Monday, March 10, 2008

Floodgate Warning?

For those who are keeping an eye on the 3-5 year law firm systems retirement cycles and re-investment horizon (especially in the APAC region), our friend Charles Christian reports something interesting this week. This could be nothing more than a fortunate win for the often confused SAP legal offering's positioning, or an interesting early warning sign.

International firm Cuatrecasas (with 22 offices, 193 partners and 1368 fee earners) has just placed an order for SAP "to handle finance, practice management, analytics, HR, workflow and elements of CRM.

Giant Spanish law firm Garrigues followed the Linklaters approach by investing in SAP as their new practice management/ERP application last year. Rather than adopt the traditional model of using the software vendors' direct implementation services teams (who can sometimes be left wanting in terms of capacity and experience on firm implementations of such size), the Garringues' implementation (like others of such size and significance) was undertaken by Accenture. Linklaters used Deloitte and their own expert resources heavily during their SAP project.

Charles notes that "SAP say the contract was won ‘in a competitive engagement’ against the Thomson Elite 3E product." The best possible response from Thomson now needs to be a firm of similar or greater size going live with (not simply purchasing) the 3E product - which was released to the market back in 2006 and is yet to be road-tested by a firm of such size.

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