A few months ago I wrote a post discussing some interesting vertical offerings that I’d seen built on top of the salesforce.com platform. I alluded to a new offering that was, at that time in stealth mode – the company behind that offering, Trineo has been invited to San Francisco next week to pitch to a panel of investment and IT gurus, including Sequoia Capital, as part of the final selection process for the Force 40 Innovation Showcase competition, run by Salesforce.com as part of their Dreamforce conference in November.
Trineo is a development and consultancy service focusing on both salesforce.com implementation and custom force.com development out of the South Island of New Zealand. Managing director of Trineo, Daniel Fowlie, is going to spend around 26 hours in a plane in order to make a seven minute presentation of his LegalSoftOnline product. LegalSoftOnline is still in stealth mode but I’ve seen both early versions, and the current iteration. In talking about his product, Fowlie said that;
A typical server-based legal practice management system can cost tens of thousands of dollars, with additional IT, deployment and upgrade costs. An online system such as Trineo’s, however, does everything a server-based system does, but is far more flexible, equally secure, and has no large upfront cost.
There are a few SaaS practice management offerings – I had a quick look at Clio and RocketMatter. Clio seems to be lacking in functionality, only really allowing for basic time and document tracking as well as billing. RocketMatter is a more in-depth offering, giving all that clio does but also wrapping up dashboarding, calendaring, time-tracking and accounting functions. Clio and RocketMatter start at $50 and $60 respectively.
Trineo has spent around four months building the product, a time greatly reduced by piggybacking on top of the force.com platform. It is a legal practice management system based around salesforce.com but customized for legal needs.
The first lab is a lead tab, but with customer fields specific to lawyers. The heart of the offering however comes through the “matters” tab, which includes all the information related to a particular matter (ie a particular contact area with a client)
LegalSoftOnline also provides for trust accounting, an area that most legal practices need to deal with;
LegalSoftOnline also has time tracking functionality – knowing how wired lawyers are to their six minute increments this is a no-brainer. I’d kind of like to see a desktop widget for time tracking that didn’t rely on either connectivity or the user being logged into LegalSoftOnline – these sorts of add-ons are no doubt on the horizon for Trineo.
I like what Trineo is doing with LegalSoftOnline – I’ve said for a long time that part of the key to getting more uptake for SaaS is to find vertical markets and tailor custom solutions for them – Trineo is well on the way to doing just that for lawyerly types.
Trineo hasn’t announced pricing yet but has said that LegalSoftOnline will be sold using the salesforce.com OEM pricing which is currently set at $25 per user per month – this leaves enough room for them to price the offering competitively when compared to the other SaaS offerings.