nQ Zebraworks (nQzw), originally formed through the 2020 merger of cloud automation platform Zebraworks and scanning and cost recovery provider nQueue, has historically been known for its workflow optimization products. But now the company has its eyes set on a goal stemming from the original launch of Zebraworks: practice management.
Next week at the Association of Legal Administrators conference, nQzw is set to reveal two new products that will be at the cornerstone of its new practice management strategy. BillingQ looks to integrate with law firms’ existing financial management systems to automate billing workflows and provide a single source for billing data such as A/R aging, WIP, WIP aging, payments and write-offs. Meanwhile, DataQ will work within BillingQ to provide a data warehouse, making it easier for attorneys and firm managers to view key financial metrics.
The two products will be available as stand-alone offerings, purchasable either directly from nQzw or through the company’s channel partners. BillingQ is available now, while DataQ is set to be fully released on June 30.
Speaking with LTN this week, nQzw CEO Bill Bice noted that the new products aren’t intended to be replacements for a firm’s current practice management system. Rather, BillingQ and DataQ are intended to integrate into those preexisting systems, especially considering that many firms “really don’t want to have to switch practice management systems” due to the time and money it takes to get them running, he explained.
“If the system you’re on is meeting most of your needs and there are just some specific things that you could make better, it actually makes a lot more sense to leverage that investment. And so that’s what we’re doing: We’re not selling a competing practice management system. We’re integrating with the existing systems that are already there and making them better,” he explained.
The goal, Bice added, is to make for a faster billing cycle. He posited that early law firm adopters of BillingQ have seen a multiple-day reduction in the normal billing process.
“I’ve never worked within an accounting department and law firm that didn’t have more to do than they really had time for,” he said. “So being able to create that time savings is just a huge benefit because those people can do much more valuable things than this stuff that we can automate for them.”
The technology itself will be built on the frame of nQzw’s preexisting workflow products. It was also infused with practice management principles that stem from a stable of practice management experts dating back to Bice’s previous company ProLaw, which was purchased by Thomson Reuters in 2018. In fact, Bice said that when he helped launch Zebraworks as a startup in 2019, practice management was very much on his mind, even before the nQueue merger.
The merger, he said, allowed Zebraworks’ developers to take nQueue products and move them to the cloud more quickly, and also gave “a lot more breadth to do the things that we set out to do with Zebraworks.” He added, “It was the plan from day one to go after these practice management enhancements, and the merger that created nQueue ZebraWorks was just the fastest way to get there.”
Looking forward, nQzw is planning on improving its practice management offering with feedback from firm clients, particularly by taking the cloud-based user experience from Zebraworks and extending it across all of the company’s offerings. And, to hear Bice tell it, plugging into other legal tech products and automating as much as they can seems to be in the company’s plans.
“I think integration is really the missing secret sauce,” he explained. “You’ve got all this technology running around in firms and what we really need to do is put a little more effort into tying all the pieces together.”