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Practice Management vs. Document Management Software – Whats’ the Difference? At Uptime Legal we help many law firms evaluate, select and implement software to help them manage their practice. We typically start with a basic needs assessment, which often includes the question: What kind of software is your firm looking for? Does your firm need Practice Management or Document Management software? Oftentimes response we get is: “What’s the difference? Aren’t they the same thing?” The short answer is: no. Practice Management and Document Management are two different categories of software. And this isn’t just semantics, these are two different kinds of applications made for two different purposes. We realize that the differences, similarities and (slight) overlap between these two categories is often unclear. Sometimes lawyers don’t fully grasp which they need, and why. Other times lawyers we work with assume that one type of software includes the other. It’s okay, it’s a common point of confusion. And, it’s due, at least in part, to the way that many Practice Management software companies describe their own products (more on this later.) So in this article we’ll demystify the terminology, explain Practice Management software, Document Management software, and we will provide clarity to which type of software your firm needs (if not both). Let’s get started. Looking for Document Management Software? LegalWorks is cloud-based, matter-centric document and email management made just for law firms. Get in touch with our team to learn more. What is Document Management Software?A Document Management System (DMS), as the name implies, helps a law firm manage their documents. But not just documents: Email, notes and other kinds of content. The practice of law is often a document-heavy business… contracts, motions, emails… there’s a lot to manage. And as your firm grows, your client and case list grows, and your team grows, the mass of content only becomes larger and more unwieldy. A Document Management System provides two fundamental capabilities. It is: A central repository to store documents, email and other types of content, and: Provides tools for your firm to effectively manage documents and data. A law firm can get #1 (storing documents) from many different services and technologies. Simple cloud storage, an on-premise file server, the G: drive: You don’t need a Document Management System just to store files and documents. What makes a DMS different, and necessary for many law firms is #2: tools to manage those documents. Some law firms, particularly solo and small firms, don’t need any more than simple storage to hold their files and documents. Many law firms, however, especially law firms of about 5 total people or larger, begin needing more sophisticated tools to keep their arms around their growing data. Tools to catalog, search, comment on and generally keep documents in order. That’s where a Document Management System comes in. Document Management vs Consumer-Grade Cloud Storage Related: Learn the difference between a Document Management System and basic cloud storage. Document Management Capabilities So what tools does a DMS provide beyond simply storing files and emails? While each document management product varies, they generally provide the following capabilities. Organization – A DMS will provide structure and organization to your documents beyond the (default) wild-west of folders everywhere, without any semblance of organization. A good, legal-centric DMS will organize documents by client or matter. Index & Search – A DMS will provide full-text search, allowing everyone in your firm to perform a Google-like search across all of your documents, email and notes (regardless of how much data your firm has). Version Management – Document Management software typically provides bult-in version management, allowing you to view previous versions and add comments to each document iteration. Check-Out / Check-In – Allowing you to keep documents locked so others cannot modify then while you’re working on them. Microsoft Office Integration – Allowing you to save documents and email directly to your Document Management software (and directly to the relevant client or matter). Email Management – Good Document Management platforms integrate with Outlook, allowing you to save relevant email directly to a matter, where it lives alongside other documents and data for that matter (and where other people in your firm can access them). Document Tagging and Metadata – Another staple of Document Management software is the ability to tag or profile documents; that is: adding document types, statuses and other classifications. OCR – The better law firm Document Management software applications support OCR, either built-in or via a third-party integration. OCR automatically converts scanned documents (images) into text-enabled, searchable documents. 