As part of my PR and marketing role at swcomms, I am always on the lookout for sales trends to help shape our future content and to target our resources. One of the latest trends I have identified is the rise of the adoption of cloud-hosted telephony among law firms.
A colleague asked me to pull together a list of our law sector customers for a presentation he was doing and the most common product between them was our Horizon cloud hosted telephone system, with many of them installed in the last 12 months.
I asked my field sales colleagues what made a cloud-hosted solution so attractive to law firms.
One of them described law firms as being “clued up” in that they were immediately able to appreciate the benefits. He also said they understood that telephony is changing and were willing to invest in new technologies.
It seems law firms are aware of the transition from onsite traditional telephone systems with ISDN or PSTN lines to cloud-hosted solutions that are run on internet connections. BT Wholesale has announced it will be phasing out ISDN and PSTN in the new few years, so it appears firms are motivated to be ahead of the curve and have telephone systems and connectivity that will serve them well into the future.
Another colleague focussed more on the features that law firms like to use to their advantage. His top two were unified communications and reporting.
Unified communications and mobility
To expand, the Horizon solution enables fee earners to remain contactable even when they are not at their desks. Partners, solicitors, paralegals, etc., are often in meetings with clients, in court, or travelling between meetings, so they need a solution that will follow them wherever they are working. Desk phones can be twinned with mobiles phones to retain their professional identity and all the corporate features they need while they are on the move. Voicemails can be left as sound files on emails to be played when there is a convenient time to do so.
The reporting functionality and all the live and historical statistics can be very simply viewed meaning law firms can see what calls they have taken or made and, in the case of fee earners, accurately bill for them.
Having worked for a law firm, I have some other benefits I would like to add.
Law firms with multiple branches will typically have an onsite or on-premise telephone system at each site, which is very costly. Alternatively, all branches will link to one site where the central telephone system is located. A hosted telephony solution allows multiple branches to link together via suitable connections to the internet. There is no on-premise solution to look after while users and sites can be added very easily.
By using an internet connection for calls, this eliminates a need for ISDN and PSTN lines. Even if a firm’s existing internet connection is not suitable and they need to invest in something better, there are still savings to be made on free calls to UK landlines and mobiles, as well as inclusive upgrades and support costs. Lawyers like a saving, so I am sure this benefit is appealing!
Line capacity and business continuity
Law firms live and die by incoming inquiries. If the phone is engaged or there is fault, many people will simply ring the next one they see listed in a Google search. With a hosted solution, you gain extra line capacity, i.e. the ability to handle more concurrent calls, and business continuity is built in with pre-set diverts ready to redirect calls to another branch or mobiles if there is a line fault.
A cloud-hosted telephony solution seems a perfect fit for cost-conscious law firms that want to improve their client care. We’ve been convinced of the benefits of this technology for a while now and it seems our recent converts are on board too.
If your law firm is considering moving to a future-proofed cloud-hosted telephony solution, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.