This year’s AbacusMaximus conference was one for the books, with a lineup of inspiring speakers, one-to-one product trainings, and educational breakout sessions. Attendees had the chance to network with like-minded professionals and maximize their technology investments by attending these sessions. We also included keynote speeches and thought-leader panels to help attendees think big.

Our theme, REIMAGINE, encouraged attendees to use technology to transform their practices and take their firms to the next level. Steve Forbes, Colonel Eileen Collins, and Erin Brockovich tied this theme into their keynote speeches. We also heard from AbacusNext leaders about the company’s mission and roadmap. Here are five notable takeaways from the conference:

  1. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Colonel Eileen Collins referenced this famous Einstein quote as she told her story of becoming the first woman to pilot and command an American spacecraft. Focusing on her dream, said Collins, was the first step to succeeding in a male-dominated field. From there, she found the determination and strength she needed for the entire journey. Addressing your firm's technology needs doesn't have to feel as impossible as space travel. With a little imagination, you too can successfully navigate the challenges that come your way.
  2. "People are hungry for something they can trust. When people trust something, they want more of it." With these words, Steve Forbes explained why the Swiss Franc is a viable investment. Trust is also at the center of your work with clients. You earn their trust (and keep it) by: communicating with them in a timely manner; building a personal connection with them; sharing as much information with them as possible; keeping every appointment; and meeting deadlines. These actions demonstrate your commitment to them, boost your firm’s credibility, and increase the likelihood of referrals. Ultimately, developing trust with clients is vital to your success as a business.
  3. Put in the work. Erin Brockovich talked about what it means to dig deep and find motivation in times of adversity. She explained a concept called RAM (which stands for Realization, Assessment, and Motivation), something she calls “sticktuitiveness” (the combination of stubbornness and persistence), and the four L’s (Logic, Leverage, Loyalty, and Love). With these principles, she said, we can do anything – whether it’s fighting for environmental justice or simply keeping up with the latest technology.
  4. Security is more important than ever. According to former Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson, cyberthreats are getting worse. Criminals use everything from spyware to viruses to steal sensitive data. However, as AbacusNext VP of Technology Infrastructure TJ Schoessow explained in his presentation, a sound security strategy can keep your business safe. Schoessow advocated for encryption, user education, next-generation firewalls, security software and hardware, and the development of an incident response plan. The headline? Iron out your security plan (and practice it!) before it’s too late.
  5. AbacusNext has plans to improve your practice. In his opening remarks, AbacusNext CEO Scott Johnson outlined one of the most important initiatives of the year: becoming more client-focused. Our goals are to help small firms grow, make large companies nimble, and keep all firms safe. AbacusNext has a new department called Customer Success, which is responsible for reaching out to clients on a proactive basis to identify issues and provide updates. We’re also streamlining our customer service to ensure clients reach the person they need the first time they call.

During his roadmap presentation, AbacusNext EVP of Software Development Chris Cardinal spoke to our development strategy, which concentrates on four areas: cloud offering, opportunities for automation, a common platform, and user experience. AbacusNext is adding SAAS cloud offerings to give clients the chance to choose if they want to be on-premise, in the cloud, or in our private cloud. We’re also revamping APC. The long-term development strategy includes implementing artificial intelligence, new portal experiences, self-service tools, and integrations for eSignature and Microsoft OneDrive. Without a doubt, there’s no shortage of exciting changes coming your way!

So many people made this conference a success. We want to thank: our keynote speakers; our incredible emcee, Dawn Brolin; panelists Randy Johnston, Kacee Johnson, Greg LaFollette, and Peter Vogel; presenters Joe Hughey and Jeff Taraboulos; our generous sponsors (Microsoft, Canon, Netgovern, Case Status, ScanSnap, SHI, SmartVault, Smith, and Trace Advisors); and our attendees. We also want to thank Caesars Palace in Las Vegas for our incredible event space. See you next year!