Today, Abacus Data Systems announced that Amicus Attorney (previously developed by Gavel & Gown Software) “will become an integrated part of the Abacus family.”

However, the companies will continue to operate independently:

Both companies will continue to offer all products and services with no changes made to either company’s staff or management team.

So why does it matter to lawyers? Stepping stones.

There isn’t a lot of growth in legacy software, like AbacusLaw and Amicus. Both are desktop/on-premise practice management software. Newer, cloud-based options are steadily taking away market share. Here’s a snippet from the 2015 ABA TECHREPORT:

In small firms nearly 50% have case/practice management software available to them …. The most common software in this category is Outlook at 49%, followed by Casemap (11%), Clio (10%), Time Matters (9%), and PC Law (7%).

(Emphasis mine.) I’m sure AbacusLaw and Amicus are on the chart, and probably not much further down since they’ve got well-established, loyal user bases. But still, further down and probably sinking because legacy software isn’t picking up many new users.

But Abacus also has Abacus Private Cloud, which is a cloud-based “desktop-as-a-service.” Basically, you can move your entire law-firm network to a private, secure cloud server—whatever software you use. (Abacus says it has APC customers who use Clio for practice management.) So if you are already using Abacus—and now Amicus—moving to the cloud is a piece of cake.

And now Abacus has Amicus Cloud, a full-featured, cloud-based practice management suite. According to some of the members of our forum, Amicus Cloud needs some work, but it is well-suited for firms that want practice management software without many compromises.

So on the one hand Abacus just increased its “legacy” software user base by adding Amicus users. But many of those firms need to move to the cloud, and Abacus Private Cloud and Amicus Cloud make it much easier to keep those firms as customers—and bring on new ones.

If you are already an Abacus or Amicus customer, now you have new options for moving to the cloud, whether or not you are interested in working in a browser.