When I found out the Birmingham venue for the latest Legal Support Network (LSN) law firm forum was the Cosy Club, I expected a warm welcome. However, while the pub itself proved very welcoming, unfortunately I personally didn’t feel quite so welcome!

The LSN law firm forums are informal networking events, spread around the country, designed to bring together those that work for law firms in management, operational or support roles.

The idea is for everyone to enjoy a drink and some nibbles while discussing the challenges they face, perhaps in the hope someone else has faced a similar problem and will share their experience.

Now the events can only be attended by those who work for law firms, or businesses like Quiss Technology who support the activities of LSN – we hope to explain our support for law firms, for those that can benefit, in a relaxed environment that allows us to talk frankly.

Everyone at the event wears a colour-coded badge to identify their particular area of responsibility; as a man looking to help firms manage and optimise their IT resources, I really don’t want to spend my evening talking to the HR Department people – no offence.

Then the problems started. I mingled and singled out the IT managers, so I could pitch our services. Unfortunately, I was ignored by each and every one, with most saying; “sorry, I don’t want to talk to you”. I’m a simple Black Country lad, but even I suspected there was something up.

I was tempted to leave, but decided to get to the bottom of it and I’m pleased I did. It turns out that all the IT managers there were worried by the presence of Quiss Technology, because they believed our only interest is in IT outsourcing.

They believed introducing us to their law firm would be like turkeys not only voting for Christmas, but putting up the tree and decorating it.

I finally managed to explain that most of our work with law firms, involves the in-house IT manager and their team. Our helpdesk helps take away the day-to-day pain and allows managers to concentrate on the strategic aspect of their work.

IT outsourcing is a deeply misunderstood concept, but one I’m keen to address. We help IT managers in law firms ensure IT is an enabler for growth, not a stumbling block. And I guess this was a valuable lesson for all concerned.

Quiss Technology needs to be much clearer in what it says. We need to emphasise the support we provide for existing IT teams and how many we work with across law firms of all sizes. Law firm IT managers have nothing to fear from businesses like ours, if they know how to work with us and integrate our services into their business.

Given the current desire for increased productivity and efficiency across the legal sector, managed IT services has much to offer. Whether it’s a high street solicitors wanting a hosted desktop solution or a large multi-site firm, wanting converged telephony and a hybrid Cloud solution, we have the experience to advise and the expertise to implement. But it all starts with a conversation.

Matt Rhodes, Commercial Services Manager, Quiss Technology