JRS Considers ECMS for PSS

As we have mentioned before the LSC have now published a response to the Preferred Supplier Consultation. (I will give a fuller take on this later in the month).
Perhaps most intriguingly it seemingly introduces (somewhat out of a clear blue sky) compulsion with regard to the use of ECMS. This next new acronym refers to Electronic Case Management Systems i.e. mandatory use of new software, and yes without any grant funding or other support.
The entire section on “e-business” runs to less than one side of A4 (page 25 of the above linked document) with little more than a single paragraph covering this development.
To date there is no specification as to what, over and above online contract reporting, this will involve. We anticipate further information sometime in February.
I have always held what I think is a healthy scepticism with regard to the actual benefits of ECMS. We have consequently never seriously advised firms to make such an investment. Similarly neither have we jumped into bed with any suppliers either in a developmental or marketing role. Much of this stance is grounded in the practical experience of firms who have rarely seen benefit from such investment.
The spectre of compulsion forces a review of this stance. To this end we have entered into discussions with a software developer to explore a practical response. We have in mind a low cost, stand alone product developed out of an existing system which was designed for and by legal aid practitioners. Before we begin to invest further this is a simple request for some feed back.

If we developed a simple and cost effective product which delivers compliance would you be interested?
Would you rather wait for your current accounts software to be developed?
Is the product itself or after sales and support most important to you?
Would you be interested in any event, regardless of PSS compulsion?
Are you only interested in computer games?

Answers to these questions or any other thoughts on the subject would be gratefully received, either in the Comments, over the phone or by e-mail.
In the meantime don’t panic this does look like being a medium rather than short term project.

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