We’re often asked where our software stores our customers’ data. It’s an easy answer: “Our software leaves our customers’ information wherever our customers wish, to store and safeguard as each sees fit.”
Some will retain files on desktops or laptops, others on local, remote, or virtual servers, still others will choose one of the nearly endless varieties of “the cloud.” The only commonality, while perceptions of safety and security will vary, each will know for certain who owns and controls their data. Them.
As we learned a handful of years ago, ownership without access isn’t worth the price of the spittoon.
At our recommendation, one of our local law firms made the decision to migrate its practice management from one of the brand name legacy players to Clio. It should have been simple, right? Hit the EXPORT button and away we go. Except there was no such button. Nor was there any such command anywhere in the system.
When we called support, we were amazed to learn that there was no provisiona to provide bulk access to the firm’s data in a way where the data could easily be migrated elsewhere. After a week of calls and emails, we learned that for an estimated $3,000 the vendor could create a special program to accomplish the task. The frosting on the cake was the 10 week wait time. Imagine, years of records on more than 10,000 matters held hostage, completely inaccessible to its owner. Fortunately, the external backup host accepted our instructions to dump the backup onto our server, where we created an imaginative widget to convert the records into a format Access found acceptable. Total time invested in the solution was 3 days.
The lesson: Make absolutely certain that there is nothing that would prevent your decision to move or dump all of your data stored externally.
The company you save might well be your own.