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iManage pulls a white rabbit from the hat with new product releases

Jonathan WatsonThis is a big day for iManage. For starters, the company has unveiled iManage Work 10, a new version of its document and email management system. ‘This is the biggest piece of news for iManage in at least 13 years, maybe ever,’ says the company’s chief marketing officer Dan Carmel.

iManage has also enhanced its iManage Cloud services with technologies used by leading Internet firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. ‘The cloud services are a substantial rewrite,’ says Carmel. ‘This is a clear leapfrogging of anything else that exists in the market today and plants a very big stake in the ground for the next 10 years.’

On top of all this, the company has announced two new security products: iManage Security Policy Manager and iManage Threat Manager. Both of these will become generally available in the first half of 2017 for on-premise use and for the iManage Cloud.

iManage Policy Manager iManage Threat Manager 
     iManage Policy Manager (click to enlarge)  iManage Threat Manager (click to enlarge)

‘What a difference a year makes,’ said iManage CEO Neil Araujo at the company’s 2016 ‘ConnectLive’ event. 2017 looks like it’s going to be another game-changer. iManage has just had its best year for new clients, and is now getting very close to acquiring one new business customer per day.

The expansion of corporate legal departments is one of the biggest reasons for this growth. Half of the top 1,300 of these departments now has someone dedicated to legal operations. ‘That’s a huge sea change,’ Carmel says. ‘They are hiring more and more first and second year associates, because they are sick of paying those fees to law firms. And the first thing the lawyers say when they come in is: “I can’t work like this! Give me iManage!”’

iManage Work 10 is the first manifestation of the firm’s ‘white rabbit’ project as a real product. ‘This is iManage seizing thought and product leadership once again in the market,’ Carmel says. ‘We have rethought and redesigned this from the ground up. We hired over 100 new engineers in the past year.’

Work 10 aims to provide a single, unified, mobile-first user experience; full integration with the tools professionals already use, such as Outlook, Office 365 and Gmail; and contextual help providing assistance where it’s needed. Smart work lists, smart previews, personalised search and smart email management are just some of the goodies on offer.

 iManage Work 10
                                            iManage Work 10 (click to enlarge)

All of which takes iManage away from being just document management (DM). ‘Yes, you have to be DM,’ says Carmel. ‘And Work 10 is truly the best-in-class DM and email management out there. But you have to do more today. You can’t just be a bucket.’

iManage Cloud benefits from a multi-tenant architecture and support for containerization and clustering – all the best practices of Silicon Valley. ‘We are no longer managing virtual machines,’ Carmel says. ‘We are now managing containerized web services, so your robustness goes up, your scalability goes up and your ability to add new offices is instantaneous.’ Google doesn’t go down for maintenance, and nor will iManage.

Client demands for a new way to govern and manage security play a big part in the company’s thinking. Clients are always looking for new ways to extract value from information. These inspire iManage to continue investing in products like Insight and Share along with Work 10 and the new security products as it moves towards its overall vision of Work Product Management.

Legal IT Today #15

‘Firms want a single platform so they can manage this thing called a matter from the day it’s created until the day they’re done with it, which is when they’re done disposing of it in an appropriate way,’ says Carmel. ‘They want to do that in a single integrated system. They don’t want to knit together individual solutions, especially when you start talking about security and governance.’

When clients say their matters must be dealt with on a need to know basis, the security requirements are huge. ‘If you have to integrate third party systems on top of your core DMS to recalculate that security every time it changes, that is going to bring those systems to their knees,’ Carmel says.

This is why Security Policy Manager and Threat Manager are tightly integrated with iManage Work. Security changes can be applied automatically, without system stress or performance lag, as firms do not need to re-file or re-index content. In addition, Threat Manager includes threat detection, monitoring, forensic investigation, alerts and reporting to protect sensitive information in iManage Work.

Neil Araujo has said his team wants to make iManage a system that is ‘demanded by users, rather than mandated by the IT department’. With these new releases, they hope to have taken a big step towards achieving that goal.

 

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