Latest-generation Outlook Integration technologies, employed by the leading case management systems, takes the challenge of “user adoption” by attorneys and correctly removes the barriers that usually impede the capturing and sharing of critical data across the firm. Today’s systems are easy-to-use, seamless and permit attorneys to continue working within the atmosphere exactly where they currently spend a large portion of their time – in Microsoft Outlook.
In the previous (and in some circumstances even currently) developers of these systems have attempted to “push a large rock up a steep hill” by insisting that lawyers log into an totally new interface as a way to participate in the technique. User adoption struggles as law firms investing in these systems come across attorneys are reluctant to embrace new processes that go against the way they are already accustomed to working.
Innovators in legal technologies acknowledged that there should be a much better way, and have focused on designing “smart” case management tools that integrate tightly together with the Microsoft Workplace suite. By deploying a stealth method to collecting case and matter data that seamlessly fits the way attorneys work, these technologies leaders have succeeded in tailoring their systems for the natural everyday workflow of today’s law office.
Because of this, the market has noticed a rise in user adoption, and a significant improvement inside the good results rate of legal case management implementations.
The Lawyer’s Outlook – A History
In line with ILTA’s 2009 Technologies Survey, 94% of law firms are now applying Microsoft Outlook/Exchange as their main e mail platform. Inside a legal market when dominated by Novell’s GroupWise and, to a lesser extent, Lotus Notes, it truly is by no signifies a stretch to declare Microsoft Workplace because the de facto “standard” among private information managers.
By positioning itself as the industry leader in productivity computer software, Microsoft has become an attractive option for IT Directors to get a number of reasons. The user interface is familiar and intuitive to a lot of, helping to control training time and cost. Outlook and Exchange function extremely nicely collectively, cutting down on IT involvement in configuration. Outlook 2007 raises the bar with regards to organization of E-mail, Contacts and Calendar, producing it simpler to organize and delegate. And, despite Microsoft’s reputation around the concern, Outlook 2007 involves robust safety skills and options.
So what exactly is the advantage of Outlook to a law firm, as opposed to an accounting or an engineering firm? Out-of-the box, there definitely is not significantly of an benefit, nor should there be. It has never been a element of Microsoft’s business philosophy to develop versions of Outlook that meet the desires of individual vertical markets for example legal.
As an alternative, Microsoft chooses to release broad-based applications that meet the desires of organizations across the board, when relying on their partners to create the add-in functionality to assist fine-tune it towards the wants of industry-specific organizations for example law practices. It’s a testament to Microsoft and their engineering that they have built an application for example Outlook that has such a high degree of applicability across so many individual markets, and that it was built on an open architecture that allows legal technologies partners to embed case management technologies which enables the application to perform functions straight suited to a legal practice.
The rise of Microsoft Workplace in law firms has not gone unnoticed by developers of legal case management systems. In actual fact, these corporations leading the charge would most likely agree that the most important component of any case management program is its capacity to integrate with Outlook plus the Microsoft Workplace suite. Even though it truly is estimated that attorneys and their staff spend greater than 70% of their workday with Outlook open on their workstation or inside their mobile device, case management organizations continue to create integration technologies that allow customers to perform as considerably as possible within this environment in which they have grown accustomed.
Outlook Integration — defined
At its most basic level, Outlook Integration refers to a case management system’s potential to automatically transfer details back and forth seamlessly in between a case management technique (CMS). A superb method that has been tightly integrated with Microsoft requirements will give bi-directional synchronization, meaning that if an lawyer or paralegal enters an appointment in Outlook, it will automatically be updated inside the CMS and vice-versa. This can be referred to as one-time entry.
Now regarded to become in its fourth generation, CMS/Outlook Integration technologies has gotten stronger and stronger, using the very best systems representing a accurate “Outlook client”. The present generation focuses on ease-of-use, permitting for any seamless user expertise. The beauty of those systems lies within the capture of information through day-to-day workflow, allowing users to construct the case facts database though eliminating redundant information entry into separate systems. Case-related facts is aggregated in one centralized database for answers to inquiries.
By allowing attorneys to remain inside the Microsoft atmosphere, law firms can steer clear of the burden of requiring them to discover an entirely new set of commands. The outcome is often a greater general price of adoption and sharp improvement inside the firm-wide sharing and organization of critical case and matter information.