By Laurie Head
AIS Network Vice President
Wondering whether your law firm’s new hosted SharePoint 2010 deployment will be disruptive to the office culture? Significant key benefits for IT staff as well as legal staff and their clients may very well justify the trouble and cost of deploying SharePoint 2010 in a legal environment.
What’s new in SharePoint 2010? First and foremost, SharePoint 2010 has strong document management and powerful search capabilities. That, combined with its ease of use, has made SharePoint a popular platform among law firms.
What’s compelling legal industry clients to consider seriously a hosted SharePoint 2010 deployment (or a migration to SharePoint 2010 from a previous version)? Among many features, here are a handful of new SharePoint features that law firms like because they save time and money:
Expanded library support for large docs. SharePoint 2010 now supports millions of documents, which is a critical need for most law firms. Enhanced reporting and tagging capabilities make finding key files and documents so much easier.
More powerful search capabilities. Purchase an additional license and SharePoint administrators can beef up their searches with FAST, a powerful search technology. FAST enables staff to index billions of documents; search by industry, legal field or client name; and preview relevance via a thumbnail image.
Better records management. SharePoint 2010 allows records to be listed in multiple repositories, which is incredibly useful in enhancing staff productivity. Designated users on the network can access records for reference, and editing privileges can be restricted.
Improved, automated workflows. SharePoint 2010 employs a new, user-friendly interface to allow non-technical staff to create smooth workflows (automated processes for approvals, adding a new employee, opening a new client case, etc.).
Convenient offline work capabilities. Those staff who travel and/or work remotely on a regular basis will appreciate that SharePoint 2010 documents can be taken offline, edited and synchronized later.
Enhanced document editing. SharePoint 2010 users don’t have to call the IT department for help every time they edit documents.
If you are working for a law firm and are using hosted SharePoint 2010, what features do you particularly like?