11 Reasons Your Law Firm Needs Document & Email Management Related: Learn more about the capabilities of a Document Management System, and why your firm probably needs one. Paperless Law Office: Implementing OCR Related: Learn more about the power (and importance) of OCR in a law firm. To understand the fundamental difference between Practice Management and Document Management software, we have to really understand what makes a DMS a DMS. These capabilities and features are just that, and that definition becomes the crux of the difference between these two types of software. Popular Legal Document Management Applications There are a short list of popular Document Management Systems used by law firms. These include both older, premise-based applications as well as modern, cloud-based document management systems. Popular law firm DMS solutions include: Worldox – On-Premise or Hosted iManage – On-Premise or Hosted NetDocuments – Web-based LegalWorks – Web-based Best Legal Document Management Software for 2019 Related: Explore the most popular legal Document Management Systems used by law firms today. What is Practice Management Software? Now that we’ve clearly defined what Document Management software, lets dig into the other half of our article: Practice Management Software. Legal Practice Management (LPM) software, as the name implies, helps a law firm manage their practice. If Document Management software is designed to manage the documents, email and content of a law firm and its cases, it’s fair to summarize Practice Management software as managing cases and the business side of a law practice. Practice Management Software Capabilities While the exact functionality within Practice Management software will vary from one application to another, typically Practice Management software will include: Customer and Contact database – a central, firm-wide contact and client database. Case database – including (sometimes) details unique to different areas of law and types of cases. Calendaring – ranging from a basic firm-wide calendar to sophisticated rules-based calendaring and deadline management (docketing). Time Tracking – Recording of billable (and non-billable) hours. Billing – Invoicing clients for time and expenses. Form/Document Assembly – The automated creation and population of specific court forms and fillings. Accounting – Some LPM applications include built-in, full-fledged accounting. Others require you to maintain accounting in other software, such as QuickBooks Basic Document Storage/Linking * – More on this shortly Popular Practice Management Applications Popular Legal Practice Management applications include: Clio – Web-based CosmoLex – Web-based MyCase – Web-based ..read more
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We’re excited to announce the development of an All-New Uptime LegalWorks. For the past six months we’ve been quietly working on a completely new version of our award-winning document management system, Uptime LegalWorks. And we’re ready to officially share the news. This isn’t just an update or a new version; we’re building an entirely new application, from the ground up, born in the cloud and built for law firms. The New LegalWorks will include all of the popular functionality of the current version of LegalWorks, and a whole lot more. Unlike the current version of LegalWorks, New LegalWorks isn’t built on SharePoint or any other off-the-shelf system. We’ve built it from scratch, using modern cloud technologies, building in features and capabilities that you, and other law firms like you, want. Packed With New Features New LegalWorks will be packed with new functionality upon release. A completely re-imagined User Interface – cleaner, modern and even easier to use. Data Encryption at Rest – built-in, automatically. Native Two-Factor Authentication (TFA). Folders for Email Management (matter email tab). Folders for Note Management (matter notes tab). Significantly better file management (upload, copy, move). Customizable columns (Matter screen, Client screen and more). Expanded Browser Support – Use Chrome or your favorite Internet browser. Tags for Everything – Documents, Matters, Clients and more. Significantly expanded infrastructure reliability and security. More storage included, and better pricing for additional storage. And we’re just getting started. We’ve got tons planned for future updates to New LegalWorks, including full Mac OS compatability, a complete Client Portal system, automatic/predictive email management, matter/folder templates and integration with today’s leading practice management applications. Timeframe So when will the New LegalWorks be available? We’re shooting for an official, public release in Q4 of 2019. While software development timelines are often a moving target, we’re going to try really hard to release New LegalWorks on schedule. New Certification for Consultants Not long after we release New LegalWorks, we plan to develop a certification track for legal technology consultants. This means that your favorite IT and legal software consultants will have the ability to become A LegalWorks Certified Consultant (working title), and can help their clients transition from on-premise file servers, legacy document management systems and other platforms to the New LegalWorks. Development Driven by You We plan to launch an online community