Your Amicus Attorney in the Cloud
Want the freedom to manage your firm anywhere on any device, while resting assured that your data is safe? Watch this Free Training Friday video to learn about the benefits of moving Amicus Attorney into Abacus Private Cloud.
About Free Training Friday: Since the beginning of 2017, we have been holding these free, 30-minute training hosted by our industry-leading experts and innovators who will teach you about AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, the Abacus Private Cloud, and now, Results CRM and OfficeTools Software. If you would like to request a topic, please email@example.com.
Hello and welcome to this Amicus Attorney Free Training Friday. Today’s topic is, your Amicus attorney in the cloud. My name is Anna Weinkam. I’m a marketing coordinator here at Abacus Next and I have here with me Paul Fihrer. He’s our senior solutions consultant. This will be about a 30 minute free training and we will answer your questions from the last 10 minutes. Feel free to input your questions in the question section of the GoToWebinar control panel. With that, I will let Paul take over. Hi Paul.
Hi Anna. Thank you. We’ll be talking about putting your Amicus in the cloud. This is the agenda for today. I’m going to introduce myself, talk about what is Abacus Private Cloud, what makes us different. I’ll do a quick demonstration and then we’ll do some Q&A.
Let’s start off with who I am. My name is Paul Fihrer. I’ve been with Amicus for three years and with Abacus now a year and a half. I’m intimately familiar with both Abacus and Amicus products. I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. I’m intimately familiar with technology, and technology in the cloud. I can answer any questions that hopefully you have about both Amicus and the cloud solution.
What is Abacus Private Cloud? Well, it is an infrastructure or a service that will allow you to take Amicus and that desktop solution, and put it in a private cloud. I’m not going to read the slide to you specifically, but the key point that I like to personally make is that it is a true, fully managed private solution in the cloud. I’ll talk about some of our differentiates as we go along. That’s what actually makes it unique for us. One of the unique points for us is that the private in private cloud, there are a lot of vendors out there that will say, we can offer you a cloud solution, but the uniqueness about us is that we are a true private cloud. One of the things you can see here is that we will deliver your own server for you. It’s encrypted. We are going to deliver to you what I call a turnkey solution in a private cloud.
Let’s actually break that down for you a little bit. Some of the benefits for you whether regardless of if you are a single or a sole practitioner, or you are a 50 or 100 user firm, it’s zero capital investment. We remove all of those disaster recovery burdens. It’s flexible. When I say flexible and scalable, what that means is you can start with two users, and then scale up as you grow to five, to 10 users. The real benefit to that is, it says flexible and scalable there. The real benefit is that you might buy a server. You might want to buy a server for the future if you’re two or three users and then have to grow into that. By the time you grow to five users, that server is old.
The benefit to the Abacus Private Cloud is, you don’t have to worry about that. There’s no capital cost up front. Also, we will refresh those servers for you every two years and you can grow into the servers. You buy for what you use now, and you grow into what you need to as you grow. That includes the data. If you have a small amount of data, you buy the server and the drive space for what you have now. You grow into the data as you need that.
Microsoft 365 integration, I will talk about that later. We have strategic partnerships with a bunch of different IT providers, Microsoft being one of them. A really good example of that is we have what I call boots on the ground. What that really means is that instead of calling Microsoft if you area large firm, if you have a problem with Microsoft, and then potentially calling your cloud provider and then calling Amicus, if you have a Microsoft problem. You can call Abacus. It’s I call it one number to call or a turn key solution. We have internal people where you can call us, a single number to call, for a Microsoft problem, for an Amicus problem, for your Windows updates, for all your cloud solutions. Instead of trying to figure out what the issue is with a problem, you call a single number, and we will resolve your problems.
One of the things that’s a third one from the bottom, any device and any applications. We pretty much support any application because as you will see later on, it is device agnostic. When that means I can have a Mac. I can have a tablet, an iPod, not an iPod, an Apple tablet. I was dating myself there, an Android device. I can have a Mac. I can have a Windows tablet. I can have a laptop. I can have a desktop. All those devices will work in the Abacus Private Cloud. My interface will look exactly the same. All I need is a device, and an internet connection, and I can go anywhere I want. Then I can have all my applications in one place. That differentiates us from a SAS solution, software as a service, in that I have multiple applications in different places. They all look different. I have to access them and potentially they don’t connect. Here, the Abacus Private Cloud everything is in one place.
