Light Reading

Legal Eagles Eye Good

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
4/13/2006
50%
50%

Houston-based Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP (ABHR) is a small firm with a large network.

Founded in 2003, ABHR is one of the few firms in Texas devoted solely to public law. The company's clients include cities, counties, water and municipal utility districts, and other public entities as well as developers and homeowners' associations. To coordinate its practice, ABHR uses ProLaw, a database solution for law firms provided by Thomson Elite, a leading provider of practice-management software to legal firms. ABHR's custom version of ProLaw includes more than 12,000 contacts as well as the firm's legal documents, client information, case-status updates, billing data, and so on.

When Debbie Cole, ABHR's chief administrator and IT liaison, began seeking a company-wide mobile messaging solution in January 2005, she knew she needed something that would give lawyers on-the-move access to the full ProLaw database as well as to their personal folders.

"ProLaw is the heartbeat of the firm," says Cole, "and all of that information is pushed down to public folders in Exchange. We knew we needed an application that would be able to integrate with those folders."

After a rigorous four-month process of examining "every provider and every possibility," as Cole puts it, comparing price, functionality, form factor, ease of use, and so on, ABHR settled on Good Technology Inc. 's GoodLink running on the Palm Inc. Treo 650 smartphone. (Cole was actually unaware of Good until the firm's sales rep from Verizon, ABHR's carrier, mentioned it.) ABHR now has about 35 users, both lawyers and administrative staff, on the Treos. The choice wound up a no-brainer, says Cole, because no other mobile messaging system could handle the firm's large number of contacts, integrate seamlessly with ProLaw, and provide access to personal folders on the handheld device as well. (See Palm Pushes Deeper Into Enterprise.)

"It was absolutely clear," says Cole, "that no one else could do what they can do."

The Allen Boone implementation is noteworthy because it demonstrates the growing importance of wireless integration with mobile enterprise applications, beyond basic push email. (See Filling Out the Wireless Application.)

Because the company's clients are often directors with full-time jobs, serving on boards that meet in the evening, many important gatherings take place outside office hours. And Allen Boone lawyers also spend significant time lobbying in the state capital, so when the Texas state legislature is in session, attorneys often find themselves making the three-hour drive on State Highway 71 from Houston to Austin. One of the firm's partners maintains an apartment in Austin for attorneys' use.

All of which means that Allen Boone attorneys work outside the office more than, say, civil litigation lawyers. Cole estimates that on average an ABHR lawyer has five meetings a day, three of which are outside the office. Keeping up with email, voicemail, and calendar appointments while in transit or in meetings is critical to the firm's success.

With the hodgepodge of mobile email devices lawyers carried previous to the GoodLink rollout, handhelds and PCs might fall out of synch for days at a time. Now, says Cole, synchronization happens almost instantaneously: "If I put something on a lawyer's calendar, it's on their Treo within two to three seconds. If I enter a contact, it's on their Treo within three to five seconds."

Another time-saving detail: If a user has a phone number included in a note or an email on the Treo, they can click on that number and the phone will automatically dial it, without having to add the number to the contact list first.

Total cost of the system was $425 per user for 28 months of GoodLink service, plus the monthly connection fees from Verizon. At just under $15,000 for 28 months, given the increases in efficiency and accuracy the system provides, ABHR's return on investment probably came within six months.

Going forward, Cole wants Good to include the "Categories" feature, as in Outlook, on the Treo user interface, so that lawyers can organize their contacts by district or case or client (an upgrade the company says it's working on), and to add voice-recognition capability to the phones -- a valuable safety enhancement, given the amount of time the lawyers use their smartphones while driving. Beyond that, she's still astonished that GoodLink has been as reliable and functional as it has.

"I figured that for it to synch [wirelessly], if that happened five days out of the week we'd be lucky," she laughs. "But we have just never had any problems. It's unbelievable."

— Richard Martin, Senior Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX – Live from the Show

8|21|14   |   5:58   |   (0) comments


An overview of VeEX Test and Measurement solutions including TX300S multi-service test set with VeExpress cloud-based management system, UX400 universal modular platform supporting 100G testing, and the redesigned RXT modular platform.
LRTV Custom TV
Transitioning CE 2.0 Networks Into the SDN & NFV Era With Telco Systems

8|19|14   |   5:19   |   (0) comments


Telco Systems' Ariel Efrati (CEO) and Moshe Shimon (VP of Product Management) discuss virtualization and how the company's new Open Metro Edge solution utilizes the SDN and NFV concepts to accelerate and orchestrate service delivery through its innovative product portfolio and software applications.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Myths: Is NFV Still Several Years Away?

8|11|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


Some say that NFV (network functions virtualization) is still several years away from being implemented on mobile operator networks. This isn't the case. Operators can get started on their paths to NFV now, as this short video from Skyfire shows.
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Hot Topics
Nokia's Maps Land on Samsung Devices
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/29/2014
Now Google Planning Drones-to-Go
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/29/2014
Music to My Mobile
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 8/28/2014
Be Open to the Freedom of Openness
Kelly Herrell, 8/29/2014
Netflix to FCC: Kill Comcast-TWC Deal
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed