corp. - Office Notework Corp. - Notework WordPerfect Corp. - Office Is anyone here currently using e-mail? What is E-mail? Regular mail assumes everyone has a mailbox. Then carrier like US Postal Service picks up your envelope that was deposited in mailbox and delivers your letter to the addressee’s mailbox. E-mail works in the same fashion. When your computer is connected to others, you can use the same carriers that allow you to move data and programs to move messages, files, memos, phone slips, etc. For those currently using it, how does it help you? Electronic mail is a means of providing better communication. You can use it between locations, it can be always available, and it can be less intrusive tahn phone calls or pagings (in larger organizations, assuming the person is still at or near his/her desk). Here are some of its benefits.
  • According to our earlier rules, after we choose software, we may choose the hardware. There are many types of computers: 286, 386, 486, Pentium (586), Mac, portable, etc. Now you must choose a computer based on what will run your software and what you can afford. Before buying, play with a friend’s or play with a demonstration model. Look at the monitor. Is it clear enough for you? Do you need color or clarity or both. Consider whether you will be using it on the run and if so in what capacity? Ergonomics and radiation safety may be a concern. Radiation safety means using an FCC-certified computer and monitor certified to the Swedish standard. Ergonomics can be achieved by a variety of appliances. Printers: In brief, paper size desired, crispness of print, compatibility with existing software, whether or not color is necessary. Remember to consider the per page cost of consumables as well as printer speed. Operating system: Text based environment like standard UNIX, DOS are like essay questions while graphical user interface environments like Windows, OS2, NextStep are like multiple choice tests. the acronym for graphical user interface is gooey. Often a text-based environment though will make more sense for data-entry intensive function. Thus, a text-based accounting software that is gooey friendly may make sense. There are obviously other major differences between environments.
  • Maintenance provides many choices for any consumer. For a cost consouis business the choices especially need consideration before a strategy is decided upon. The choices are: How many of you are completely fixed fee? Why?
  • How many of you are using a local area network? What is a local area network? It is a way of attaching multiple automation devices together to allow for some of the following benefits. Do you have any suggestions for additional reasons for a LAN?
  • Although the dollars may vary, every LAN will have the following LAN associated expenses. One of the critical ingredients to a successful LAN is a successful LAN is someone responsible to see that it runs - Let’s call this person a network administrator. This person may be the bookkeeper, receptionist, whatever, but they are responsible. Alternatively, an outside vendor or a full/part time employee may be that administrator.
  • Here are some qualities necessary for a good administrator and some of his/her responsibilities We have one of our InfoLists that lists questions about what to ask in a interview that is technical.
  • There are two common DOS/Windows based networks. They are Novell’s Netware and Artisoft’s Lantastic. Although there are many places to get both, you may want to consider these levels of certification as a minimum. Certification indicates a financial and time commitment by the vendor to learn what they do well and while it isn’t foolproof it helps determine which vendors to research more thoroughly. Story about computer vendors Novell’s level certification applies to a vendor company while CNE or CNI applies to the individual similar to Lantastic’s designations. Five Star Connectivity Certified is a new designation so concentrate on the first certification for now.
  • User Groups many are non-profits as well: Computer Users of Baltimore (CUB) PC Capital User Group WordPerfect Baltimore Users Group Books: Inside the IBM PC and PS/2 by Peter Norton How to Buy Microcomputer Software by Microcomputer Customer/Vendor Advisory Board available through the SPA Explain who they are Looking Good in Print by Roger Parker (other Roger Parker publications for desktop publishing etc.) Compuserve is the largest commercial bulletion board /database service. It has some valuable forums hosted by vendors and others that address issues like the desktop publishing forum. They may be reached at (800) 848-8990 that has an inexpensive flat monthly rate and a hourly rate based on use. Bulletion boards for entrepreneurs, desktop publishing, home based businesses, etc. Internet is a quasi-governmental bulletion board service that many may have access to.
  • How many of you have used consultants? Do I need a consultant? Here are some reasons to consider one for automation-related change:
  • What type of consultant - these are some qualities he/she should have Are there any qualities that you think should be added?
  • Still keep this admonition by non-profit columnist Lester Picker in mind when using one.
  • To wrap up what we have discussed this afternoon,
  • Before I take questions let me test the success of this seminar: “ How many of you have at least 6 ideas to take home?” How many of you are currently here? FYI, This handout was prepared: Software: Microsoft PowerPoint 3.0 Microsoft Windows 3.1 Hardware: Everex 386is (386 16 MhZ) with 7.5 megabytes of RAM QMS PS-1700 Printer (Postscript 600 x 600 dpi)
  • Drive carefully on your way home.

