Last week at the ILTA Conference in Las Vegas, NetDocuments scored a coup by announcing a new partnership with Microsoft that moves this award-winning cloud-based Document Management System (DMS) far ahead of the competition.
Here are the key points of the partnership:
Office 365—The NetDocuments DMS will now work directly through Microsoft’s own “Add-In” model, which will allow improved, direct access to documents through Microsoft Office applications and tools. The NetDocuments Email management solution (formerly “Decisiv Email”) will also be fully integrated with Microsoft Exchange Online.
- Matter Center for Office 365—We knew that Microsoft was planning to formally announce its long-rumored entry into the Practice Management application field, and the gossip vines predicted it would soon be the 800-pound gorilla in the room. See Robert Ambrogi’s review. Simply put, Matter Center for Office 365 allows users to
- create or view legal matters right from Outlook;
- tie Word, Excel, OneNote and other files to those matters;
- securely collaborate with other legal professionals inside or outside their organizations.
What we didn’t know—and what completely blew us away—is that Microsoft’s alliance with NetDocuments will be THE document management and email management solution for Microsoft’s entry into Practice Management, via Microsoft’s Azure platform.
- Azure—NetDocuments is working with Microsoft to design an Azure-hosted version of its DMS solution which will include all of ND’s existing features and functionality. We are not clear at this point what enhanced functionality this choice of hosting service may offer, but we suspect it will lead to much stronger customization capabilities for those firms with the internal IT resources to fully leverage Azure and its many development opportunities.
- ndOffice—The present built-in application that brings NetDocuments directly to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook will be more deeply integrated with present and future Microsoft technologies for Office 365 in the following areas:
- device synchronization
- mobile apps
- concurrent multi-user editing
- mobile security
- OneDrive for Business
- NetDocuments own content exchange
Press releases from both Microsoft and NetDocuments indicate NetDocuments will be *the* DMS element in the deal and that Matter Center for Office 365 is not intended to take on that role. Of even greater interest is the fact that any collaboration with Microsoft SharePoint has been shuffled off to third-party vendors.
Given this last fact, many observers in the field of legal technology see NetDocuments emerging as a clear winner, with some openly asking if this is the beginning of the end for SharePoint. We will not comment here on that, but we continue to recommend NetDocuments as a robust and secure cloud-based Document Management System whose prospects are looking better than ever.
A well-regarded member of the AmLaw 100, Baker, Donaldson, seems to agree with that viewpoint. They recently concluded that NetDocuments was the answer to the various document management challenges that they have been grappling with for some time. Click HERE if you would like to hear more about the firm’s process for choosing NetDocuments for their DMS.
If recent developments in data security are of concern to you, we invite you to look at NetDocuments as a powerful solution for your document management needs. It will now be made even more powerful through this strategic alliance with Microsoft.
As always, we welcome your comments and questions, about document management or any other issue related to law office technology. Call us at 877-357-0555 or email us at email@example.com.
Dana Riel is President and Founder of Business Solutions, Inc., serving the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area since 1985. Her firm is the authorized training center for the region for Time Matters and PCLaw by PCLaw|Time Matters, PLLC; Timeslips and Peachtree Accounting by Sage Software; and QuickBooks by Intuit Corporation. As a trainer, Dana has provided training services to organizations such as the DOD Defense Logistics Agency, Judge Advocate General’s Office (JAG)/Department of the Navy, University of the District of Columbia School of Law, U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as with small‐ to mid‐size law firms in the Baltimore‐Washington D.C. area. In 2009, she participated in the series of day‐long seminars sponsored by the District of Columbia Bar Association Practice Management Section, titled “Basic Training: Learn About Running a Law Office”. Ms. Riel also served as an Adjunct Professor in Georgetown University’s Paralegal Studies Program, having taught the course, “Legal Ethics/Legal Technology” in 2009; and “Legal Technology” for the Spring and Summer Semesters of 2010. She presently serves on the Advisory Board for PCLaw|Time Matters, PLLC.