Innovative Computing Systems Marks 30-Year Anniversary by Reflecting on a Generation of Change in the Legal Technology Industry
LOS ANGELES – January 31, 2019 – Innovative Computing Systems, a Los Angeles-based legal technology company, celebrates the company’s 30-year anniversary in 2019. Michael Kemps, the founder and chief executive officer, formed the company in 1989 with one employee – himself – and from the comfort of his parents’ bedroom in Southern California. Today, the company has grown to sub-50 employees in three offices serving almost 300 law firm, municipality and other corporate clients.
Kemps started the company as a teenager while working for a value-added reseller, where he sold and installed hardware and early network systems. His entrée into the legal profession came about while working for that reseller at the Law Offices of Albert G. Wiemans. Wiemans was an estate planning and tax lawyer and subsequently the mayor of Hermosa Beach, California. His administrator came into the office, upset that a large amount of data had been lost from her hard drive. Kemps not only recovered the data for her but also formed a lifelong relationship with the client. The administrator had an interest in technology and appreciated the work that Kemps did on the data recovery.
“That administrator gave me the opportunity to learn the legal market, the applications that were available and what the needs of law firms were,” Kemps reflects. “I didn’t so much learn how the law works, but instead how the practice of law worked from an administrative and a software perspective. That was absolutely invaluable starting off, gaining expertise and creating early vendor relationships.”
In 1989, law firms were primarily working with no-name workstations that were inexpensive and easy to acquire. Kemps quickly learned these workstations could not perform to law firm standards, which helped him develop the company’s core values and best-of-breed approach to technology solutions. This approach means seeking out quality products and services that meet or exceed client needs, minimizing the number of offerings and insuring that every new vendor partnership has been analyzed and tested before being rolled out to clients. The company started with one partner, Legal Solutions, a forms company that produced judicial council forms that law firms used in California. Today, the company works with just around 20 best-of-breed vendor partners specific to document management, email management, templates, training, security, hardware, software, the cloud and other law firm operations technology.
Innovative Computing Systems quickly grew in the early years from a single employee in a home office to four in a small space in Rolling Hills Estates, California. That office expanded and moved several more times before settling into the current location in El Segundo, California. A client in San Francisco referred enough new business to Innovative to justify opening an office in that city in 1997.
The shift to cloud computing brought about the opening of an office in Austin, Texas, in 2013. Technical support was going remote, and the demand for longer support hours and faster assistance was growing. The business climate in Austin allowed Innovative to expand into that city, hire more top engineers and add multiple shifts to meet client needs.
Reflecting on the long history of the company, Kemps lists the struggles law firms faced and how those struggles have changed over the years. “Back in 1989, we were first dealing with software incompatibilities due to lack of vendor maturation. Remember WordPerfect? We helped law firms deal with the conversion from it to Microsoft Word. We also helped law firms solve problems with early implementations of document management systems. We saw law firms through the struggle with hardware released with a lack of standardization and drivers. We’ve also seen firms through hand-loading software all the way through being able to uniformly deploy it as the internet became available. We were there for the beginnings of email and have helped firms through the weaknesses of early email platforms. Today, security is the industry’s primary focus, protecting law firms as technology continues to evolve and new threats emerge.”
The most impactful change Kemps has seen in law firm technology has been the move to cloud computing. “The ability to transition a capital expense to an operational expense and to have hardware always current and updated, not having to manually implement and support software and being able to secure it remotely dramatically improve law firm operations. The financial impact is more predictable, and support is exponentially faster and simpler. The qualities of cloud computing only increase client satisfaction, which means law firms, in turn, can better serve them.”
About Innovative Computing Systems, Inc.
Innovative Computing Systems, Inc., has primarily focused on the technology needs of law firms since 1989, and those skill sets have been sought out by entities such as municipalities, corporate environments and professional services organizations. Innovative Computing Systems takes a best-of-breed approach to all its offerings. Innovative Computing Systems selects only premier technology partners to provide solutions to its clients and is committed to maintaining long-term strategic relationships with them to ensure the highest levels of success, both in productivity and with IT initiatives. Learn more by visiting www.innovativecomp.com.