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Top Five Reasons Why iManage Users Need Work 10

Monday, August 7, 2017

The demonstration of the iManage Work 10 at the recent iManage ConnectLive event would have left little doubt in the minds of organisations that this latest version truly represents a substantial leap forward in the functionality of document and email management systems. It will enable organisations to address a number of business challenges surrounding mobility, security, total cost of ownership and system adoption.

Specifically, from a user’s perspective, here are the top five reasons why organisations should consider upgrading to Work 10:

  • Windows 10 ready – Work 10 fully integrates with Microsoft Office, including Office 365. Users can manage emails, documents, client collaboration and more – all from within their Outlook folders. Most things are merely a click away with Work 10. In fact, Work 10 also integrates with Gmail, Adobe Acrobat and other widely used tools that professionals use to get their job done.

  • Enhanced day-to-day mobility – Mobility isn’t merely a requirement of ‘road warriors’ who are often travelling on business, but also of daily commuters who need access to data while on the move between offices. Systems today need to be device agnostic as access to data from anywhere, anytime and from any instrument is key to employee productivity. The new HTML 5 web app in Work 10 enables this.

  • Better remote access for satellite offices – Many organisations today have satellite offices and so remote workers need applications that are smart and resilient to high latency. The Work 10 client application uses modern REST APIs to communicate with iManage; which are designed to be light weight and efficient for cloud, remote access and mobile apps so that the lag on the network is minimised.

  • Restoring the Trash Bin – How often does it happen that a user accidently deletes an important document? Typically, a lengthy process in other document management systems, Work 10 enables end users to easily restore deleted content with ease, creating a much need safety net for busy and under pressure professionals.

  • New security models – Organisations today are guardians of data, and safeguarding this often-confidential information is crucial of course, but additionally now there are crippling regulatory implications too with the new GDPR coming into force in 2018. IT users can set up instantaneous walls based on individuals’ need to know information, to better manage access and authorisations of content. There are new security models in Work 10 that facilitate this.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but gives an idea of why law firms, in-house legal departments and other professional services organisations (e.g. accountancy practices) should consider a move to Work 10. If this is something you are considering, get in touch with us via contact@ascertus.com. We can offer a step by step approach to the upgrade, which will reduce the risk of a big bang approach, minimise downtime and ensure the best possible user adoption.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Why is Legal Tech Funding a Problem for Corporates?

- By Jon Wainwright, Sales Director, Ascertus Limited

This comment from a General Counsel recently says it all: “We have done an acquisition worth £50 million in three months, but it has taken us two years to get £80,000 signed off for legal technology for the department.” We frequently hear such anecdotes from corporate legal departments.

It is genuinely mind-boggling. Why do in-house departments struggle to secure investment for legal technology from the business and indeed from IT? The commercial rationale for legal technology is exactly the same as for any other business application and department – increased efficiency and productivity, reduced staff cost, decreased business risk and more recently, the need to comply with the requirements of the GDPR.

A longstanding argument that traditional corporates often express is that the legal department is a cost centre. It’s true that in the typical sense, the legal department does not bring in revenue like the sales department does; but this is a very old school way of thinking. Today, more than ever before, due to the global political and economic environment, the General Counsel plays a highly strategic role in business, facilitating the achievement of the broader corporate objectives, be it regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, transformation or any other.

Technology can help ensure that the legal department maintains its focus on delivering the high value, strategic legal services to the business, by relegating the low value, routine administrative tasks to IT. This not only enables the department to contain costs, but indeed become a value generator for the corporate.

The characteristic IT view in corporate organisations tends to be that the applications deployed across the business are and should be equally suitable for the legal department. The reality is that while this may be true for some applications, legal technology is designed to deliver against very specific functionality requirements of lawyers and General Counsel. Take document management. Holding business-critical, matter-related files on multiple shares and drives is risky. Instead, an integrated email and document management system ensures that all matter-related files are automatically stored in a secure central repository, supported by automatic version control, change management, audit trails and powerful search capabilities. This supports collaboration across the department as there is always one de-duplicated version of the truth and teams always know the latest position and status of every single matter that the department is dealing with.

