Bringing Legal Services Up To Date

Legal Services Act 2007

legal1The legal industry is going through a period of intense transformation, with profit margins under ever-increasing pressure from clients, competitors and legislators. The Legal Services Act is driving the creation of new entrants and services into the market, with big brands such as the AA, the Co-operative Group and BT now able to own and run legal companies for the first time.

The legal system in England & Wales hadn’t changed for 300 years, the Legal Services Act 2007 introduced a new level of competition within the legal services industry that will increase and result in wider access to justice. With new entrants to the market, the changes will also provide wider access to a commercial environment that is more accustomed to developing cost-effective legal services.

Unique Requirements

The legal profession has specialist workflows, a dependency on paper and unique information processes, which makes its needs very specific. Firms are obliged to keep documents for certain periods of time and are beholden to strict regulations around data protection and storage.

Failure to correctly manage data can lead to heavy fines for non-compliance, reputational loss and legal action from clients. New European data protection laws introduced in March 2015 mean that companies found in breach of users’ personal data rights will also risk heavy fines.

However, by allowing new powerful entrants to the market smaller high-street law firms will be exposed to competition that is already well established with greater capabilities and existing retail presence. It seems that outdated and outmoded business practices will be squeezed out by the entry of new providers, and so traditional firms may use the Act as a catalyst for change to the way they operate.

legal5An obvious sign of change will be the disappearance of clerks wheeling in barrow loads of papers; all documents will be available, on computer through the Digital Case System, to all members of the court. The present, numerous, bundles of documents will be replaced by a single electronic bundle that can be displayed on a large screen in court. The government is pushing these changes by investing £700+ million in the digital system and judges are encouraging documents to be presented in digital form.

It, therefore, follows that both new providers and traditional firms will have to be prepared to present their documentation in the way that will be expected. This will mean having the right systems and equipment to digitise potentially large volumes of documents.

Archiving

Archiving of documents is already a common office function indexing, archiving and ready access to information is a key requirement but it is not unusual for firms to encounter problems with hard copy document storage & retrieval. Many solicitors will be familiar with a story of a missing paper file, the content of which is key to the matter in hand and the implications of non-accessibility are serious.

Large firms may have the scale, volume of work and profitability to create their own technology-led solution to their file archiving requirements. However, many smaller firms continue to rely on the conventional storage and retrieval services that were created before the technology and digital revolution took place The actual cost of these archives is often not fully appreciated, both in terms of physical office space or the resource spent filing, searching for and retrieving documents. Physical archives are also at greater risk of being destroyed or damaged. To move these smaller firms on may require guidance in order to take advantage of modern technology giving them access to the same functionality, efficiency and cost savings of larger firms.

Paper-Free?

Whilst a paperless society is unlikely ever to exist the current initiative will boost the uptake and acceptance of digital documents and firms need to be ready; either with systems to incorporate documents produced digitally or from scanned originals to then create ‘digital bundles’ to present in court.

legal2For more general applications within a legal practice, whatever the reason for requiring the data, instant access to the information and knowledge contained within a file would be an ideal requirement for many firms. Not only would this save time and minimise risk but it would also reduce costs, increase profitability and allow a more efficient service to clients. The latter being an important differentiator in competitive times.


Saving money 

The digital age now allows scanning and imaging of files within the firm with the latest equipment and software. Whilst all the options available can seem daunting, with right advice leading to the right solution many tasks can be simplified and automated.

A digital system will mean you need not be subjected to cost of on-site or, worse, off-site storage with the ongoing retrieval costs.  You will no longer have to wait for files to be collected and sent back to your offices. Even when the boxes of hard copy data are located and delivered back to the office someone still has to go through the box, searching  files and papers to find the required, relevant piece of information.  This compared to the touch of a button illustrates the potential for massive time and cost savings and data security.
Final Note

Many companies that have made the switch to digitisation still believe they are legally bound to archive hard copies when many regulators accept electronic records that are created and stored in-house. These records will also be legally admissible in court if scanned to British Standard BS10008:2008. Firms that keep paper copies ‘just in case’, need to be aware that keeping records beyond the legal requirement is not compliant with the Data Protection Act and exposes their businesses to legal liability.

Here to Help

With a range of multi-functional printers, printers, scanners and various software solutions ITQ have the flexible solutions and the knowledge and experience to help you determine your digital document pathway. Helping you streamline your business taking account of legislation and British Standards whilst making your firm more efficient and saving you money, to find out how ITQ can be of assistance please contact us on 01635 874848 or check out the web.

BIG POWER NOW COMES IN A SMALLER SIZE

do more with A4
If you have been researching information about new copiers, printers or MFPs you will know there are two main options; A3 or A4. These terms refer to the paper sizes the machine is designed to handle and also generally the larger machines are also recommended for higher volumes and have offered a wider range of options.

The new IT406ci range from ITQ are the first MFPs to combine the high volume capacities and advanced paper handling options of larger devices with the easy installation, smaller footprint and flexibility of a compact MFP

When looking into new printers or MFPs, which one is right for your office depends mainly on the paper sizes you will be printing, copying and scanning. However there are a few other things to be aware of before making a decision.

Paper Sizes A3 VS A4

Many offices use only A4 sized paper. However some offices use the larger A3 size for engineering documents, making booklets, menus, and design layouts. A3 size paper is the same size as two A4 sized pages put together. This makes booklet making easy by simply folding the paper in half.

