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Any successful installation of client relationship management software is a multiyear project, not a quick fix. That certainly was the case at Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Archer Norris, a 57-attorney, 128-person litigation and transactions practice. In 2001, we decided to establish a firmwide contact management database. At that time, our client and contact information existed in all the usual places: Outlook Contacts, Word address lists, an outdated Access database, and in Rolodexes. Today, we continue to grow and develop the program, to increasing acceptance among our attorneys and staff. REVIEW COMMITTEE We started by establishing a review committee, with representatives from our marketing, IT and management staff, and several attorneys. We evaluated several products, including Interface Software Inc.’s InterAction; Elite Information System’s Apex, and Aptus, from Scout Solutions. After extensive review and consideration, we chose ContactEase from San Francisco-based Cole Valley Software. Up front, the advantages of ContactEase were many, but how it integrated with Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook was key. Like many small firms, our marketing and IT functions are performed by a skeleton crew. We needed software that was intuitive and familiar, did not require extensive training, and was relatively easy to install. ContactEase has two options for desktop licensing: Outlook synchronization, and the full client application. Outlook synchronization gives users the ability to look up, add, and edit data through Outlook contacts. After some brief delays and postponements when other projects took over the front burner, we purchased five full-client licenses in 2002, with the balance of users linking through Outlook via the synchronization licensing. We then launched an internal PR campaign trumpeting the coming of the great contact data system. Our marketing and IT staff worked with Cole Valley Software to plan a tiered roll out. First, we spoke to all attorneys about how they stored data, their level of expertise in Outlook, and the number of contacts we could expect to import. The personal ownership aspect of an individual’s contacts was handled as diplomatically as possible to highlight the benefit of sharing information:

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