Similarly, legal departments often employ external counsel and law firms for specialised work. A senior lawyer in a corporate legal department recently recounted his frustration over law firm invoicing: it took this individual a couple of hours reviewing a panel law firm’s invoice, line by line; formulating an extensive email questioning why a large amount was charged for a particular activity; subsequently calling the law firm partner to discuss the sum, who in turn discussed the issue with the fee earner for clarification; and finally arranging a face to face meeting for a later date to settle the issue.

Of course, in this example, the lawyer is only talking of one of the panel firms. A similar process is typically applied to invoices from all the law firms on the corporate’s panel. This scenario is immensely avoidable with a legal spend management solution. Not only would this solution enable the adoption of e-billing, making reviewing bills easy; the legal department would be able to undertake risk and spend management, which will help tangibly reduce costs – a goal that the department is tasked with.

In the current, technology-driven and increasingly regulatory and legal-led business environment; it’s time the archetypal attitude of IT and the business towards legal technology changed – for the benefit of the wider organisation.

Monday, August 21, 2017

iManage’s Acquisition of RAVN – Impact on the Future of Document Management

- Guest Blog by David Fisk, Commercial Director at iManage RAVN

Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers the promise of significantly transforming our personal and professional lives, and much has been made about its impact on the workforce, perhaps not always positively. The reality, however, is that AI enables individuals to improve and enhance their capabilities and quickly adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

AI by itself is relatively meaningless. The true power of AI is when you don’t even notice it. The best example is consumer vehicles, specifically self-driving cars. No one is adding an AI platform to their ‘non-smart car’ – instead, people are buying a car with this functionality already built-in. As you are driving in your self-driving car, you know there is AI technology running in the background, but you don’t actually see it working.

iManage has most definitely stolen the march in the AI space following its recent acquisition of AI- platform, RAVN Systems, making the company one of the largest vendors of AI – not just in the legal sector, but more widely across industries. iManage has already started integrating the RAVN AI-platform in many of its Work Product Management offerings. The effect of this development on traditional document, content and knowledge management is going to be phenomenal - raising the bar and indeed the expectations of users of such software across many industries. For instance, RAVN already has a significant client base in sectors including finance and real estate.

The combined iManage-RAVN offerings will take iManage Work from being a powerful, next generation document management system to becoming a leading-edge content awareness platform. With tens of millions of objects in a data repository, unless the information is analysed in metadata fields, it’s very difficult to locate the right facts/evidence/material in the content residing in the system. The RAVN AI engine in iManage Work can mine the information in the content to enable organisations to repurpose knowledge and gain insight on matters that can help law firms offer value added services – but the possibilities are endless.

Specifically, for law firms and in-house legal departments, the coming together of iManage and RAVN has opened up the possibilities of developing exciting applications to deliver efficiency to customers in the way matters are handled, insight is extracted and leveraged or legal documents are analysed. Let’s take a look at the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), a UK-governmental department in charge of prosecuting complex cases of fraud and corruption. The SFO recently used RAVN to help a team of investigators sift through 30 million documents, processing 600,000 documents per day. Without the use of RAVN’s AI search capabilities, the investigation quite likely would never have completed.

In the near future, customers can expect to see a strengthened search capability in iManage Work. In addition to the traditional search functionality currently offered within the product, customers will now be able to take advantage of the more advanced knowledge management offering via the RAVN integration. Similarly, the extraction capability plugged in to iManage Work will greatly enhance the system, regardless of whether matters sit in workspaces at the law firm end or in the collaborative areas with clients.

Today, iManage is at the forefront of this technology and positioned as a dominant player in this burgeoning area. Many organisations that offer AI today are fairly small start-ups with limited trading history, which in itself carries a substantial risk for law firms and organisations to adopt their solutions. iManage and RAVN are well established companies with a rich history of innovation and proven product offerings, which will give customers the confidence to deploy the combined solution to meet business needs and even gain a competitive advantage.

There is a feeling that AI might solve business problems someday in the distant future. However, iManage completely disagrees with this premise – companies are using iManage RAVN to solve real-world business issues TODAY!

There will be lots of exciting things that will be unveiled in the months to come – watch this space!

About David Fisk

David joined RAVN Systems 5 years ago to add a commercial layer to what was a very engineering-centric but exciting start up. Tasked with taking their highly innovative technology to market, the journey has been exciting and rewarding. Having originally graduated with a degree in electronic engineering, his career has subsequently included spells in business consultancy, indirect sales management, direct sales, and management.