Also because of the large size it is useful for enlarging engineering diagrams to a readable size. A3 is also great for printing large spreadsheets on. It’s much easier to read a spreadsheet printed on A3 sized paper than reducing the font to fit on A4 sized paper.

The Size Difference Between A3 and A4 machines

Since an A4 machine is designed to work with smaller paper sizes it has smaller internal components. This allows for a more compact design which obviously results in a machine that takes up less space than the larger A3 machine.

On the other hand, an A3 machine is designed to work with the larger sized paper and generally in the past has had larger more durable internal components.

Available Options on A3 and A4 machines

In the past the smaller and lighter A4 machines generally had only light duty options available. For example, if the machine has a stapler option it may be limited to stapling only 20 pages at a time and probably no large capacity tray, folder, 4-hole punch, or finisher available.

This meant that if you required equipment with any of these options then you would likely have needed a full size A3 machine to handle these tasks, even if you only require A4 paper size.

Cost difference between A3 and A4 machines

In the past larger more robustly designed A3 machines will have cost more than the A4 machines not only because of their larger frames but also higher yielding internal components cost more.

Before the IT406ci range the monthly printing/copying volume was the key to determining which machine is most cost effective for your office. Up to 1000-4000 pages a month an A4 machine will usually be the most cost effective. Above that monthly volume an A3 machine was the only option because of its durability. Now the new IT406ci range has the durability and options available for higher volumes when only A4 is required.

 ITQ High Volume A4 Range

Three new colour multifunctional copier/printers have been launched; the IT306ci (32ppm), IT356ci (35ppm) and TASKalfa 406ci (42ppm).

These machines provide the speed, durability and options for a new segment of the copier/printer market, they are all A4 paper size but offer the same features as ITQ’s A3 machines

“Customers want the high speed, high paper capacity and all the options of full size office MFPS but without the cost of A3 which they rarely if ever use.” says Graham Varndell MD at ITQ.

Contact ITQ

The Magnificent Seven

magnificent-seven

The Magnificent Seven was a 1960 American western film directed by John Sturges. The film stared Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and Horst Buchholz who play a group of seven American gunmen hired to protect a small agricultural village in Mexico from a group of marauding native bandits led by Calvera, portrayed by Eli Wallach.

The ITQ Magnificent Seven are a much more up to date and useful lineup of multifunctional print systems ready to take on and protect your business systems. The seven are a stunning line up of new colour and black-and-white systems. The new devices deliver maximum document workflow by employing proven technology, advanced design, user-friendly features, and seamless compatibility with Kyocera business applications.

Four of the seven new devices are high quality colour MFPs: the IT555c2 (50 pages per minute [ppm] colour/55 ppm black); IT455c2 (45 ppm colour/ 45 ppm black); IT355c2 (35 ppm colour/ 35 ppm black); and IT305c2 (30 ppm colour/ 30 ppm black). In addition, ITQ have introduced three black-and-white MFPs, each of which features high output speeds and the latest technology: the IT551 (55 ppm black); IT451 (45 ppm black); and IT351 (35 ppm black). Both the colour and black & white MFP series incorporates an updated, highly intuitive colour touch screen interface with a tablet-like design, including a ‘pinch and grab’ function.

“These new IT devices employ a common design and common technology” said Graham Varndell, MD “So they’re user-friendly, share common accessories, and deliver a cost-effective solution for customers to protect their bottom line. They give our customers everything they expect from ITQ: value, reliability, and, of course, superior print quality.”

The new range of  MFPs are engineered to optimize performance and maximize uptime. They boast vibrant colour and crisp black-and-white printing, colour scanning and copying, and optional Super G3 fax/network fax and dual fax for high-speed document delivery.

Other features include:

•Common technology, design, and accessories across the series of products;
•Up to 7,650 sheet paper capacity with optional paper-feed units on specific models;
•AirPrint enabled for simplified mobile printing;
•Optional OCR capability allowing users to turn scanned documents into searchable pdfs;
•Standard colour scanning to multiple destinations, including Scan-to-Email, Scan-to-FTP, WSD scanning, and LDAP support;
•12” x 48” banner printing on colour MFPs;
•A wide range of advanced finishing options, including hole punch, off-line staple, booklet, and trifold finishing;
•Standard USB host interface for convenient print-from and scan-to any USB drive in PDF, JPG, TIFF and XPS formats – all via the touch screen control panel;
•Standard Freescale QoriQ P1022 dual core controller (1,067MHz on colour MFPs; 800MHz on black-and-white MFPs);
•Optional embedded EFI Fiery® Controller for the IT 5551ci series of colour

Powerful Business Applications available include:

• Cloud Connect, which allows users to print from and scan to the cloud directly from the MFP’s control panel;
• Mobile Print, a convenient app that frees users to print files, web pages, and images from a smartphone or tablet;
•DMS Link, a customizable interface that simplifies document workflow through digital imaging, distribution, retrieval, and longtime archival;
•Pin Point Scan, a powerful app that enables users to scan from the MFP to their desktop with added speed, functions, and versatility;
•SharePoint Connector, which enhances collaboration between the MFPs and the user’s existing Microsoft SharePoint server.

The Magnificent Seven are available now, for more information telephone 01635 874848 or check out the web site.