Law firm Shoosmiths is positioning itself for rapid expansion by deploying an SAP ERP backbone and a legal management product from Indian outsourcer TCS.

IT director David Bason said the law firm had outgrown its existing platform and needed new core systems on which to grow the firm.

Bason currently has to service 185 different applications across the firm, which has £100 million turnover and employs 1,400 staff on 8 sites across the UK.

The initial roll out will focus on delivering core financials to the firm, with a parallel drive to deploy SAP CRM.

TCS will implement the core SAP ERP and its own Legal Management Solution to run on the SAP NetWeaver platform.

“We are following SAP's ASAP methodology, and aim to go live in May 2010,” said Bason.

While Shoosmith’s staff about having a single sign on through the SAP portal to all their systems, more importantly, for Bason, the new systems will allow Shoosmith’s to launch new product lines more easily.

Bason said, “In the past I sometimes used to have to tell the business I didn’t have the tools to what they wanted. Now I can say we’ll do it.”

The SAP implementation will lead to the decommissioning of just 13 systems in the first nine months, but these include most of the five most heavily used apps, said Bason.

Bason would not disclose pricing, but said, “We got a very good commercial deal” which he hopes to deliver £2 million a year cost savings across the business. “We are a pilot, but neither SAP, TCS nor ourselves can afford this to fail,” he added.