This week, our team is heading to Chicago for ABA TECHSHOW. Every year, we look forward to this event: tech-loving legal professionals, interesting sessions, and countless product announcements, all make for a wonderful three days. This year is even more special, it’s Zola Suite’s fifth anniversary! That’s right, we officially unveiled Zola Suite at TECHSHOW 2015 in a slightly warmer Chicago (the event took place in April that year).
To say we’ve come a long way in five years is an understatement. We’ve evolved and grown in ways we couldn’t imagine back in 2015 but then again, so has the legal industry.
When we launched, like many other cloud-based LPMs, Zola primarily served solo practitioners and small firms; not because Zola Suite was only suitable for firms of that size but because smaller firms tend to be more tech-agile and embraced cloud-technology far sooner than the middle market and Am 200 firms. Fast forward to this anniversary year and, my goodness, how the tides have turned. Today, we serve firms ranging from solos to 150 users.
As we look to the next five years and beyond, the core principles on which Zola was founded continue to shape our vision and push us to innovate.
Built-In, Never Tacked On
In looking around the LPM market five years ago when we launched Zola Suite, the leading cloud providers were entirely integration-reliant. This still rings true today. While many tout a full end-to-end solution, that’s simply not true unless you leverage other platforms, too. We often see this with legal accounting; there are at least a dozen law practice management providers who say their systems feature accounting but it’s really Quickbooks that supplies the accounting functionality. The issue with that is two fold: 1) Firms are still forced to carry multiple monthly subscriptions and their staff must master multiple platforms, and 2) Relying on disparate systems leads to inefficiencies and reporting deficiencies. (Not to mention, Quickbooks was not built for law firms and doesn’t include trust accounting.)
At Zola Suite, all core functionality is native to the application and, as we look ahead to the future, this core functionality is expanding. We understand that some practice areas require specific tools to be efficient and effective. Intellectual Property is a perfect example of this. In addition to a practice management tool, IP firms have historically been forced to use a separate system for docketing.
Introducing Ambient IP
We remain committed to eliminating information silos and we don’t tolerate inefficiencies. To better serve our IP firms, we are pleased to offer Ambient IP, Zola’s next generation IP docketing suite. This powerful tool, which seamlessly pulls data from the USPTO, is native to Zola Suite giving firms best-in-class matter management tools, sophisticated legal billing and complete business and trust accounting in a single platform.
Ambient IP is just the start of what’s to come. We’ve also developed a suite of tools for Insurance Defense firms with important features such as split billing, consolidated billing, flexible LEDES billing, robust hard-cost management, and comprehensive timekeeping and productivity reporting.
Our goal continues to be delivering more value to the firms we serve and we know that by delivering dedicated tools to meet their specific needs, we will help more firms excel.
Zola Suite users can expect dozens of practice area-specific releases in 2020.
What Isn’t Measured Can’t Be Improved
Law firms are complex businesses and without the right data, they can be challenging to manage and, ultimately, improve. At Zola Suite, we’re fanatical about the data that can help our clients make better decisions and make more money. Last year, we launched our Admin Dashboard, a powerful view of the firm’s key business intelligence metrics.
This year, we’ve improved our reports and added a few new ones, including our Timekeeper Goals report which allows firm administrators to set, and track, billable hours and/or total billing goals for members of their firm. This new feature includes data visualizations so it’s easy to see who’s meeting expectations and who is falling behind.
Come visit Zola Suite at booth 917 to help us celebrate our anniversary and see why so many firms have made the switch to Zola.