where users and law firms can suggest new features and vote on new functionality that matter most. We’re big believers that software should be driven by those who rely on it. Stay tuned for more information on how to participate in steering the future of LegalWorks. New LegalWorks FAQ’s What will the pricing be for New LegalWorks? Our plan is to keep pricing the same or comparable, but increase the amount of storage included in your plan by default. Will their be a beta or early access? Probably. We plan to release an early-access version of the New LegalWorks in Q4, so that you can get your hands on it ASAP Will their be a migration path from current LegalWorks? Absolutely. We’ll migrate you from your current LegalWorks to the New LegalWorks system when you’re ready, at no additional cost. What technology is New LegalWorks built with? As we mentioned, unlike the current version, the New LegalWorks will not be built on SharePoint. We’re building New LegalWorks from the ground up using modern cloud technologies like React and AWS. Can you tell me more about the certification track for consultants? Planning is still early, but we do plan to develop a track and allow IT and software consultants to become LegalWorks Certified Consultants (working title) early 2020. This will allow participating consultants to move their clients to the New LegalWorks. I have more questions. Who can i ask? We’re happy to talk more about New LegalWorks. Post your questions below, or drop us a line at NewLegalWorks@UptimeLegal.com. Stay Tuned!Stay tuned for more updates! We’ll continue to keep you posted, and plan to release a “First Look” video in the coming months. We’re all-in on the future of LegalWorks, committed to developing the best legal document management system for law firms and are excited to share updates as we approach the official launch of New LegalWorks. Onward and upward. The post Announcing an All New LegalWorks appeared first on Uptime LegalWorks. ..read more
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NetDocuments Review – What Law Firms Need to Know Contents NetDocuments History NetDocuments Overview NetDocuments Features Benefits of NetDocuments Drawbacks of NetDocuments User Reviews NetDocuments Pricing The Final Verdict A Document Management System often lives at the epicenter of a law firm’s technology, housing all of the firm’s important, matter-related documents, email and other kinds of content. Especially as law firms grow out of the 5-staff-or-less size, the need for a capable system to store, organize and manage all of a firm’s data becomes more and more acute. One prevalent document management system used by law firms (among other industries) is NetDocuments. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive NetDocuments review, covering the features, benefits, caveats, and ultimately what you need to know before you buy NetDocuments. Let’s get started. NetDocuments – A Brief History Before we get into the meat of our NetDocuments review, we’ll start with a (brief) history of the company. NetDocuments was founded in 1999, and to their credit they were one of the first true cloud-based, online document management platforms. The company was later acquired by a private equity firm, where it continued to grow and serve industries including healthcare, financial services, law firms, and corporate legal departments. Today the company and the product remain prevalent, and has a large network of resellers throughout most markets. Overview of NetDocuments Next we’ll provide a high-level overview of the software in our NetDocuments Review. NetDocuments is a general-purpose, cloud-based document storage and management system. Because the software is made to fit a range of different industries (not just law firms), it’s general enough that it can be fitted into a number of different kinds of businesses. The software is mostly (but not entirely) cloud based. Users access NetDocuments primarily via a web browser (as with most SaaS applications); no server required. NetDocuments works well on Windows PC’s namely via its Office add-in, called ndOffice. ndOffice is an installed, desktop component that allows users to save documents directly to NetDocuments (which is nice). ndOffice, however, is only available for Windows, and doesn’t work on Macs. Which means if your firm uses Mac computers, you’ll have to use Parallels or similar software to run a Windows instance within your Mac computer. NetDocuments also includes an option for ndMail, the Outlook add-in that allows you to save emails to the NetDocuments repository. ndMail is also Windows-only (no Mac support). In NetDocuments, you create a workspace, which serves as the top-level container to store documents and other kinds of data. A workspace is, essentially, a top-level folder that you can create subfolders in (so-named to accommodate the needs of a variety of types of organizations). Law firms can use the concept of a workspace to loosely relate to a particular client or matter in which to store files in. Feature of NetDocuments Next up in our NetDocuments review we’ll dive into the specific features of the software. NetDocuments