Welcome to the ‘Horizon’

March 2020 Issue

I hope this finds you all well, under what has quickly become very challenging and unprecedented circumstances. When compiling our last edition, coronavirus, or rather Covid-19 was something happening on another continent far away. How life has very quickly changed for us all.

I’m sure like all other businesses, on the expectation that at some point over the weeks ahead the current situation will start to ease back towards some form of ‘normality’, we are continuing as best as we can with a ‘business as usual’ approach.

Richard RoebuckAs we all migrate to our home bases, traffic patterns across the public networks have shifted immeasurably, with bottlenecks appearing where they previously did not exist. We have school children at home during business hours hammering online services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Gaming forums and such similar services. For many, this activity is having an impact on the performance of their broadband services. It’s important to remember that for the most part, Broadband in its various guises is a shared or contended service, not just within the home, but also down your streets. As such activity 3 doors away can and does have an impact in your home.

In a similar vein, we are noticing a good number of ‘older devices’ springing into life as people blow the dust off the ‘old PC and printer in the corner’.

It’s probably worth reminding all readers of the importance of taking care when working remotely. Cybercrime is flourishing throughout this period. The status of Windows 7 (and indeed older versions) have not changed. They are categorically end-of-life and should not, indeed must not be used for secure services such as online banking. I say to you all, on an individual basis to be on full guard if you are making use of such devices. Ensure your passwords are complex to any online service. If they are not, change them.

One urgent project that we are working on currently is that of the Family Courts shifting their operations to Skype for business. Clearly, this is a must-do and we have significant resource working on a structure and implementation framework for this.

Finally, our development teams remain committed to all and we have a number of ideas that are currently being developed to help firms reach their clientele in a digitally meaningful way, including the digital remote onboarding of new clients. This was something we have been working on for some time ahead of the current crisis, not realising just how important it could become so quickly.

Please enjoy the rest of the material in this edition and more than anything else, keep yourselves and your loved ones safe.

Richard Roebuck, Managing Director


What’s new?

Helping you connect …anytime, anywhere with

Skype for Business from Accesspoint

In light of the recent Covid-19 development, Skype for Business is going to become one of the required communication methods for all private and public Family law cases in the courts in Central, East and West London areas.

Learn more about Covid-19 Procedures

What does this mean for your firm?

  • If your firm already has Skype for Business then you will be able to make use of your existing subscription.
  • If your firm does not have Skype for Business then a new subscription will have to be made, providing you have all of the Office 365 product configurations ready.
  • If your firm needs to have Office 365 configured, it will have to be part of the overall set up to use Skype for Business. This will include validating domains, integrating with your in house Active Directory for Single Sign On and more.

Our highly experienced team is with you every step of the way and will make this transition as smooth as possible for your firm.

Helping you get started

  • Setup and configuration to Skype for Business
  • User setup and installation on the local PC though VOIP/ Video Conference solution
  • User license for a Microsoft Office 365 E1 license (already included as part of existing Office 365 subscription users)

What happens next?

Once your team’s platform has been launched, it is a blank canvas, similar to that of SharePoint, with Microsoft’s expectation that you build your own environment as you need it. To assist with that, we offer project management and platform configuration consultancy to build your platform based on your respective requirements.
We also offer a development contract as part of the solution so you can request changes and modifications to the platform over a period of time. Ensuring it is suited for your firm and its evolving needs!

Recipe for Recovery

Are SME firms prepared for disaster? In the past, they mainly had to contend with fire or flood, but in an increasingly digital world there are more catastrophes waiting to strike than ever – and firms may not be as prepared as they think.

There are numerous disasters that could cause businesses to cease operations for hours, days or even weeks – but perhaps the most common and damaging are tech failures.

Firms rely so heavily on their technology that a failure in their systems could be disastrous. What would happen, for instance, if someone dug into a law firm office’s main comms feed, or an upstream provider made a mistake configuring a central piece of routing equipment, which happened last year in a central London datacentre and forced a major part of London offline? Could the business survive without communication with clients for that time? These disasters are simple yet frequent and often have devastating effects on businesses.

Though there are no magic-bullet solutions to prevent disaster, most risk can be mitigated with an efficient and effective disaster recovery and business continuity plan in place.

Many businesses don’t prepare for disaster until one forces them to. Some are lucky enough to endure their first tumble and rectify any serious issues, but others are forced to cease trading shortly after the disaster strikes. It’s incredibly important to prepare and make sure that the business can not only recover after a catastrophe but continue to operate virtually undisturbed.

Developing a disaster recovery and business continuity plan can seem complicated, but it’s simply a matter of looking at the key points of weakness in a business and preparing for them.

Legal managers should ask themselves: What happens if a fire or tech failure occurs – can everyone work from somewhere else so that daily operations aren’t negatively impacted? Is our data safe? What can I do to get everything back up and working as quickly as possible? These plans can be supported with the right legal tech solutions, “leaving firms on cloud nine.”

by Victor van der Poel, Technical Director

What’s new?

New Products!

web360 - transforming how firms work

Introducing Web360

Our intelligent new package unites and streamlines your firm’s data.

Our Web360 package was created for firms of all sizes, in order to free up fee-earners time and improve data accuracy. Web360 also removes the process of manually handling data by automatically unifying data from various sources into a single origin – your PMS.

