As a DoProcess customer, you know that Unity® – our secure, cloud-based practice management platform – is based on the award-winning features of The Conveyancer®. While The Conveyancer was software locally installed on your computer, Unity is hosted on the web (a.k.a. “the cloud”) and accessed using a web browser.
A few months ago, we took a detailed look at what the heck the cloud is. Now, we’re going to explore why we built Unity for the cloud, the major benefits of using a web-based platform, and how to get the most out of your move to Unity.
Hypergrowth of the cloud (and why it matters even to law practices)
The cloud is just software or services that can be accessed over the Internet using a web browser or a dedicated app. This particular type of cloud service is also referred to as “Software as a Service” or “SaaS.” Google’s products (like Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar) are great examples of SaaS. Providing solutions this way lets leading companies, including DoProcess, offer stable, secure, always up-to-date, and always available services to their customers. With enhanced data-protection, freedom from the worries of viruses and ransomware reduced IT management costs, and the bonus of “work-from-anywhere” access, it’s no wonder there is a big move to the cloud across every industry.
So just how big is that move to the cloud? According to IDG’s 2018 Cloud Computing Survey, “89% of companies use SaaS”. A more recent LogicMonitor/Forbes article claimed that by 2020 “83% of company workload will be stored on the cloud” and Cisco (a provider of cloud services) states that “cloud data centers will process 94% of workloads by 2021”. Impressive numbers for sure – but how is this relevant to the busy legal practice where privacy and security are paramount?
A modern platform with modern security
At DoProcess, the protection, security, and privacy of your data is our highest concern. That focus motivated us to offer Unity on the web. Because Unity is hosted on the cloud and in our data centers, it allows us to provide bank-grade security and access controls.
All data moving to and from Unity is encrypted using 256bit SSL encryption – one of the most secure modern encryption methods used to prevent unauthorized data access. Data is stored and protected in high-security, 24/7 monitored data centers located in Canada and owned by DoProcess. To log into Unity, you need to provide three matching pieces of user information: your firm account ID, unique user ID, and password. To further increase the security of your account, we also added a second layer of protection. Unity uses two-step authentication (sometimes called 2FA or Two-Factor Authentication) to protect your account data, even in the event someone else gets a hold of your password.
All of these protections are possible because Unity is on the cloud and uses modern security protocols.
Enhanced data protection
One of the top reasons companies decide to adopt a cloud service model is to provide their customers with enhanced protection of their precious data. This is certainly true of Unity. Because we store your data in our proprietary data centres, it’s backed up at regular intervals. Gone is the pain of backing up all your data manually or the worry of overwriting or deleting critical files by accident. This also makes the cloud a better solution for disaster recovery. In the unlikely event your office suffers a flood or fire, rest assured all your data is securely stored and available in Unity.
Always up to date
By moving off the desktop and onto the cloud, you can focus on law while we take care of Unity’s version updates, virus protection, and security upgrades. We ensure your application is always up to date so that you, or your IT department, no longer need to spend time running the update yourselves. Simply log into Unity using a recommended browser and you will already be using the latest release.
Access from anywhere
By far, the most popular reason for cloud adoption is having access to everything you need to do your job from anywhere. We live in a world where people increasingly expect you to always be available with a near instant response time to their emails. When clients do have unrealistic expectations, a cloud-based solution can help close that expectation gap a little. Unity enables you to work from anywhere at anytime with full access to your contacts, matters, global databases, and other necessary information so you at least don’t have to run back to the office to answer a question after regular business hours. As long as you have your laptop with a recommended browser and a high-speed internet connection, you’re ready to go.
Getting the most from your move to the cloud
As you can see, cloud platforms/SaaS like Unity offer significant benefits compared to their locally installed software predecessors. However, with any move to a new technology, there is going to be an adjustment period. With Unity, there are several steps you can take proactively to make that transition easier:
- Make sure your systems meet the minimum recommended specifications for operating systems and browsers. You can use our handy system checker here.
- Just like using Netflix, Google Apps, Microsoft 365, or any other cloud-hosted service, Unity works best with a speedy internet connection. Make sure you have the necessary bandwidth available by talking to your internet service provider (ISP) about your current speeds.
- Make the time to take Unity training. Unity was built on the foundation of The Conveyancer. So, if you used The Conveyancer in the past, you will already have a solid knowledge base to build on with Unity. However, in optimizing functionality and layout for the web, some features you are used to may have moved or been upgraded. The DoProcess University, which you can access from within Unity, is your ultimate resource to learn the ins and outs of Unity. It’s packed with videos, topic-specific guides, and tips and tricks to help you be a Unity pro from day one.