Right now, there’s a good chance that your law firm is using several different software solutions in order to manage email, digital file storage, video calling, calendar duties and much more.
More often than not, you or an associate has probably had trouble trying to make these applications play nicely with one another, causing unneeded stress.
When faced with such problems you’d be forgiven for questioning if there’s a better way.
That’s where Google Suite comes in. Google Suite is an all-in-one cloud solution that allows you to do all of the above – and more.
In this post, we’re going to explain why you should consider using Google Suite for your law firm. By the end you’ll understand what Google Suite is and how it can bring efficiencies and advancements to your law firm.
How Does Google Suite Help?
Google Suite, as mentioned above, is a cloud solution provided by Google that is designed to take care of all of your communication and collaboration needs.
Because it is a cloud solution, you can use the platform on desktop and mobile devices.
It doesn’t matter if your computer is lost, stolen or plain old doesn’t work – your data will be accessible on other devices in a manner that is secure.
All you have to do is pay one bill each month, and you’re granted access to the portfolio of tools shown below.
Google Suite is designed from the ground up so that each application works well with all of the other applications.
Using the platform, you can quickly and securely share case files, procedure manuals and much more with associates.
That’s not the limit to what can be achieved, however, and if you use all of the tools provided there are many use cases for Google Suite:
- Want to add a personal touch and make a video call to a client or an associate rather than a phone call? Hangouts has you covered.
- Want to seamlessly integrate the client court dates located in your email, with your calendar? The Calendar app will help do this in matter of seconds.
- Do you want to create documents and spreadsheets, access them on any handheld or desktop device with internet access and have the option to share them with your associates? It’s possible with the Google Docs Google Drive app.
- Need to make your law firm more digitally secure? Two-factor authentication will protect your data – even if someone has access to your passwords.
- Want to manage your paper trail? Using Google Docs, you can easily see who has accessed a document and what changes they have made and Google Vault will also track every communication amongst staff.
- Need to find a document, but can only remember a single quote or line and not the document name? Google’s search technology will help you scour your online database in milliseconds.
For most, the ability to benefit from the full benefits provided by Google Suite is limited to how much of the features are actually being used.
What’s clear, however, is that there is a lot to benefit from.
Is Google Suite Secure?
Naturally the main concern for a law firm is that of security. There have been many horror stories recently related to online data breaches. When you’re dealing with sensitive case data, the last thing you need on your hands is a horror story.
The good thing, however, is that there are many law firms using Google Suite (previously known as Google Apps) right now, because of the fact that Google is secure.
The quote below comes from Bradford & Barthel.
Google places a big emphasis on security, and it is one of the main aspects of Google Suite that they advertise.
A lot of data breach horror stories are caused by human error. Provided that your law firm practices good ‘security hygiene,’ human errors should be minimal.
But what if human error is inevitable? What if passwords leak?
With Google Suite, even if someone has access to your password, they still can’t access your data should you turn on two-step verification.
With two-step verification, passwords aren’t enough to gain access to your private data. A second form of identification is also needed.
If you’re currently using a software solution that has all of your information stored locally, then there’s a good chance you don’t have access to two-step verification – which of course represents a vulnerability.
Google Suite also provides something known as Vault and Admin. Using Admin, you can enable the security features mentioned above, for all users. This minimizes the damage related to human error. You can also track what your users are doing, helping you to identify if they’re practicing good security hygiene or if changes need to be made.
With the help of Vault, you can track every form of communication amongst everyone in your law firm, as detailed below.
The information is digitally recorded, should you ever need to access it at a later time, ensuring no piece of evidence is lost. Plus, with the help of Google’s search technology, finding old pieces of information is made a lot easier.
If you’re not able to do any of the above currently, implementing Google Suite will bring some major efficiencies to your firm.
Will it cost a lot of money and time to implement?
The next best thing to Google Suite, is something known as Office 365. Below you can see a display of the solutions that come with Office 365.
While Office 365 might be the more familiar option, for some, Google Suite has the edge. This is because of its background in search and the option of being able to use Gmail.
When using a solution like Google Suite or Office 365, you will be charged per user. As shown below, the business version of Google Suite costs $10 per user.
This is fairly reasonable considering what you’re getting – especially if you’re spending a lot of money at the moment on different software solutions, all of which don’t work well together.
Note: If you do not currently have a web domain for your law firm, then Google will provide you with the option to buy one, upon signing up.
Having a domain name allows you to create a website, and have emails that come from an address that represents your law firm. This generally costs no more than $12 annually and is a cost you would also incur with Office 365.
Office 365, costs more money, per user, than Google Suite.
To use the Business Premium version, which is the version that is relatively on par with Google Suite, it costs $15 per month, per user.
There is also an option to pay $12.50 per user, per month. That option requires that you pay for a year’s worth of access upfront – which equates to $150. This can be problematic, however, if you’re working with short term associates.
Building Google Suite into the culture of your law firm can be a challenge. Luckily, Google provides a lot of assistance. For instance, they provide dedicated web pages that detail deployment strategies.
Their pages also detail tools that you can use to aid the deployment process.
There’s also 24/7 support on offer. So you’re always able to speak to someone if you want to figure out the best way to solve a certain problem.
Trust Us on This: You Will Be Glad You Switched
Time wasted on I.T. problems is time that could be better spent on growing your law firm and making your clients happy. When the tech side of your law firm works properly, decisions can be made faster and results can be generated in a shorter amount time. In many cases, law firms encounter I.T. problems because their software solutions do not work well together, or because there is inadequate support.
Google Suite, however, provides you with a way to fix such problems.
On top of that, features like video calling and secure file storage give you the chance to serve clients in ways that weren’t possible before.
The easiest and least expensive way we know to bring efficiencies and advanced features to your law firm is for you to implement Google Suites. If you want help making the switch and keeping your technology current and working seamlessly together, we can take care of both for you.
If you already have someone knowledgeable and helpful handling your I.T., tell them you want to move to Google Suite and recycle your old-school servers. Once you have migrated, you will wonder why you waited so long.