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Hosted technology solutions provide a feasible alternative to purchasing and maintaining your own applications, servers and networks.  Law firms can now access "real" networks and applications via the Internet - getting all the features and functionality of an in-house solution, without the administrative overhead and up-front capital investment. 

To learn more about comprehensive hosted technology solutions designed specifically for law firms, please visit

Before making any investment in technology, it's important to know your options.  This article offers a brief explanation of hosted solutions and how they work.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions about this article, please send an e-mail to

The main thing to understand about a hosted technology solution is that it is a service you subscribe to rather than system that you purchase,  Vendors offering hosted solutions will purchase, configure and maintain the necessary hardware (servers), network operating systems, applications and other dependant components.  Rather than buying the solution from the vendor, law firms simply pay a monthly subscription fee to access and use these systems.

Hosted systems are usually located at the vendor's facility, and access is provided to the law firm via the Internet.  End users simply need their own desktop computer, printer and Internet connection.  The rest is handled by the hosting vendor.

Even though access is provided via the Internet, hosted solutions should not be confused with web-based applications.  The concepts are similar, but the solutions are not.  As an example, compare the user-interface of Outlook to the interface of a web-based email solution.  The two applications are very different.  A hosted solution is just like a standard solution that you would find installed on a regular network in any law firm.  The only real difference is that you access everything via the Internet. 

Law firms can use standard versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint as well as any number of other applications.  Time and Billing, Case Management and Document Management systems are also being offered by vendors on a subscription basis.  The options available depend on the hosting vendor you work with.

In addition to accessing real applications, hosted solutions provide data storage for documents, files, billing, bookkeeping and case management data.  Network folders allow users within your firm to share information and documents - just like an in-house network, but without the need for your own servers.  Since hosted solutions are accessed via the Internet, users also have the freedom of connecting from any location with an Internet connection.  

Because the infrastructure, applications and processes implemented by the hosting vendor have been used successfully by many clients over time, hosted solutions tend to be extremely reliable.  Often times more reliable than traditional in-house solutions.  When a new client subscribes to the service, the vendor is not starting from scratch every time.  They are simply expanding their already established service to additional firms and users.

The infrastructure behind hosted solutions also tend to be more powerful and robust than the in-house solutions of the customers they serve.  For the hosting service to be valuable, vendors need to ensure that everything is always running its best.  Otherwise, customers would cancel their subscription and find another solution.  Servers, backup devices and peripherals are typically built and maintained to specifications that far exceed current demands.

If your firm just invested a ton of money into new servers and applications, now is probably not a good time to consider a hosted solution.  But there are several situations where a hosted solution may be of great value.

Any new start-up firm is a good candidate.  Rather than purchasing servers and applications, and paying someone to make sure everything works together properly, a new law firm could simply subscribe to a hosted solution.  They could be on-line and working productively the very next day.  All with little or no up-front capital investment. 

An existing firm needing to upgrade their practice management software is another good candidate.  Often times, newer software requires a new server, updated operating system, SQL, etc.  A hosting vendor may already have the necessary software and infrastructure in place.  Everything would already be configured, tested and available for use.

By utilizing well established systems and processes, that are already in place and being used successfully by other firms, a hosted solution can provide great value to any law firm looking for a simpler way to stay current with their technology needs.

Checking options from hosting vendors is a good idea any time an investment in technology is necessary.  Depending on your requirements, you might find some valuable and exciting alternatives.
 For information about a comprehensive hosted technology solution designed specifically for law firms, please visit   If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I'd like to hear from you.  Feel free to drop me an e-mail at:


Rob Wardan - President
Legal Software Systems, Inc.

About the Author
Rob Wardan is a software developer, technology consultant, President of Legal Software Systems, Inc. and has over twenty years of experience working with hundreds of law firms throughout the United States.

About Legal Software Systems, Inc.
Legal Software Systems, Inc. ("LSS") develops and supports comprehensive management software, designed exclusively for law firms.  Since 1984, LSS has continued to pioneer new and innovative technologies that integrate data and firm processes to help law firms become more efficient, more productive and more profitable.  And for over twenty years, LSS has consistently provided service and support that continues to be the envy of the industry.  For more information, call LSS toll-free at 1-800-331-4122 or visit

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