If you are upgrading to a new system, it is usually imperative that the data from your old system can be brought forward to the new system. This is referred to as a data conversion or data migration.
Typically firms will have many years of client, case and accounting information which they will need to access in the new system. Ongoing cases will have vital information including details of bills, disbursements, monies held on client account, time recording, document history, etc. In addition to the current live matters and clients, there is a myriad of previous client and matter information (which is a great source of marketing data) and the firms day-to-day nominal ledger and management accounting information. Usually it would be inconceivable to lose this data and re-entering it is just impractical. This is when a data conversion or data migration comes in.
How We Do It
A data conversion is a bit like taking all of the pieces from one jigsaw and changing them around to make a new picture in a different jigsaw.
To do this you have to be able to take the first one apart, understand each of the pieces, how they fit together and why, then figure out what you need to do to them to make them fit into a similar but fundamentally different picture. To do this successfully requires a combination of quite specialist skills. This is why many practice management system suppliers are reluctant to do data conversions and often charge eye-watering prices for them.
At Insight Legal, we are experts in Data Migrations. We have performed over 100 migrations from more than 20 different systems into the Insight Legal PMS. We recognise and understand the range of skills needed to perform successful data conversions and ensure that our staff have the required experience and knowledge.
We start by analysing the data in your current system. Often we will have already done a number of conversions from the system that you are using. After analysing your current data, we will produce or modify the routines we use to convert that data into the Insight Legal system. This might throw up a number of questions regarding things like matter types, departments, fee earner codes, chart of accounts etc., so we might need to consult with you on some of these things during the initial stages of the conversion. Once we have got everything converted and balancing, we will make this available to you as a trial run. This gives you the opportunity to ensure all of the data you expected to be there is there is all present and correct. We can produce all kinds of reports and printouts but nothing compares with actual experience of seeing and using the Firm’s own data in the new system. Once this is available to the end-users, it may highlight unforeseen issues that can then be resolved long before the live conversion. Sometimes this may require a subsequent trial to ensure that all issues are resolved before go-live day.
What is Included?
This will vary from conversion to conversion and we will be able to produce a full report of what we can practically convert once we have completed the trial run. Typically, conversions will include;
- Clients Details – Including names, addresses, contact details, etc.
- Matter information – Including dates, descriptions, case workers, etc.
- Fee Earners
- Departments and Matter Types
- Banks – including Transactions
- Matter Ledger Transactions – Including Bills, Disbursements,
- Time Recording – Including Entries, Charge Rates, etc.
- Nominal Ledgers – Including Chart of Accounts and Transactions
- Document History – Including Word Documents, emails, PDFs, etc.
How Much Does it Cost?
We currently offer basic data conversions for a flat fee of £600.
What constitutes a basic conversion is a system we have seen before and are confident we can do a complete conversions. Where we might need to modify the standard pricing is where we come across a system we have not seen before or if there are some specific and unusual requirements. Perhaps surprisingly the amount of data does not make much of an impact on the time taken to do the conversion or the cost. To convert 200 cases is not that different to converting 200,000 cases. The time consuming part of the process is designing and completing the procedure to convert the data, once that is done, the volume of information does not make a great deal of difference.
What Systems can we Transfer From
There are a number of current Legal Accounts, Practice Management and Case Management systems in use today.
So far, we have been able to migrate data from every system that we have encountered. Here is a list of some of the major and recent systems that we have converted;
- Perfect Books
- Opsis Millennium
- Videss V9
- Advanced Law Business
- AlphaLAW esprit
- AlphaLAW esprit Plus
- AlphaLAW Vantage
- AlphaLAW Junior
- Quill Pinpoint
- Katron Solidus
- Tikit TFB Partner for Windows
- Lawbyte from Edgebyte
- Eclipse Proclaim
- Harvest Law
- Quick Books
- SOS (Solicitors Own Software)
Do Things Ever Go Wrong?
Very rarely, but it can happen!
Data conversions are very complex and that means there is a degree of risk. We mitigate this risk as far as possible by completing the trial conversion ahead of the live one. This gives everyone plenty of opportunity to test the conversion and pick up any issues early on. When things do go wrong, we will drop everything to put it right. It may be possible to re-run the conversion but more often than not we will need to fix the live data. Either way, what might look like a significant issue is usually not too problematic to resolve.