What makes up the key elements of the Abacus Private Cloud? That’s critically important, critically important because in the legal industry, I always when I’m talking to clients, I want to talk about security. Security is critically important because the [inaudible 00:07:44] is on you to keep your data secure. We house all our data in what’s called tier four and tier five data centers, regardless of if you’re in the US, if you’re in Canada, and then in the UK. The other thing that’s important to understand, regardless of where you are, the data will stay where you are. If you’re in Canada, the data will stay in Canada. If you’re in the UK or in Europe, the data will stay in the UK and Europe. If you’re in the US, the data will stay in the US, unlike a SAS solution, there’s a very strong possibility you have no idea where the data is. All of our data centers, which are tier four and tier five, are compliment.
These things that you see at the bottom there, SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3, might not mean a lot to you, but they are very important. That means that they have security compliance, which means the top part, physical and logical security, key cards, retinal scanners, armed guards, things like security fences, barbed wire, those physical things are part of the SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3 compliance that allow a lock down of your data so they can’t be physically walked out the door. Physical security and compliance is very important to us, and very important to you. The other thing that’s important is that we manage our own physical infrastructure. It’s not through a third party. It’s us, Abacus Data Systems that is actually managing our own servers at the data centers ourselves.
Performance and reliability, so one of the things I talk about when I’m talking to clients is that one of the things that makes us unique is that we build a server that’s unique to you. Not only do we build the servers, we build it right down to the component level, and we use state-of-the-art technology. It might sound like a little thing, but the drives are solid state drives and for people that are not technically savvy, that really are just business people, what a solid state drive is means the drive is not a spinning drive, but a memory drive. Why is that important? It means from a performance and reliability standpoint, both performance and reliability, it means that your drives will perform quicker and they will not fail. Solid state drives are on physical memory stick, which means there’s no moving parts, which means they are much more reliable and they will not fail. They have a high, high redundancy rate. We build in redundancy. That full redundancy means that we have physically, geographically located back up data centers in different locations.
Example, in Canada we have Toronto and Montreal. In the US we have nine physically geo grated data centers. For example, an example I can think of is the switch data center in Vegas and then a Huston and San Diego. Those are some examples of where some of our data centers are and we back up the data to those other data centers on a nightly basis, so that all the data is in physical, geographic, different locations.
We also do automatic updates. One of the things that I know when I do technical assessments or assessments on client machines, we run these for you, and analyze where your systems are, as we find that a lot of times clients are not doing updates which is putting you at risk. We proactively manage the infrastructure, which means we are monitoring. Use the word proactive versus reactive. Most clients are reactively looking at their infrastructure, which means when something happens, then we react. We don’t do that. We have monitoring tools that are proactively monitoring all of your infrastructure in our data centers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, seven days, all the time. We’re not looking at your data, but we’re managing the infrastructure.
An example is, we’re looking to see god forbid a hard drive does fail. Does a machine run out of memory? Is a hard drive at 100%? Are you using all your available space? Do we need to notify you at 90% that you’re running out of space. We’re much more proactive of letting you know that something is about to happen.
Talking about data and data space, one of the things that we find very important is, and this comes up almost all the time is that we are the guardians of your data, but we do not own your data. That’s actually a critical point. In the legal space, it’s very critical to understand this. This is why it’s important to come to us, is that if we owned your data, and we got for example a [inaudible 00:13:50] request, they could in all intents and purposes, let’s say the government did a [inaudible 00:13:56] request for us. They could take all the data from all our clients. If you legally own your data, and we don’t own it. We’re just the guardians. We just send them back to you. You own your data. Every client owns their data. We’re just saying we’re the guardians. They have to go to you, and you own the data. We are application agnostics. I’ve talked about it. We are scalable. I’ve talked about that. We adhere to all the standards. I’ve talked about you saw on the screen there, HIPPAA and all the other standards.
I’ve talked about this but I wanted to make sure that I don’t forget this. I call it, we call it total care. I call it a turn key solution. We are fully managed IT help desk, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have a problem, and you happen to be working in one time zone versus somebody else in another time zone, you can call in to a 1-800 number. This comes back to something I said about, again I use Microsoft as an example but we have a lot of other partnerships. Many partnerships, QuickBooks which is Intuit, Microsoft, [inaudible 00:15:15] for our backups. These are industry leading IT vendors. Duo for dual factor security. A lot of people do not understand this or do not know what this is. These are companies that are best of breed products that will help you be successful from a security perspective or a back up perspective, from an application perspective, and these are things that you either use on a day to day perspective or don’t even know that you’re using.
Some of the things I’ve talked about what makes us different, and how it works. I’d like to talk a little bit about what truly, truly makes us different from our cloud perspective and what the real value proposition is and who are our true competitors.
