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iManage Brought Users Together at ConnectLive 2018 in Brooklyn

Sean DohertyiManage, a document and email management provider, hosted its user conference in Brooklyn, New York, from May 3-4. More than 750 attendees, including CIOs, IT directors, application managers, and developers, registered to attend 40-plus educational sessions and three keynote presentations and review 24 partner exhibits, all conducted in the New York Marriot at the Brooklyn Bridge.

Why Brooklyn? "Start spreading the news": Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, Brooklyn is the most populous New York City borough with more than 2.5 million residents, who appreciate custom crafts and goods and ethnic foods and diversity. Brooklyn is a brand and a location, which is over the East River from Manhattan. The borough has a growing tech community from "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass" (DUMBO) and the Brooklyn Bridge to the downtown area that reported 1,350 tech companies employing more than 17,300 people in 2015.

Neil Araujo, CEO and co-founder of iManage, kicked off the conference, informing attendees that since the company divested itself from HP in 2015, it has grown to 450 employees and added more than 450 new customers in the last two years. "In countries with laws," quipped Araujo, iManage has over 70% market penetration in financial, government and law firm sectors. The law firm market, however, presents challenges that precipitate organizational change, said Araujo.

Law firm revenue growth is slowing, price margins are narrowing, and threats to firm cybersecurity are persistent, said Araujo. In response, firms are undergoing a digital transformation, demanding faster innovation (read: user adoption), business agility, better security, and improved leverage of artificial intelligence (AI) and knowledge management (KM). And iManage is responding with investments in the Work 10 document and email management platform, in security with Security Policy Manager and Threat Manager, and in AI with the Insight, Classify, and Extract products, powered by RAVN, an artificial intelligence provider acquired by iManage in 2017. 

Araujo handed the microphone to Shawn Misquitta, vice president of product management, to elaborate on iManage's investments in Work 10, positioned as one place, in the cloud or on-premises, to accomplish work and support customers' digital transformation. Towards improving user adoption, Work 10 provides users the capabilities to:

  • subscribe to another's activity listing to know what was recently done or currently in progress;
  • view policy and ethical wall exclusions without switching to another interface;
  • run applications as background processes to relieve active connections; and
  • capture all edits and overwrites in a journal for audit and reporting.

Misquitta also highlighted mobile features that improved user adoption. For example, keeping key jobs on local devices and filing email as a background process to improve performance, and integrating with Branchfire's iAnnotate to read, annotate, mark up,  and share PDFs, and iAnnotate Enterprise to compare documents. Soon, users can install Go!Drive on their devices to synchronize online Work 10 file metadata but only synchronize content on demand—compare Google's Drive File Stream and recent updates to Microsoft One Drive One Drive. Go!Drive will keep documents recently created and used on the local device and uses a background agent and smart cache to keep local and online content in synch.

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Other user adoption methods focus on Microsoft Office. Work 10 is embedded in Outlook to allow users to share and control Work content in Outlook and replace attachments with links or stubs to save mailbox storage space. Microsoft Teams will soon be able to embed an iManage agent to add links to Work 10 documents. Deeper integration is planned for users to see Work content from the Teams interface. 

To support business agility, iManage will release an update agent to report software availability and provide options to install alpha, beta, and GA (generally available) versions of the software. From an online poll, more than 30% of keynote attendees indicated that they installed Work 10, with more than 60% still using version 9, and less than 10% still on version 8.5. The update agent will also support updating iManage partner software on the desktop. Note that iManage's cloud-first focus aims to obviate the need to update desktop software.


Work 10 security includes schemes for authorization, encryption, identity management, and core security applications. Authorization schemes use SAML single sign-on, tiered permissions for administrative roles, and access control lists (ACLs). Content protection schemes include watermarks and encryption that supports customer managed encryption keys. Core security products include Threat Manager (TM) and Security Policy Manager (SPM), with the latest releases using RAVN technologies to better protect confidential data from internal and external threats. 

With machine learning capability, TM can detect insider threat activity and alert stakeholders, said Ian Raine, director of product management at iManage. Abnormal and high-intensity activity characterizes insider threat activity over a short period, such as a massive download request. In the future, said Raine, TM will detect deviant behavior and take automatic action ranging from disabling an account to account throttling—stopping just the deviant behavior and allowing other Work activities.

The new release of SPM, which manages need-to-know security and ethical walls in Work, file shares, and time and billing systems, uses prior document access and billing activity to exclude users from working on conflicting matters automatically. With SPM firms can onboard new attorneys and clients and immediately meet ethical responsibilities. The new release also improves the enforcement of need-to-know security by automatically removing inactive users, allowing a firm to keep control over who has access to what, where.

In the future, iManage's encryption strategy will support digital rights management (DRM) and extend to externally shared content, said Ian Raine. The DRM strategy focuses on Azure's RMS. And SPM will look at who's in and out of an engagement, matter, or secure room to administer secure content access, said Raine. SPM will include wider policy support to receive and act on information from third-party security products, such as metadata and document security in Workshare Protect, and incorporate policy management for data loss protection (DLP), data residency, and data storage, said Raine.

RAVN: a river running through Work 10

RAVN technology supports Work 10's focus on one place to accomplish work, said Peter Wallqvist, vice president of strategy at iManage. Using RAVN's artificial intelligence and machine learning technology embeds in the iManage Work platform to find, classify, and extract enterprise knowledge in content to create work product or other applications. For example, iManage Insight's Knowledge Graph surfaces expert knowledge from content, projects, and client matters. Insight can be used to build knowledge applications and create new revenue streams. 

With RAVN running through it, Work 10 can extract key information, such as dates and obligations (read: liabilities) from content, and auto-classify, use, reuse, and protect documents based on their content. RAVN technology can also identify content subject to compliance and risk management requirements, such as personal data subject to the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Work 10 search will soon add RAVN search technology as an option to its IDOL-based search engine and continue to RAVN-enable all its products, including security products, to use a common index to classify, use, and reuse content. 

In an educational session Dan Carmel, CMO at iManage, demonstrated Work 10 updates to improve productivity in legal departments. Carmel first shared development guidance from iManage's board of advisors. The advisors' top concerns included collaboration, maximizing user adoption, and integration. These concerns led iManage to develop for Work 10 ad hoc workspace creation. In one step, users can create a workspace from a template, which contains security and share settings and creates a link to share the folder with colleagues. Other features for law departments include advanced search and custom filters (version 10.1) and a Gmail extension that allows users to file Gmail to Work 10 matters. A tag displays in Gmail indicating the messages stored in Work 10. When users open Gmail messages in Work, links to the original messages are displayed. Users can also link Gmail labels to iManage folders. Other features, such as native Mac client and deeper iOS app integration are on the roadmap.


In the June-July 2018 time frame, iManage will release Work 10.2 with the auto-update agent, email filing support for iOS version 11, Go!Drive Beta for Mac and PC), and security enhancements for Share. In the September-October time frame, iManage will release Work 10.3, with support for legal holds, Office 365 integration, shared folder expiration, SPM support for folder level security exceptions, and Go!Drive GA.

Sean Doherty is a sole practitioner and freelance writer based in Brooklyn, New York.

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