Here’s how it works

Web360 is powered by our innovative Flashpoint software, Flashpoint integrates various external data sources seamlessly into your PMS. Installing Flashpoint onto your system enables you to activate any of the following Web360 integrations, each of which allows your firm to become more efficient and joined up with IT.

What are the available integrations?

Our website integration allows your firm to seamlessly link your websites data directly into your PMS. As clients populate webforms on your website, the data will be automatically injected into your PMS within seconds. Your PMS will be configured to automatically validate the enquiry against existing entities and create a prospect/opportunity from the enquiry whilst notifying designated fee-earners of the new client. The prospect will also receive email confirmation that your firm has successfully received the enquiry.

Our FormShare integration allows your website to be integrated with Tikit FormShare (FormShare enables firms to use PDF Forms to electronically capture client data). The FormShare PDF data fields are linked to a custom built webform on your website, allowing clients to self-start the process by populating their information digitally. This data is seamlessly injected into your chosen FormShare.

Web Forensics allows you to track the entire digital journey of a client, from clicking on a Google advert or Facebook post etc, right through to the completion of their case – all within your PMS. This allows you to identify which marketing channels are providing quality leads and which aren’t. It also provides a complete ROI by cross referencing the cost of acquiring the client i.e a £2 advert click (PPC) against the final matter value. Forensics also maximises cross selling opportunities for your firm by automatically sending an e-shot to clients that visit chosen pages on your website.

FlashPad integration allows your handwritten notes to be digitally captured with a Smartphone App. The digitised scans are sent securely and are posted directly into your chosen PMS entity/matters or folders – dramatically reducing the admin time of manually carrying, scanning and storing notes.

Learn More About web360

Website Payment Portal

Accesspoint’s Payment Portal is deployed as a secure, easy to use standalone portal that can be integrated with your website to facilitate client payments for greater efficiency and more convenience.

The main features

Easy to use: Clients simply access the portal with a ‘Pay Invoice’ button on your website, hyperlinks on an email or even a hyperlink embedded into your letter templates.
Once on the portal, simple default fields are required; payment amount, invoice number, client name and email receipt address. Once submitted they are presented with a secure payment page in which card details can be entered and submitted.

Customisation: As standard your portal will be customised to your firms branding, but we also provide a customisation service which allows you to edit the entire design to suit your requirements. Our portal is deployed with our standard data fields but can be customised to accept any data fields your firm requires.

Payment Gateways: Our portal integrates seamlessly with over 50 payment gateways such as Stripe, WorldPay, Sage, Global Payments and more. This allows us to integrate the portal with your current financial setup to create a streamlined payment process.

Email Notifications: Our portal comes with pre-configured email notifications for complete traceability between your firm and client. As a client places an order, the client and your firm will both receive email confirmation. Emails are also sent when there is an issue with the client’s payment, such as incorrect information or expired cards.

Administration management: The portal has a secure login area for your designated internal contacts to log in and view reports of all transactions handled by the portal in granular detail. Monthly/Annual revenue reports can be dynamically created to track performance. Each order can be viewed and manually edited to accommodate instances in which clients make typos or errors on their payment. Notes can be added to orders for internal usage and email confirmations can be re-triggered.

Security: The portal uses secure payment gateways to provide you with a PCI-compliant experience that works across browsers and devices of all sizes. No card details remain on the portal, sensitive data is tokenised and sent directly to the payment provider without passing through our servers so you remain PCI-DSS compliant at all times.

Learn More About Payment Portal

Dates for the diary

TSL- The challenges facing small legal practices webinar- 27th March 2020
LSN- Legal CRM webinar- 7 April 2020- Time: 5PM
P4W Regional User Group- 7th May 2020- Manchester
P4W Regional User Group- 14th May 2020- London
Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards 2020- 7th July- London

A helping hand

Accesspoint are proud to have taken part in the Great Legal Bake 2020!

The Great Legal Bake 2020 supports Advice Agencies and the Citizens Advice Bureau to ensure that vulnerable people have a way of accessing justice through a mixture of “Legal Aid”.

Our amazing office bakers brought in some tasty snacks like banana and chocolate chip bread and extra gooey chocolate brownies. We couldn’t think of a more yummy way to get involved and show our support. Together with many other likeminded organisations, over £30,000 was raised for free frontline legal advice services.

We will continue to show our support throughout the year to different organisations such as the Harold Hill Food Bank, who supply three day food parcels for individuals and families who’ve hit desperate times and have been referred to the food bank service. Also, the Wipe Away Those Tears charity, which grants special wishes for children in Essex with life limiting or life threatening conditions.

LPM South Conference

The LPM South conference took place in early February in London, it was a great opportunity to meet many SME legal practice leaders from around the UK and talk to them about the wide range of services our team of legal IT specialists can offer.

Throughout the day a number of informative workshops and seminars took place, which not only allowed our team to interact with delegates but also enhance our knowledge on key operational topics.

A lunch to remember

It’s always a pleasure to attend and be a headline sponsor for the LSN networking events, it’s a great way to unwind and meet your fellow like-minded peers in the legal industry!

We saw such a fantastic response to our prize draw and we’re very pleased to announce that the winner of our Echo Show was Karen Court, we hope you enjoy it!