LEAP is the world’s largest provider of legal practice management software for law firms. Established in Sydney in 1992, the company now has clients across Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
LEAP had established itself in Australia and was expanding overseas. It needed a platform that would support its growth and shift clients from on-premise, client-based servers to cloud-based systems.
LEAP chose Zuora for their emerging United Kingdom arm — and then realised that Zuora’s cloud solution was ideally suited to support their subscription-based business even beyond Britain.
Zuora’s platform worked so seamlessly in the UK and was so easily transferable that LEAP decided to implement it throughout its other operations. Zuora turned a massive, highly complex joint venture in the US into a seamless system transition.
LEAP offers legal firms software that makes the administrative and procedural side of law simpler so that lawyers can concentrate on their practice. The Australian company was founded in 1992 and has grown to become the largest provider of legal practice management software for law firms.
Success in Australia gave its leaders the confidence to develop the business overseas. Several years ago LEAP began that expansion by acquiring software companies in the United Kingdom.
There was an impediment, though: LEAP’s internally developed, server-based billing system didn’t provide exactly what they needed, or what clients expected.
LEAP wanted a system that allowed for self-service for clients, new payment method capture, transaction scaling, and a single, global customer view. It also wanted a system that was in the cloud.
“All of our other core systems had already switched to the cloud, as the visionaries on the business had seen that this was where IT was moving. The billings system was the last system to make the switch,” says Jon Wright, LEAP’s Global Operations Officer.
Adds Wright, “We needed a system that came with all of the typical benefits associated with using cloud-based products: access from anywhere, no need to maintain servers, instant updates available to all users, integration with add-on products, and so on.”
LEAP’s UK team chose Zuora and began migrating its users – fewer than a thousand in the early days – to the cloud. It was such a seamless exercise that LEAP recognised this was the system they wanted to use across geographies.
According to Wright, “When our Australian team saw how well Zuora was working overseas, they wanted to implement Zuora locally. We had a much larger customer base in Australia, so we engaged with the Zuora team and moved them across to Zuora from an old system.”
After two successful deployments, LEAP expanded into the United States and brought Zuora with them.
While the first project – bringing the system to their American business – was relatively straightforward, the second one was much larger and more involved than anything they’d undertaken before.
It was a joint venture with a global information analytics company and it involved more than 130,000 users. It was a complex process and the project’s success would be largely dependent on the new system, not any existing one.
“After a short transition period we needed to move users across to Zuora,” says Wright. It was an enormous project. At a certain date we had to take over the invoicing and no longer rely on our core systems.”
Wright says the high-stakes transition could hardly have gone more smoothly: “Zuora did a brilliant job for us. This was the biggest challenge I've seen from a finance and billings point of view, but Zuora had done it many times before and they guided us the whole way.”
Continues Wright, “We worked with a team of outstanding technical people and a project manager. It was all designed in a way we liked and it allowed us to work with every sales tax in every state throughout the United States – they’re all different and have different documentation, so it's hugely complicated.”
Today, outside the huge joint venture, LEAP has about 20,000 users in Australia, 15,000 in the UK, and 3,000 in the US, all of them enjoying the benefits of Zuora’s billing and invoicing system.
“We found that even as we added thousands of users, Zuora’s subscription system ticked along beautifully in the background.” – Jon Wright, LEAP’s Global Operations Officer
“Our staff have been well trained on Zuora, You don’t want it to be a big issue that you talk about all the time – Zuora just works.” – Jon Wright, LEAP’s Global Operations Officer