Stretching your tech dollars lawyers circa 1994 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Your Technology Dollar Presented by Chaim Yudkowsky, CPA Grabush, Newman & Co., P.A. November 29, 1994 Maryland State Bar Association Caroline County Bar Association Talbot County Bar Association 515 Fairmount Avenue Suite 400 Baltimore, MD 21286 (410) 296-6300
  • 2. Objectives To provide you with a framework for maximizing your technology dollar for your law firm. To give you at least two new ideas, concepts, or ways to look at issues effecting your technology investment.
  • 3. Trend Fundamental societal shift to being “Knowledge based.” The Post Capitalist Society by Peter Drucker
  • 4. Why (continue to) automate? Improve productivity Increase accessibility Improve accuracy Improve efficiency Improve clarity and neatness Increase timeliness Reduce costs
  • 5. “In the 1980s, a trillion dollars were expended on software technology, but white-collar productivity declined. There is a lot more [to it] than just automating your production.” Jim Manzi, President & CEO Lotus Development Corp. Reality “An Anderson Consulting survey... found surprisingly low satisfaction with returns on corporate investments... Overall a staggering 81% of those polled ranked their organization’s payback on technology spending as ‘minimal’ or ‘average’.” Joseph Maglitta Computerworld October 18,1993
  • 6. What can I do to maximize my investment? Questions to answer today
  • 7. Efficiency ≠ Productivity
  • 8. Defining productivity Should the work be done? Who should do it? How should it be done? When should it be done? How do you measure improvements? Goal: Response to increased competitive pressures in legal profession.
  • 9. Productivity statistics Improved productivity – Yes: 71% – No: 2% – Unclear: 23% Reduced cost – Yes: 50% – No: 6% – Unclear: 35% Source: Economic Analysis Group, 1994 study For firms with 1 to 9 attorneys
  • 10. Statistics Number of PCs shipped worldwide in 1994: 45 million Number of PCs retired in 1994: 20 million Percentage of law firms that are solo practitioners: 59% Number of attorneys using PCs in their practice: 83% Number of attorneys using LANs: 55% Percentage using computers away from office: 77% DOS vs. Windows: 52% to 40% Novell for LANs in small law offices:  in 1994 - 55%  in 1990 - 25% Source: ABA 1994 Survey Report of Automation in Smaller Law Firms and Business Week
  • 11. Spending statistics Past 12 months – None: 7% – Less than $5,000: 45% – Between $5,000 and 10,000: 22% – Between $10,000 and 25,000: 19% – Over $25,000: 8% Next 12 months – None: 14% – Less than $5,000: 49% – Between $5,000 and 10,000: 24% – Between $10,000 and 25,000: 10% – Over $25,000: 4%
  • 12. 10 commandments of automation (Part I) Ignore the media hype Never be first to buy a technology – Remember you are running a business Let needs determine innovations to adopt – Automation is a means not an ends – Management issues take precedence Software dictates hardware – Talk to the vendor Know your organizational culture – Talk to support staff
  • 13. 10 commandments of automation (Part II) Spend time on automation strategy Establish rules for equipment and software usage Invest in training! Training is not discretionary! Invest in training!
  • 14. Technology - Issues Confusion / choices Standardization Promises, promises Speed Frequency of innovation Support Obsolescence User fear Indirect costs Complexity Paperless Commodity vs. tool
  • 15. Purchase cycle Feasibility study Requirements definition Vendor selection / negotiation Installation and training Testing Implementation / Procedures Post-implementation
  • 16. Common user experience Satisfaction Time %
  • 17. What to look for Ease of use Quality user interface Ability to customize Networkability Quality printer support Quality documentation Availability of training Availability of technical support Other user experiences
  • 18. Technology plan Define needs and goals – Reduce cost – Improve quality of product or information – Increase marketshare Define requirements to meet objectives Quantify the value of meeting the goal Create a plan budget & implementation plan Perform cost-benefit analysis of project Ratify plan Monitor progress
  • 19. Technology - Existing technologies Personal computers CD-ROM services (only 35% of responding firms) Laser printers Cellular phones Color printing E-mail Fax Voice messaging Graphical User Interface Wireless Scanning - OCR
  • 20. Technology - Emerging technologies Scanning- Imaging Groupware Animation (P.I.) Direct access to court / governmental records Virtual reality Video conferencing Personal digital assistants Voice synthesis & recognition Chips -- Pentium and beyond
  • 21. Functions to automate Document preparation Financial recordkeeping / practice management Research Case management Docket control Conflict checking Litigation support Electronic mail Database management Contact management Calendaring Other
  • 22. Document preparation Word processing Document management Desktop publishing Electronic forms processing Document comparison Document assembly Automated citation checking software
  • 23. Financial recordkeeping (Part I) General ledger – Double entry bookkeeping Time & billing – Expense recapture – Management reporting Trust accounting Accounts payable Cash receipts and disbursements Trust accounting Payroll
  • 24. Financial recordkeeping (Part II) Cash flow projections Tax return preparation and planning Tax forms on CD Specialized reporting Spreadsheet Other
  • 25. “The practicing lawyer who is not on-line may soon be out of business.”