When you look at the elements of a cloud solution, they make up a lot of things. I’ve broken them down into seven elements, support, software, database, operating systems, servers, network, and the data center. When you look at that, if you took them all and you said, I just wanted to go get a data center. I wanted to get an IT vendor. You might even have an Amicus product in a data center today. The challenge with that is, you’re dealing, as I said, you might be dealing with seven or eight different people and eight different companies, so our competitors are really a whole bunch of vendors out there that again, when you’re trying to solve a problem, you might be phoning 10 or 12 different numbers and trying to consolidate that and figure out where is the single problem.
With us, what we are is a technology as a service company. We’re not an infrastructure company. We’re not all these other acronyms out there. We’re a technology as a service company. We’re going to provide all of this infrastructure to you, maintenance, support, and this is an analogy just to say, we’re not just going to provide the land for you. We’re not going to fill out the utilities. We’re not going to fill out the framework. We’re going to provide the whole thing. We’re going to provide the roof, the foundation, the whole building and everything in it, so that you can learn from it, and maintain it, and we’re going to provide the maintenance. It’s a home that you can live in and we’re going to provide the maintenance to you. We’re a single solution with a single number, that you can live in it. That’s the simplest analogy I could come up with to break it down, to something that somebody could understand.
We have 35 years of experience, hundreds of partners that we’ve partnered with in the back end to help you be successful. That number is actually now wrong. We have over 400 dedicated people in the back end. It’s one solution partner that you can partner with.
What I thought of doing now is talking a little bit about how it actually works. What I wanted to first show you is everything that I’ve been doing today, I’ve actually been doing in the cloud. I was actually running this PowerPoint in the cloud. What I also wanted to do was show you that this is my desktop. I actually ran this from my desktop. What you’re familiar with today is probably if you’re not using the cloud, is getting your emails on the desktop using Amicus on the desktop. This is what your Amicus might look like if you’re using 2015, 2016. I can get my client files from here. I can access my client files from here. The beauty of this solution is your solution would look exactly the same. I can get my emails. I can access Outlook from here. I can access Amicus. It would look exactly the same. The learning curve is exactly the same. I don’t have to run through Amicus. I can show you that it’s exactly the same. This is exactly the same interface. I’m using the exact same tools. I can open my browser here.
Regardless of the device, and that’s the key here, regardless of the device, the interface will be exactly the same. The screenshot that you’re seeing behind here, I can access it from anywhere, from my office, from anywhere, from my home, and the infrastructure that we provide is fully secure. Really, I don’t have to spend a lot of time showing you anything because my interface will be exactly the same.
Q & A
How do I get my data from my Amicus on premise to my Amicus in Abacus Private Cloud?
It’s very straightforward. Once you sign up for the Abacus Private Cloud, we will ship you an encrypted drive. More than likely, and I can show you this here, more than likely, your set up, which is fairly traditional, is you have your data base and your client files.
You have your client files. We will ask you to set up a schedule with us. We have project managers. We have team leads. We will schedule this with you. You will back up your client files. You’ll back up your Amicus. After you’ve backed up that, we’ll get you to FedEx the drive to us overnight. You can keep on using Amicus. You can’t enter data into Amicus, but you can carry on using it as a reference. Then, we will upload that information.
Then, the information will look exactly the same in here. We will map the data or restore the data base here. We will obviously before we send a drive to you, we will stand up an environment, make sure that it’s updated. Make sure that Amicus is running. We will restore the database, restore the files, and then you will be up and running in here. Before this, we also have a plan in place where you do user acceptance testing of this Amicus environment and make sure that this environment is correct and everything is up and running and that you’re satisfied. Then we’ll restore the data base, restore the data and you’re up and running. Then, all you do is you shut down the Amicus environment on your other environment.
Can I use the mobile app that’s coming out in a few weeks in the Abacus Private Cloud?
Yes. The mobile app is again platform agnostic. It doesn’t matter if it’s on premise or in the private cloud. It works in both platforms.
What is the performance of the mobile app like?
The performance actually will be the same if not better. Really, the performance is ultimately based on your internet connection and what your internet connection is based on – of which we will do an assessment. We do an online assessment and we rely on what we call a one up, one down. We need the minimum requirement is a one megabyte per person. One megabyte up and one megabyte down per person. We typically do a test to make sure that you have at least that per person. As long as you have that, the performance is typically optimum for the private cloud. Typically, I tell people to do a speed test on their phone. You’ll find if using your phone as a hot spot, your phone performance will be even way better. People don’t even realize that. Even if you lost your internet at your office, if people just use their hotspot, they would actually get way better performance using their phone as a hot spot.>
Thank you so much everybody for joining. Be on the look out for the recording of today’s webinar and don’t forget to sign up for next Friday’s free Training!
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