We launched our brand new website today. While it looks great, it also tells the whole Keyhouse story, details all of our products and services and will keep you up to date with all of our news and events.
While we’re in the zone, we thought we’d take a minute to reflect on how far we have come and how we got here. It’s a success story about a company that grew up in the .com boom, found its niche, survived as others fell, thrived, made it through austerity and is still blossoming.
It’s a tale of an ongoing evolution.
Keyhouse installed its first legal accounts system (Solicitors Accounts Management – SAM Accounts) back in 1983 and then brought the first Windows based legal accounts system to the market in 1997. This is where our reputation for providing robust legal accounting and time recording solutions began. Our accounting solutions continue to be a key product for the company and every year they go to work in more and more law offices throughout the country – large and small.
Working closely with our clients and researching the market we saw a need for a truly integrated Irish practice management system(PMS). At the time (mid 90’s) there was no one supplier in Ireland providing both accounting and case management solutions. That’s when the original Keyhouse (Justin Phelan and Stephen Keogh) merged with LawSoft Systems (Brian Sweeney) who had been developing case management systems for solicitors in the UK and had returned home. Both were relatively small companies at the time but both recognised the potential in offering a quality PMS and embarked on a joint venture which became Keyhouse Computing in 1999.
The company employed 10 people and was based in Bray, Co. Wicklow.
In 2002, the Sheriff’s Association selected Keyhouse to work on a joint project in partnership with the Revenue Commissioners to develop and deliver an effective and cost efficient debt recovery system enabling clear collaboration between the revenue and each of the 16 sheriff offices around the country. The project involved the full cycle of software development including scoping, costing, design, development, testing including UAT, deployment, training and sign off. Essentially, we developed the software linking the revenue commissioners to 16 sheriffs’ offices enabling the daily transfer of data via an on line secure upload/download web portal.
13 years later this partnership is still ongoing today and we’re very proud of that. We support, maintain and update this solution as and when required to allow for new business rules between the sheriffs and revenue.
From 2000 to 2012, we continued to upgrade and further develop our PMS, adding new features such as the Electronic Bank Reconciliation module to the SAM Accounts System and Outlook integration to Case Management. We introduced Digital Dictation and developed a mobile app helping connect clients to their offices wherever they were and to manage their cases on the move.
During this time, Keyhouse grew from 10 employees to 18 with a solid client base of 300 law firms. They all play a very significant role in the development of our products, telling us about their changing needs and helping to improve our offerings. Many of our clients have been with us for 10 years or more. By constantly consulting with, and listening to them, we refine everything. In fact most of the great ideas for new product functionality and services come from our clients’ ideas.
In 2015, we embarked on our biggest project yet and released a major new case management software upgrade built on the latest Microsoft .NET framework and this has now been rolled out to over 90% of our clients. Years in development, this release incorporated invaluable input from clients all over the country and was built on the most advanced Microsoft technology available. The upgraded product was designed to not only simplify the end user experience without sacrificing the comprehensive functionality (as always with Keyhouse) but to future-proof our clients businesses. The goal is always to help them not only to become more sustainable but also grow in an ever increasingly competitive marketplace.
The suite of products and service Keyhouse now provides is the result of 30 years’ experience working with the legal profession in Ireland. With an in-depth understanding of solicitors’ offices and in-house legal departments, Keyhouse delivers software solutions that meet the exacting requirements of the legal office.
We’re very proud that Keyhouse is one of the few software suppliers left that designs, develops and supports all of its own products.
The Keyhouse Practice Management Suite of software includes Solicitor Accounts (formerly known as SAM), Document Management, Case Management, Time Recording, Billing and Digital Dictation. Every day we work on new ways to provide clients with innovative tools to help them run their practices more efficiently.
From Baggot Street to Bray, to the IMI in Sandyford and soon from an office in the UK as we begin another chapter, we are now a team of 25 and look forward to working in partnership with all our clients for another 30 years.
And that’s the story. So far.