  • 26. Research - On-line Dialog Lexis/Nexis Westlaw CompuServe- Lawsig Dow Jones Internet Law Journal Extra (212) 545-6199 LRP Publications ABA/Net PTO/BBS The Federal Bulletin
  • 27. Research - CD-ROM U.S. and state Code CCH Services: Federal Tax, Blue Sky Laws & Regs, etc. Matthew Bender Libraries West Publishing services Specialized law on CD-ROM – Disability – NAFTA – Insurance – Tax – Patent – Bankruptcy – U.S. Supreme Court decisions
  • 28. Electronic mail Accessibility to local colleagues Accessibility to remote colleagues Accessibility to colleagues already on the phone Documentation of messages and conversations No more trips to their desks Attaching or routing files Available for future reference Vs. voice mail
  • 29. Hardware What kind of computer? – Capacity – Reliability – Compatibility What type of printer? Which operating system / environment?
  • 30. The Marketplace Source: PC Week, October 3, 1994 PC System Price Q4 '94 Q4 '95 $3,000 100 MHz Pentium 120 MHZ Pentium $2,500 90 MHz Pentium 100 MHZ Pentium $2,000 60 MHz Pentium 90 MHz Pentium $1,500 66 MHz 486DX2 75 MHz Pentium $1,200 33 MHz 486SX 100 MHz DX4
  • 31. Hardware maintenance Self maintain Time and materials Fixed fee Combination
  • 32. Why a LAN? Coordinating resources Data exchange Sharing resources Centralizing backup Sharing of workload Data and equipment security Better communication
  • 33. LAN costs Installation Support Operating system and hardware Network administrator Training Other
  • 34. System administrator Requirements – knowledge of system – able to organize time and prioritize projects – excellent communication and training skills – teamworker Responsibilities – write and maintain system-related procedures – perform regular backups and maintain log – answer user questions – help resolve user questions – perform system file maintenance – help decide on hardware maintenance strategy
  • 35. LAN vendors Novell - Netware – One on staff CNE or CNI – Gold or Platinum level certification Artisoft - Lantastic – Five Star Gold Certified or – Five Star Connectivity Certified Microsoft Windows for Workgroups
  • 36. Resources MD and local Bar Associations MICPEL A CPA and/or consultant PC-related User Groups Periodicals – Law Office Computing Library / books
  • 37. Why a Consultant? Knowledge Experience Objectivity Short term employment
  • 38. What consultant? Experience References Objectivity Team-worker Similar values as yours
  • 39. Unanswered question How do you bill for services made quicker by automation?
  • 40. “Expecting a consultant to come in and apply preset solutions is asking for trouble. A good consultant should teach an organization how to fish, not provide fish for it.” Lester a. Picker, Columnist in The Sun Remember...
  • 41. Good news An MIT study found a 64% return on investment in information technology over four years among 380 large companies. That was measured in terms of real benefits Quality Customer service Time to produce
  • 42. Point 1 “The solution to improved productivity is not better software but rather a better understanding of business and its objectives.” Milt Bryce A reader writing in Business Week
  • 43. “There is a huge difference between ‘the best money can buy’ and ‘the best for the dollar.’” Anonymous Point 2
  • 44. Point 3 “There is a tendency in schools to look at technology for technology’s sake... Technology is a tool not an end objective. It lets you do something --once you have set out what you want to accomplish. Information technology makes it possible for people to become true knowledge workers, to increase their output and change the nature of their job...” Lou Gerstner, CEO of IBM The future of technology in education Business Week Insert - November 15, 1993
  • 45. Point 4 “Senior managers (attorneys) who do not make information technology an integral part of their business strategy will find their future seriously threatened by competitors who do.” Jack Juison, Asst. Professor of IS Fordham University Reader of Business Week
  • 46. Questions ?
  • 47. Drawing The highest % in the survey used Timeslips: 27%
  • 48. THE END