Are You Worried About Switching Legal Tech Vendors?
When responding to office actions or generating IDSs, you know your current process is not working. Is bringing on a new legal tech vendor worth the switching costs?
Perhaps you depend too heavily on your (over-qualified) patent team to perform repetitive, tedious prosecution tasks manually. And now that team is getting bogged down in lengthy, complicated IDSs. Or the issues might be outside your organization, with your current IP automation vendor being slow to respond and only providing a partial solution.
Whatever your process concerns, you know that without a change, you are at risk for errors, missed deadlines, and, ultimately, frustrated clients. Adopting a new workflow automation vendor can be daunting, though.
Here are four simple ways to eliminate the fear of switching up your process:
1. Identify the shortcomings in your current system
Understanding your pain points is the first step in finding a new solution. As you evaluate legal tech vendors, finding one that solves your specific problems can help alleviate some of the hesitancy to switch.
During prosecution, small mistakes can turn into costly delays. So in evaluating your current process, the first thing to consider is the error rate on the final product. Is the job done correctly, or are you still cleaning up errors? Implementing workflow automation could reduce that error rate. Less than 0.5% of OA responses produced by Juristat Workflow Automation contained an error, compared to 11.5% prepared by attorneys.
If you already work with a vendor, consider where their offering may fall short of your expectations. Are you still having to do a lot of manual work? If you are still doing data entry for your IDS vendor, have you purchased a workflow automation tool or just a very expensive spreadsheet?
Or perhaps you feel uneasy about data security due to your vendor's outsourced workforce. This is an increasing concern in the legal field, especially in intellectual property matters.
2. Try it before you buy it
You could compare websites, read blog posts, attend webinars, and speak with salespeople, but if you’ve not taken a new workflow automation solution for a test drive, you don’t really know what you’ll get. Make sure you take full advantage of a free trial.
Before your trial starts, meet with your team members to ensure you’re addressing their pain points. Collect any questions, concerns, or use cases your colleagues may have. In addition to the end users, you should also meet with your leadership team to ensure you are aligned on goals for the product, what their expectations might be, and of course, what budget they are comfortable with.
You can then ask the vendor to demonstrate solutions or provide additional information for adequate testing during the trial. Not only will this help you find the best-fit solution, but it will help you gain buy-in from your colleagues.
Most of all, don’t be afraid to lean on the vendor for support during your trial. The education and attention they provide during the trial period indicates how you will be treated as a customer.
3. Create an onboarding and implementation plan to ease the transition
Switching vendors is more than just signing a new contract. A thorough onboarding and dedicated implementation team can make the transition successful.
When negotiating with a new workflow automation vendor, you should set a clear timeline for implementation. How long will it take to get your information transferred, to have mandatory training, to set up accounts, and to launch firmwide? Additionally, you need to know what is required from your team. Knowing what files and information you need ahead of time can jumpstart the transition.
Best case scenario – you want limited downtime without a ton of additional lift from your team. And ultimately, you want to end up with a product that your patent professionals can easily use and understand.
4. Prepare for long-term success
Remember, you're not just buying a quick fix. You're looking for a long-term partner in your practice's success.
While you should expect a thorough onboarding process, you should also ensure that your chosen solution has strong customer support and training. For example:
- Will you have a dedicated client success manager?
- How quickly do they respond to questions?
- Are they easy to reach?
- Are custom training sessions offered by the vendor to ensure you get the most out of your subscription?
- Do they have a robust resources library and help center?
Long-term success comes from continued education and improvement. Ensure you’re attending webinars, reading newsletters or blogs, and keeping up with product updates.
Nothing is more daunting than changing your process, only to have the change fail and have to start at the beginning again.
If you’re ready to automate and streamline your process, but the idea of switching processes creates anxiety, let’s talk. Juristat’s workflow automation products are backed by a thorough and attentive client service team, making for a smooth transition and a successful patent practice.