SAP, the enterprise software company, has an unusual ad in the current American Lawyer magazine – a shot across the bow for law firm financial software vendors in my opinion 

The ad is an 8-page essay themed with a Hegelian synthesis of law practice and law business via flexible and integrated financial software. (Aside: good thing I read Marx in college.) It suggests that existing financial systems cannot run increasingly large and global law firms. This is not SAP’s first foray into legal; last December I wrote that Howrey adopted SAP.

If I were Elite, Aderant, Redwood Analytics, Whitehall, or any other law firm financial software supplier, I would read this essay and start thinking about SAP as a serious competitor. It’s hard to imagine SAP running this ad in isolation, meaning the company is likely to continue pushing in legal. Law firm managers should welcome the possibility of more choice.