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Fall Conference Wrap-Up – Part 4

Fred YeomansAs promised, here is the 4th part of my fall conference wrap-up. In this part I will take what I talked about in the previous 3 parts, and try to relate it to real world solutions.

Usability & Manageability
Obviously the changes to the UI in SharePoint 2010 are significant, and are the most noticeable change your users will see immediately. This should hopefully lead to better adoption by your users, and better productivity.

Top 5 Legal IT technologies of 2010

Happy New Year to you all!

Hope you had a good 2009 and I wish you all a great 2010. For me what better way to start the blog this year than conforming with a blogger tradition and compiling a list.

I thought I’d try a prediction of the technology areas that I will be big for Legal It in 2010, so here it is my top 5 list of legal IT technologies for 2010.


WorkSite Tips – adding a folder shortcut in your file to a folder in another file

A return of the WorkSite hints and tips series to end 2009!

Following a question today I found a neat way of adding a shortcut to another folder from within your matter file. This is pretty straight forward when you think about it within WorkSite, but it’s worth noting as it’s always handy to be able to link to a folder of documents from within your electronic file (e.g. to link to common client documents within a client folder from within each matter file relating to that client).


Microsoft SharePoint & Developers Conferences Wrap-Up - Part 3

Professional Developers Conference 2009

The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is Microsoft’s big programmer event. Usually, this is where they announce major new products and technologies. For example, PDC 2003 was the first major public announcement of Windows Longhorn (which grew up to be Vista) and its underlying technologies. At last year’s PDC, Microsoft announced its cloud computing strategy, Windows Azure.
PDC09 was a little different. This year was more about fulfilling the vision. A number of new products are in late beta stages and approaching release:

Legal Technology 2010 – Batten Down the Hatches

Three Legal IT gurus look at what can be expected next year

2010 – it’s a nice round number and the start of a new decade as well.  Remember 10 years ago, the entire world was furiously updating code, fearing the end of the world when the millennium ended?  Like most public hysteria, that panic turned out to be fairly ridiculous and we did indeed live to see January 2nd, 2000. 

In the past 10 years, law offices have certainly made enormous strides in terms of process automation, workflow efficiency, and productivity enhancement by leveraging technology to the hilt.  Now that the New Year is fast approaching, it is time to examine what 2010 will look like for legal technology.  What major decisions and budget concerns will legal IT professionals face this coming year?  How will legal technology providers be affected, from behemoths to underdogs?  What will be the “hot items” on the MIS to-do lists of firms all around the world? 

Social Media Policies in Law Firms

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" (Leonardo Da Vinci)

Has your law firm got a social media policy or a set of social media guidelines?

If not it is surely only a matter of time before they do. The rise of the risk management function in firms (not just law firms) means that as social media takes off, guidelines and policies will be put in place (take a look at this site for a raft of policies out there for various companies!).

I’ve been blogging (on this site) for a little under a year now and have already fallen foul a number of times, I have posted something I maybe shouldn’t have or ended up agreeing that it may be best I didn’t say what I had. So I think it’s in the interest of the blogger as well as the firm to have a few guidelines in place.


Microsoft SharePoint & Developers Conferences Wrap-Up - Part 2

Continuing on from my last column (part 1), here are some more notes on SPC09…

Business Intelligence

PerformancePoint has been absorbed into SharePoint Server. PerformancePoint Services are included in the SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise license. There is also a significant update to the presentation graphics within PerformancePoint, including use of Silverlight, 3D graphics, and time-lapse charts.

Another big announcement was for PowerPivot (formerly project Gemini). The PowerPivot addin for Excel allows Excel to use the Analysis Services engine in memory, allowing Excel to work on very large datasets (millions of cells) very rapidly.

Microsoft SharePoint & Developers Conferences Wrap-Up - Part 1

Well, it has been an extremely busy autumn, between attending a couple of major Microsoft conferences, an adventure in "out of country health care", and trying to actually do some billable work along the way, there has not been much time to think.

What I would like to do in this column is summarize the highlights of the Microsoft SharePoint 2009 conference in Las Vegas in October, and the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles in November.  Because there was a lot of content at these two conferences, this column is split in three parts. You are now reading part one, part two will be published on Wednesday and the last part will follow on Friday. There is also some techie stuff in here – more than usual. I encourage you to read on and skim over what is too detailed for you, there is a lot of interesting stuff coming.
I plan to follow this up in January with some thoughts on "what does all this mean for a law firm?"

Head in the clouds?

Cloud computing. The latest buzz word in IT, one that is probably only knocked off the top in a Legal IT game of “buzzword bingo” by eDiscovery! I started writing this blog post a few months back, at a time when I’d been flash mobbed by “cloud computing” companies. The intention was to put down some of the things I’d seen that may be interesting  for Legal IT people, together with some of my thoughts on “cloud computing”.

So what exactly is “Cloud Computing”? According to Wikipedia:

Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet.”

That help? Probably not, let me try.


The “Must Haves” of Data Security to Prevent Identity Theft and Security Breaches

In days of yore when the documents were all paper, you could simply lock your client folders in a file cabinet drawer, turn the key, and feel reasonably confident that no one could infiltrate that crack security regimen.  Well, now that electronic and wireless communication dominates, and paper is usually mainly an output of files that originated digitally, data flies all over the place, flowing through cables and wires, and invisibly cruising through the air.  If you can’t see it, how can you protect it?  That’s a good question!

Law firms of every size, and all the employees that work for them including lawyers, legal assistants and administrative staff, are all vulnerable to data security breaches and identity theft.  Certainly, such incidents harm the individual, often in a major way, but also they can have a direct, negative impact on the firm. 

“Reboot” Your Knowledge Management Program

(Or Three lessons KM programs can learn from the Hollywood movie making machine)

Most of you will know that in computerese, reboot means to turn (a computer or operating system) off and then on again; to restart it.  Of course if we’re applying this definition to a failed knowledge management program simply restarting the OS will produce the same results - not what we are interested in.  So what if instead of the technology definition, we applied the Hollywood definition of “reboot’?

Hollywood has always done adaptations of books for TV and movies.  To me the classic Hollywood basic reboot or remake is one in which you try to take everything that's iconic about the series/movie and try to weave it into a new story with a new and modern style.  In some cases you toss out a lot of the old and simply start over - or “reboot” the franchise.

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