Hofheimer Family Law Firm has been dedicated to representing women only in divorce, custody, and support issues since 1992. With a staff of 22, their practice area consists of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Poquoson, Yorktown, York County, and Accomack County.
Hofheimer Family Law had an aging IT infrastructure that was causing major losses to productivity. “Our servers definitely were at the end-of-life. We were facing a total reinvestment in on-premises servers,” said Firm Administrator Rob Sadler. In addition, their line of business application, Time Matters, was overdue for an upgrade. Upgrading both on-premises servers and Time Matters presented a large up-front financial challenge to the firm.
Because of this, Rob spent more than a year evaluating whether to upgrade the existing on-premises server network and software or migrate to a cloud solution. Unfortunately, Time Matters did not offer a cloud solution, so Rob contemplated switching software applications entirely. “We researched Salesforce, SugarCRM, Houdini, Clio, Practice Master, and more.” That presented problems as well. According to Rob, “We had a lot of business processes built into our existing software that would’ve had to have been recreated and the migration costs would have been very high.”
The network at Hofheimer Family Law consisted of a Windows Small Business Server 2003, a Windows 2003 Terminal Server, and workstations and laptops. The Time Matters application utilized Microsoft SQL Server and was functioning very slowly and crashing often forcing work stoppages. Simply adding a new SQL Server would not have solved the problem because the version of Time Matters installed did not support the newer versions of SQL Server. A Time Matters upgrade would have solved some of the problems, however, an upgrade to both servers would have required to meet the Time Matters system requirements. According to Rob, “We were certainly more than backed into a corner and our hands were tied.”
Mode5 presented two solutions to resolve the issues. One solution was to upgrade both servers on the network, upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft SQL Server, and to upgrade the Time Matters application. The other solution was to leverage the Mode5 Cloud.
Mode5 Cloud offered Rob the ability to host his entire server network in the Mode5 Data Center. “We would have had to upgrade the software and upgrade the equipment and based on that price tag it made much more sense to investigate the Cloud,” said Rob.
In addition, Mode5 Cloud would allow him to host the Time Matters application and avoid the switching costs and hassles of moving to a less feature-rich web application. “We spent several years looking for alternative solutions more in the SaaS (software-as-a-service or cloud) market, but we didn’t feel that the solutions specific to our industry were mature enough to accommodate our needs.
For these reasons, Hofheimer Family Law chose Mode5 Cloud. “We opted to reinvest in our existing software investments and leverage Mode5 Cloud. We did research on several other cloud-based apps but ended up not pursuing them. We realized it was overwhelming just to quantify the feature set that we needed let alone having to recreate processes and procedures around a new software application.” Rob also credits his trust of the Mode5 staff and avoiding a large server upgrade as reasons for choosing Mode5 Cloud. “The relationship we have certainly played into it and at the end of the day part of it was a numbers game.”
Rob did have some reservations about moving to the Cloud. “We are a law firm and our industry is held to strict security standards.” After some consideration, Rob determined that the Mode5 Data Center provided a more secure environment than his office did. “It’s easy for your fears to overwhelm your decision-making process. I started to examine the security measures that we had in place here and then you start stacking that up and comparing them to what Mode5 has in place and it doesn’t even begin to compare. Our data is actually much more secure where it is now from where it was.”
Mode5 Cloud allowed Hofheimer Family Law to have the best of both worlds. They could avoid the huge cost of server upgrades while continuing to use the Time Matters application that they were so invested in. “With Mode5 Cloud, we are paying monthly for Microsoft software and server infrastructure that otherwise would have been a huge upfront expense. The WebDesk allows us to have all of our applications and data in a single sign-on web page. We can access it anywhere and anytime. With Mode5 Cloud, we did not have to reinvent the wheel and do an entire business process redesign.”
According to Rob, the number one benefit of moving to Mode5 Cloud is much better performance and stability so his staff can be more productive.“There’s much less interruption. We just improved by an order of 80 to 90 percent.”
ADDITIONAL CLIENT COMMENTS
“It’s a complete infrastructure and support solution with lower total cost of ownership than an on-premises solution would have been. In addition, another benefit is moving to a variable cost expense model so we can adjust our expenses as our head count goes up or down.”
TECHNOLOGIES & SERVICES UTILIZED
Mode5 Mail powered by Microsoft Exchange
Mode5 Apps powered by Citrix XenApp, and Microsoft Office
Mode5 Support powered by the best support team in the business
Mode5 Easy Migration Service powered by the best implementation team in the business
Time Matters Software
PC Law Software
Bates Stamping Software