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Legal ASP Persists

Written By: C. Lisle
Published On: February 9 2001

Legal ASP Persists
C. Lisle - February 9, 2001

Event Summary

In May 2000 a TEC Business Analyst, prompted by a press release, reviewed a new ASP solution aimed at helping law firms and corporate legal departments work more efficiently. The idea of an ASP (application service provider) serving law firms and corporate counsel nationwide looked really good. According to the press release, ASPORA, provides the U.S. legal market with integrated high-end applications and services via a common web browser.

The ASPORA site, however, was all sizzle, flashy graphics and little information. (See It's About Time "Legal" Got Involved).

Recently TEC revisited the site, at ASPORA's request, and found it much improved.

Market Impact

The ASPORA site is now an electronic age brochure. Fundamental information such as product offerings, company contact information, strategic partnership details, and press releases have been added. As befitting a site for the legal community, the fine print about the site and its information was prominent. It also included a brief white paper on ASPORA's security measures, an important consideration for anyone contemplating using electronic media for transmitting legal information.

There is a description of both the services they now provide and the ones they intend to provide. While their specific location was not disclosed, they did feature multiple locations on the site, which, upon access, cause a pop-up box for contacting them. To reach them you go through the Internet web site, although the white paper did include a phone number to reach a sales engineer.

From TEC's point of view, it is certainly gratifying to think a vendor paid attention to and acted on our recommendations. Of course, the vendor may just be interested in wiping out the aftermath of a premature unveiling of the site.

Also note, there are other ASPs, such as Serengeti, which announced its presence several months earlier, serving the legal profession.

User Recommendations

If you are a law firm or a corporate law department you may find the site interesting. There are not many sites on the web tailored specifically to the services law firms require. Specialized ASPs such as Aspora address the particular requirements, such as security safeguards for data and Internet communications, crucial to legal firms.

Aspora and Serengeti both provide hosted, integrated legal software solutions through partners and alliances. They manage the technology of delivering the solution. These ASPs are another example of ways companies can utilize the Internet to improve how business is done.

However, read the information on the sites carefully to be sure the services you require are available. ASPs that address the legal market still talk a lot of "future or planned services". With a web site, however, you should be able to instantly request more information. In some cases, the "future service" you need may be available, but not yet announced.

If you have a real interest in finding an ASP with solutions for the legal world, and the Aspora site in May 2000 was a disappointment, you may want to look at it again.

 
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