When Is The Right Time To Upgrade Your IP Management Software?



Questel is a true end-to-end intellectual property solutions provider serving 20,000 organizations in more than 30 countries for the optimal management of their IP assets portfolio. Whether for patent, trademark, domain name, or design, Questel provides its customers with the software, tech-enabled services, and consulting services necessary to give them a strategic advantage.
Switching to a new IP management system can seem daunting, but it's simpler than expected. Grace Mallinson of Equinox outlines four triggers for change: inadequate current systems, lack of scalability, insufficient security, and optimal timing. With expert support, the transition is seamless and efficient.
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With deadlines to meet, clients or internal stakeholders to satisfy, and a host of other IP administrative tasks to manage, switching to a new IP management system (IPMS) can seem an overwhelming idea. Fortunately, it's a lot easier than you might think, says Grace Mallinson, Sales and Onboarding Manager at Equinox, a Questel company. She explains when and where to start.

It can seem daunting to approach a big software change. However, the sooner you switch, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of an upgraded software solution and improve your experience managing your IP portfolio.

Four Common Triggers for Change

Here are four common triggers to consider when deciding the right time to switch IP software and why it's easier than you may think to make the change:

1. Your Current IPMS Is Not Up to the Job

If you're researching the most opportune time to switch to a new IP portfolio management software, you're probably not happy with your current solution.

If your trigger for change is because your system isn't working effectively enough for you, it's worth considering that the sooner you switch, the quicker you'll overcome the issues and blockers. Over the years, we've heard from clients about all the headaches they've had with their previous systems. Busy IP professionals need an IPMS system that supports their day-to-day workload, not one that adds hurdles in their way.

2. Your System Isn't Growing or Evolving With You

Your IPMS should scale with you as your organization grows or changes, but sadly this isn't always the case. Some IP technology providers make it difficult or costly to add new users from your organization or increase the number of clients and cases you manage through the system.

If your trigger for change is that your IPMS doesn't scale or isn't suitable for the increased workload, choose a system designed with growth in mind. For example, we developed our Equinox IP Management Software to enable all our clients to meet their potential. Whether you're starting up a law firm or pushing to grow an established team, we want to accelerate, not limit your success.

3. You Need a More Advanced and More Secure System

Another common problem that IP professionals can face is slow development and a lack of system maintenance by IP technology providers. To keep IP management software secure and running effectively, it needs regular development updates—ideally, as regularly as every two weeks—to ensure it runs smoothly and your data is secure. Timely access to the latest software functionality is also critical for helping you handle tasks more quickly, easily, and effectively.

If your trigger for change is that your software functionality is slow, insecure, or out-of-date, consider shortlisting providers based on how regularly they release functionality and security updates. The right provider will help you to increase your productivity, as well as keep your data secure.

4. It's Not the Busiest Time of Year

With your calendar quickly filling up, it could be hard to identify the best time for you to make the transition. While there is no wrong time to start the process, look to allocate time between busy periods to minimize the demands on your resources. If you're facing deadlines for budget setting and annual reports or key personnel are on vacation, for example, you may not have the time or energy to address the need for a software change, even though you understand its importance.

If your trigger for change is that you have identified a potential gap in your schedule, make sure you work with a technology provider who will deliver according to those timeframes. A good IPMS partner will supply a clear onboarding schedule and realistic project timeline, including what's needed from you and your team and by when. This will make it much easier for you to plan around existing deadlines and holidays.

Why It's Easier Than You Think to Switch IP Software

Even if you're dissatisfied with your current IPMS, you've probably been using it for a long time, so changing to a new one could seem daunting. You may assume that you'll have to devote time (that you don't have) to training your team, and you may be worried that the transition will disrupt your services. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way. The right IPMS partner will make the transition as seamless and efficient as possible by providing access to friendly experts to guide the onboarding and migration process and provide continued support.

For example, Questel provides organizations and law firms with access to a highly experienced onboarding team for our Equinox IP Management Software. Your dedicated point of contact will guide you throughout the onboarding process from your first demo through to system configuration and training and our expert data engineers will meticulously handle the migration of your portfolio data. By minimizing the demands on internal resources, we help new clients of all types and sizes get started faster, with many organizations sharing their surprise at how simple and painless it was to switch.

Accessible Support When You Need It

When it's time to go live with your new system, you'll already have received plenty of training, but the support doesn't stop there. Our friendly support team is on hand for any requests, while our multimedia help center is packed with documents and videos that demonstrate every feature and function you need at your own time and pace.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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