Spotlight on…..Eclipse

Today’s Conveyancer has interviewed Darren Gower Marketing Manager of Eclipse and asked what they provide to conveyancers that use their systems.  Eclipse is a provider of integrated case management, workflow, and process management software. Their Proclaim system is in use by over 13,000 professionals in a vast range of sectors, incorporating legal, commercial, charitable and Local Authority.
Darren explained that "The Eclipse ethos is a concise and unambiguous one — to provide software solutions which enable their clients to be more effective. This direct focus has resulted in Eclipse and the Proclaim solution being awarded numerous accolades over the years."
Users include DLA Piper, Eversheds, and Co-operative Legal Services.
Today’s Conveyancer had a few questions to put to Eclipse:-
1) What is the Eclipse approach to working with law firms? 
Our approach is very much a collaborative one – many suppliers may pay lip service to this, but it is so important to generate buy-in and make the process a truly 2-way one. We continue this approach post-installation, and in fact much of our product development (probably 60% or more) is based on suggestions and feedback we receive from our clients.
2) How would you describe the business and culture you operate in?
We provide the full service offering, from software development to provision, implementation, consultancy, training, and then support. This all-encompassing service demands a holistic view and approach… everything has to be joined up! In addition, we have to be very fluid, both in terms of technological development and in terms of our response to legislative change. Often legislation will change with relatively little prior notice, but can have a big impact upon our clients and their systems need to be tailored as appropriate. 
We need to be very open and receptive – we are managing business critical processes, and we need to very much take a lead and engage with clients to solve their problems and provide the kind of solutions they need.
3) What do you offer conveyancers and why do you think it is different to your competitors? 
Our ‘Proclaim’ solution provides huge flexibility, combined with pre-built and ready to go conveyancing workflows and fast delivery (implementation). You are not just given a box of tools and left to flounder! 
A key thing is that you receive the same core system and toolkits whether you are a 1-user startup or a 300-user volume player. Proclaim includes everything needed to tailor it to match your needs to an effectively unlimited degree.
4) Which large conveyancers use your products? 
Certainly names such as Barnetts and Goldsmith Williams are considered very much in the top tier of conveyancers. We are also delighted to be providing solutions for some of the industry’s new entrants such as Co-operative Legal Services. 
5) What feedback do you get from them about why they buy your products? 
Speed of implementation and ease of use are very much recurring themes. Conveyancing is, generally speaking, low margin so you do not want to struggle with tricky systems and have long drawn-out implementation times. You need a fast solution that will enable you to take advantage of opportunities quickly.
In addition, flexibility in terms of being able to quickly change and roll out systems as client businesses change is something we hear commented on a lot. 
6) How do you see the market for legal services like conveyancing developing? 
Certainly at present it’s a challenge, given economic factors that are beyond the general control of conveyancers. But opportunity is still there, the challenge is to really differentiate yourselves, be this in terms of price, speed of service, excellence of service, or all of these. Whichever way you slice it, IT is vital, you really need to automate everything that can be automated and generate maximum profit per file. Any time whatsoever doing something manually that needn’t be, or duplicating an action, is throwing money away.
New entrants will provide another potential challenge and a different type of competition – law firms need to play up on their existing expertise and experience, and combine this with an efficient and value-for-money service
7) What are your plans for the future?
We will very much keep developing systems and tools that really benefit the end users and business leaders.
We do not develop just for development’s sake and we do not believe in the "emperor’s new clothes" approach to technology. This ethos has served us well, we are now up to 95 staff here at Eclipse and expect to be over 100 in a few months’ time. Long may that success continue!
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