Break out the apple cider! Savvy is 20 years old! (When we turn 21 next year, we’ll break out the bubbly!)
Waaay back in 1985, there was a company called MicroOne. It was a hardware integrator and it had a training division as part of its offerings. (To give you an idea of how long ago that was, it was the year of Windows 1.0 and the original Macintosh computer!) Then, in 1997, MicroOne was sold and the training division spun off, creating (drumroll please…) Savvy Training & Consulting!
This year, Savvy celebrates its 20th anniversary and I’ve been reflecting on the company’s history, which closely mirrors the most exciting technological innovations of our age. And, as tech has advanced, we’ve embraced those new tools and helped law firms to use them efficiently for ever-improving client service and bottom-line enhancements.
Let’s face it: technological innovations and breakthroughs have completely changed the practice of law! And as the years pass, those innovations (and ensuing security protocols) are harder and harder for law firms to incorporate rapidly and smoothly into their daily practice.
That’s where Savvy shines! We make sure that our partner firms know what’s coming and how to use it for maximum productivity. But, ohhhh, how our methods have changed over the years…
The Early Years
Originally, in 1997, we were solely an on-site training company, sending troops of trainers across the country where they worked on law firm floors for weeks at a time. Those trainers were Savvy’s repository of all tech training. They geeked-out on every workflow breakthrough (think: Office 97). By night in their hotel rooms, they studied the products and platforms that law firms used; by day, they trained.
Further, because Savvy has always served one industry – the legal industry – those trainers knew law firm cultures, structures, challenges and demands like a dog knows its owner. They were truly in service to the people they helped.
That tradition of service is Savvy’s foundation. It undergirds absolutely everything we do.
Tech Innovations Ramped Up
Then, in the early to mid-2000s, tech started changing rapidly and law firms everywhere were trying to upgrade to Office 2007. At Savvy, we realized that we had to create training materials that our trainers could quickly update with new tips, tricks and techniques for our clients. We spent hours putting that training materials in 3-ring binders!
Then, word got out beyond our clients and, to our immense happiness, that material became so popular that we decided to sell it as stand-alone training content: The SavvySMART Content Library was born!
We first sold it on a CD and later on a flash drive. (Some giant companies with huge training demands (ahem: “McDonald’s”) were still using 3-ring binders just two years ago!)
Of course, we were still doing a lot of on-site trainings (and we always will), but we also realized that our content was helping in-house trainers to do their jobs better. So we doubled-down on SavvySMART and started creating quick reference guides, cheat sheet cards, and other ancillary materials that made the content library even more user-friendly.
Then the Financial Crisis Hit
In 2008, the rug was pulled out from beneath everybody’s feet. At Savvy, we watched as our law firm friends lost clients, lost jobs, shuttered their generations-old firms and teamed up with other firms to survive. We realized that our service had to make the training process as cost-efficient (think: Lean Training) and impactful as it had ever been.
We kept pushing to find leaner ways to deliver the training that law firms needed. On-site contract training can be expensive. It’s the Cadillac of training. When you ask staff and employees to stop what they’re doing to learn something new, you are giving up billable hours. So, Savvy sought a way to deliver our trusted SavvySMART content to clients in a way that they could access just-in-time, when and where they needed it.
The SavvyAcademy Learning Management System was born! This LMS does much of the administrative work that a trainer used to do, such as testing employees’ skills, setting individualized learning paths, orientation training, and more. This innovation freed in-house and vendor trainers to think more strategically, to offer one-on-one help where needed, and to work with IT and HR personnel on more impactful efforts. Meanwhile, employees and lawyers could access the trainings and tips they needed from their desktops, keeping workflow moving without disruption.
The Tech Changes Keep Coming
And now we come to Savvy’s recent history. In the last four years, the cloud has yet again changed the way law firms do business and Savvy has helped our clients access and use it efficiently. We also moved the SavvyAcademy LMS into the cloud!
Additionally, we are helping law firms upgrade into the newest platforms of their tech tools, such as Microsoft 2016, document management systems, and software as a subscription upgrades. We also offer security awareness training, which is an increasing concern in the legal industry.
This Dog Hunts
Remember that dog-and-owner analogy I used earlier in this blog? Today, this dog hunts. At Savvy, we are constantly on the hunt for technologies that are and will be impacting the legal industry so that we can help our clients maximize the appropriate tech for their needs. And our services and products continue to reflect the foundation of service that we established back in 1997. (For example, as soon as the “no Flash” news came out, we began republishing all of our training content in no-Flash format – at no cost to our subscribers.)
Truly, I believe that Savvy’s customer service is second-to-none. We hear time and time again from our clients that they have never before had a relationship with a vendor like they have with Savvy. Honestly, our relationships with our clients make every day more fun! And why do any job if it’s not fun? I’m in it for the people and I like making people happy.
So, as I reflect on Savvy’s 20th anniversary, I suppose my deepest feeling is one of gratitude. I’m fortunate to have a team of people on the Savvy staff who share my passion for service, we work with clients who make our days richer, and we get to help people achieve their goals.
Thank you for being part of Savvy’s history… and its future!