Critical Mass

By Joseph C. Panettieri  |  Posted 2004-03-15 Print this article Print

Critical Mass

Many law firms applaud Hubbard Ones approach to business. More than 30 percent of the countrys 200 largest law firms outsource their applications to the Microsoft Certified Partner. Privately held Hubbard One doesnt disclose its revenue, but annual sales are on track to grow 25 to 30 percent this year, according to a company spokesman.

Piper Rudnick ranks among Hubbard Ones larger customers. The firm has more than 975 lawyers, who specialize in such areas as litigation, real estate, business, government affairs and international legal services.

Eager to expand its business, Piper Rudnick this month is extending its extranet with two new components. The first is a prospecting software system; the second allows former Piper Rudnick attorneys to interact with the law firm. Like its current extranets, the new systems are password-protected and use the Secure Sockets Layer protocol to further enhance security. Approved users need only a Web browser to access the system.

The prospecting software "will allow us to invite high-value prospective clients of the firm to a Web site that will provide targeted introductions and experience profiles of relevant portions of the firm," said Pipers Campbell. "The information will be presented in a way that is most interesting to a particular prospect."

For example, if a pharmaceutical companys general counsel is interested in mergers and acquisitions, Pipers prospecting system will circumvent general marketing information and zero in on the firms M&A expertise.

Also this month, Piper Rudnick will launch an alumni extranet that provides closer online ties to former employees who are now in-house general counsels within corporations.

The alumni extranet will feature an alumni directory, events calendar, job postings, discussion groups and Piper-oriented news.

By years end, Hubbard One will completely overhaul Pipers public-facing Web site. The firm is also considering recruiting software that reaches out to qualified law students in a private, professional manner.

Of course, such power comes with a price. Hubbard One typically charges $10,000 to $80,000 per application (depending on firm size), and deployment services cost about $5,000 to $30,000 per application. Generally speaking, customers that embrace the hosted-application model pay Hubbard One a monthly hosting fee of $750 to $3,000 per application and an 18 percent annual software maintenance fee.

Joseph C. Panettieri is editorial director at the New York Institute of Technology. He can be reached at
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