Legal software market heats up

The legal software market is heating up, with Infinity Solutions entering the Australian market and Australian conglomerate Solution 6 looking to buy Kiwi-founded Keystone Solutions.

The legal software market is heating up, with Infinity Solutions entering the Australian market and Australian conglomerate Solution 6 looking to buy Kiwi-founded Keystone Solutions.

Infinity Solutions is setting up an office in Melbourne to sell its legal practice management software Infinitylaw in competition with Australian firms Solution 6, Locus and Midware.

Infinity general manager of vertical solutions Joe Caccioppoli says Infinitylaw is used by 45 of the 110 “tier two” — 10 to 100 staff — law firms in New Zealand and the company will target a similar market across the Tasman, although he says in Australia the term equates to 40- to 100-user sites. Caccioppoli believes there are about 400 tier two firms in Victoria alone.

He says though Infinitylaw is scalable enough to cater to tier one firms — the likes of which are provided by firms such as Keystone Solutions — large firms tend to need much bespoke development, and accordingly software versions used by customers vary greatly. This can make support more complex, he says, whereas in New Zealand all Infinitylaw customers are on the same version. “All our competitors have customers using different versions.”

The Melbourne office will also sell Infinity’s range of specialised transport systems. Infinity’s courier software is already used by TNT in Victoria and the company says it has just won another major customer, which will be rolling the software out across all states.

Caccioppoli says Infinity is confident that both businesses will double in size by 2004. The legal division has 14 staff and the transport division has eight.

“The biggest constraint of small New Zealand businesses going offshore is that they are structured as small businesses,” he says.

Caccioppoli says one its advantages is it can call on other Infinity Solutions’ business units such as the HR, asset management and business process consulting divisions.

“We can bring in experts from other parts of the group to say weave in project management, testing or business process if the customer needs it.”

Caccioppoli says Solution 6 has grown through aggressive acquisition and not quality of delivery.

“We don’t believe they have the focus required to deliver well in the marketplace while they’re running around buying from everybody.

“However, as optimistic as I am I absolutely recognise that it will be tough up against the Australian competition but we’re comfortable with the quality of our product.”

Infinity Solutions vertical group grew out of Trilogy Systems, which merged with Comtex Group and Madison Software in 2000 to form the Infinity Group.

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