The Peppermint Platform (now called Peppermint CX) was developed in 2011, based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and Microsoft SharePoint 2010. The big leap back then was to harness the benefits of Microsoft’s investment in R&D – approx. US$2bn per annum – and deliver a modern, affordable cloud solution for legal service providers.
At the outset, Peppermint had two big architectural advantages:
- Microsoft Dynamics is a flexible platform technology purpose designed to be easily extended and configured to meet the needs of a vertical market, or an individual firm.
- The quality of these tools is well beyond anything the budgets of the old-school legal software vendors could ever conjure up, and they are truly customer-centric.
Peppermint launched its inaugural product and found a willing cache of early adopters who fell in love with this vision and provided valuable feedback on how the platform should be enhanced. Cue a four-year cycle of Peppermint investment in product development to fill the gaps – accounting, time recording, billing, SRA compliance, bank rec, document management, client-matter inception and more – but all of this was on the 2011 and 2010 versions of the Microsoft platform.
By late 2015, the time was right to move to the next step: prepare for a major upgrade to the most current versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft SharePoint, while concurrently establishing a process and methodology to ensure Peppermint customers are aligned with the Microsoft upgrade cycle, in a way which is both agile and affordable.
Introducing Peppermint CX
Enter Peppermint CX. Behind the new name is new functionality and a more agile product management process designed to keep customers bang up to date. Aligned with Microsoft, we will now be making two releases each year – Spring and Autumn – and these will be easier for customers to consume – and that means a lower spend on upgrades in both time & money. This means customers’ project focus can be on innovation projects, not upgrade cycles.
From a technical perspective, the launch of Peppermint CX is a coming of age: delivery of core functionality in the main products; the upgrade of the base technology to the latest and greatest; more agile, and easier, product release management; and a renewed focus (signalled in the name change to Peppermint CX) on the real difference-maker: the customer-centric functionality ensuring that our customers can design business processes which have their CLIENT at the centre.
So, in a nutshell, what will Peppermint CX deliver to our customers?
- Increase efficiency. Easy-to-use tools to rapidly configure workflows to streamline service delivery: put the right tools and information in the hands of the client service personnel, remove inefficiency, reduce waste and duplication. Most law firms are still using Victorian working practices in the face of 21st century client expectations. The need to change the way in which business is done is now key to preserving profitability, keeping talent, and delivering to clients. ‘Do more with less’ is no longer a catchy business cliché, it’s an imperative.
- Client-service apps. These same tools can be used to deliver client-facing apps. This is the Gosschalks story writ large. Don’t just think about what your IT can do for your own business efficiency, take that same IT investment and think about what it can do for your clients’ businesses.
- Mobility. This is perhaps the biggest single functional advance. To borrow from the Microsoft brochure: ‘delivering a seamless user experience across mobile devices, including tablets and phones.’ This is not just enabling a mobile workforce but also options to deliver information and engage customers via the channels and devices they typically use. (How would you feel about your bank if it did not offer a mobile banking app? Yet currently only 8.7% of law firms offer customer access to case management information.)
- Affordability. Indeed, legal service providers are demanding this themselves; they want to do more with less in terms of their IT. This upgrade moves Peppermint customers to the front of the curve in terms of supportability, and positions them to take advantage of the latest Microsoft desktop technology. And the desktop in legal is Microsoft, so compatibility with the latest versions of Outlook, Exchange and Word is critical, and this latest Peppermint CX release further ensures that compatibility.
Netted down, Peppermint CX is both a coming of age and a jumping-off point in terms of what comes next: integration with the latest Microsoft tools, including all the new options (PowerBI, Social, etc). It’s hard evidence of our determination to focus on where our customers will see the greatest returns and the greatest potential to differentiate – that is the customer experience. And because Peppermint CX is already 100% cloud – while our competitors are spending 90% of the R&D to get to cloud v1 – we have further increased an already significant market advantage.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kaye is a senior lawtech executive with 25 years’ experience in the industry, and so has deep domain understanding & expertise. Kaye’s experience, together with her knowledge of industry directions & new technologies, enables her to share insight with customers – bringing new ideas, and giving advice & guidance that both inspires and helps customers to advance their business initiatives.