With much anticipation and delight in attending the NetDocuments conference at Gilbert + Tobin’s offices in Sydney, the scene was set to Inspire the legal industry with the latest NetDocuments developments.
In recognition of the attendees, primarily C-suite of the legal industry personnel including Partners, GM’s, Knowledge Managers, Practice Managers, Legal Ops & IT, it was fabulous to feel the energy & enthusiasm emanating from within the room.
Before we uncover some of the latest major developments from NetDocuments, it is a timely reminder of the extent of how this innovative software company has shaped the sector with their core SaaS document and email management solution.
For those law firms and corporate legal departments struggling to keep ahead of the information security treadmill, worrying about the threat of virtual intruders accessing the most sensitive of information – don’t wait until it’s too late, transition to a provider that invests millions in maintaining their security posture.
This Forbes article, dated 2016 does reinforce the obvious.
“Law firms have an ethical and professional duty to make all reasonable efforts to protect the information they hold. Remaining the weakest link protecting clients’ data is an unsustainable proposition. Not only does it expose firms to considerable liability, but it also threatens the ability to retain clients."
For those operating in the legal industry and who don’t have encryption technology activated for their firm/corporate enterprise, it is worthwhile following the link to learn more about NetDocuments Encryption Key Management incorporating the AES-256 referred as the Quantum Random Number Generator.
In addition to the aforementioned and with the continuance of hybrid working, it is apparent that “Cloud” is also an obvious choice for the profession.
Law firm's biggest turnaround with “Anchor-app”
Marco Marcello, Manager of Information Systems at Lavan Legal, a prominent law firm in Western Australia lamented with Kerrie Dearing, NetDocuments VP of International and fireside chat host that the number one outcome through the introduction of NetDocuments as a “source of truth” was the ability for his team to transition to the cloud and move away from the management of “back-end systems”. NetDocuments became the firm’s “anchor app” and was the catalyst for introducing business improvements by addressing “front-end user experience and process refinements”. It was highlighted again that law firms do not have the same capacity to invest in security, scalability, integrations and governance as a global SaaS provider. Interestingly, Marcello also stated that productivity “was up” during the pandemic - food for thought as law firms grapple with the hybrid work future.
Cloud first approach
During the conference, Actionstep & Verlata reinforced the benefits of the Cloud-first approach of modernising and future-proofing the law firm. Key points stated by Mike McKell, Actionstep VP of ANZ that with the right technology stack law firms have the opportunity to offer great customer experiences along with advanced data-driven decision-making capabilities for the firm's success. A succinct ecosystem checklist was shared as pointers for law firms as they review their core systems, including the below selection criteria considerations of the legal tech providers:
- Cloud first & API philosophy
- Automation and ability to streamline capabilities
- Adaptability, flexibility, and scalability of the solution stack
Expertise and automation
Jennette Cheung, NetDocuments Product Owner showcased how law firms can create a no-code legal tech app for firms to maximise their expertise and insert this knowledge into legal-based rules document automation in less than 15 minutes flat – Wow! Having being suitability impressed with this capability it was further explained that these apps can be externalised for clients' benefit with security model intact. Now all law firms, irrespective of size can be LawTech providers! Follow the link for further information regarding PatternBuilder as this could be a new frontier that presents game-changing opportunities for the profession.
Patterns of Success with powerful insights
With the conference building momentum, it was appropriate that Jill Schornack, NetDocuments VP of Product showcased the knowledge and insights legal teams can garner from the powerful reporting and analytics capabilities of the platform. Law firms and legal departments driving productivity improvements will seriously review this capability. In fact, we are expectant that when firms are assessing NetDocuments as a platform of choice, these capabilities will accelerate the decision-making process for a change. In addition to this, security-conscious legal industry personnel will have a keen eye on the analytics for a multitude of reasons. One factor that should never be overlooked with NetDocuments is that lawyers welcome the predictive document filing capabilities as it truly saves professionals time.
Change for the good
As a wrap-up to the conference, Jenn Cathcart, APAC Regional Manager and Warrick McLean, legal industry luminary covered the philosophy of keeping matters simple and not subjecting law firms to the art of rocket science when introducing change. It is also acutely apparent that there is a growing appetite from the up-and-coming lawyers to immerse themselves in technology for continuous practice improvement reasons. Interestingly, McLean mentioned that there are many junior lawyers willing to invest their weekends in developing their firms’ technological advancements. Lamenting on this further, we fully expect that firms will pilot the Legal Tech capabilities of PatternBuilder to drive knowledge and efficiencies within the firm while exploring the opportunities of its LawTech promise of delivering greater customer experience and outcomes.
Legal Practice Intelligence & NetDocuments future ahead
We will keep close to the NetDocuments developments as we envisage that the legal industry will embrace PatternBuilder in a quick smart fashion. We will also explore NetDocuments client use cases of PatternBuilder to further share knowledge with the readership. Thanks to Jennifer Cathcart, Lucy Sofiano & Lianne Ewens for the invitation to attend a well run and very informative legal industry event!