is more than just a fancy version of Dropbox, it provides a lot of tools to manage documents beyond simply storing them. Office 365 Integration. NetDocuments Integrates with Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Acrobat. Outlook Integration. NetDocuments, with it’s aforementioned ndMail app, allows users to save emails to a particular workspace. File Sharing. NetDocuments allows you to securely share documents with others (outside parties) in addition to members of your firm. Apps. NetDocuments includes its main web application as well as ndOffice and ndMail desktop applications as well as Android and iOS apps. Search. NetDocuments includes full-text search to search across specific workspaces or your entire data repository. Sync. ndSync, another NetDocuments app, allows you to sync data to a local device for backups or offline access. Check-In/Check-Out. NetDocuments allows users to “check out” a document, which keeps others from editing it while you have it checked out. Related: NetDocuments Review – Features, Pricing, Alternatives Not Included in NetDocuments Our NetDocuments review wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t cover what isn’t included in the software. While NetDocuments is generally good software, and certainly better than storing documents on a simple file server (EG: “the S: drive”), it’s missing a few elements that your law firm may need. OCR Not Included. OCR is the technology that converts scanned files into text-enabled files. By default, when you scan a document, that file (a PDF, for instance) is little more than a photograph of the document you scanned. OCR converts that photograph into an actual text document that will be indexed and becomes searchable. NetDocuments doesn’t include OCR, and instead suggests you purchase separate OCR software that integrates with their software. Matter-Centricity. Being made for the masses, not just law firms, NetDocuments lacks any semblance of a client or a matter. To work around this, law firms will create workspaces named after each client or matter in their practice (though NetDocuments lacks the ability to assign matter-specific attributes, such as client, case type, and so on). Mac Support. As mentioned earlier in our NetDocuments review, NetDocuments does not support using the software from a Mac computer. Today most people assume that software that is “cloud-based” will automatically work on a PC or a Mac–not the case with NetDocuments. Onboarding & Migration. NetDocuments (the company) does not perform onboarding of new clients. Meaning: You can get the software from them, but they will not help your firm with setup, implementation and (most importantly) data migration. Instead they will refer you to one of their outside “Consultants” (resellers), at an additional cost. In fairness, some NetDocuments resellers do this job very well, but others don’t, so do your homework. Benefits of NetDocuments Net in our NetDocuments Review, we’ll describe the benefits of using NetDocuments. As a law firm, there are certainly a handful, including: Good way to go paperless as a law firm. Better reliability and security than using an on-premise file server. More nuance and tools compared to generic cloud storage (such as Dropbox, Google drive, etc.) NetDocuments integrates with applications you may already use like Office 365 and Clio. Cloud-based software like NetDocuments is often better than legacy, premise-based document management software. Related: ..read more
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What is the best cloud storage for law firms in 2019? Law firms across the country are moving away from on-premise file servers to cloud-based storage and document management systems. They’re tired of managing onsite servers and tired of dealing with the IT headaches that comes with them. Today’s law firm needs to be able to access their documents (all of them) anytime, anywhere on any device. And law firms need to store their sensitive information on a secure, reliable platform. Naturally, this leads many law offices to search for the best cloud storage for law firms. Today, there is no shortage of cloud-based storage and file systems competing for your dollar. But which is the best cloud storage for law firms? Which service has the functionality your firm needs? Which is the most secure? Here we provide an overview of and additional resources for the best and most well-known law firm cloud storage services. Best Cloud Storage for Law Firms2019 Google Drive Google Drive, part of Google’s G Suite of productivity apps, is a popular cloud storage and file backup service. Google Drive is part of the Google Ecosystem which means its easily accessible from your Android phone and integrates with other services such as Google Docs and Google Photos. Google Drive is easy to get started with and is low-cost. However, Google Drive lacks the sophisticated law firm cloud storage features needed by most law offices. It’s simplicity may be its biggest drawback for law firms, and as such may be best suited for the consumer market. Read the Full Review Visit Website Write a Review Microsoft OneDrive OneDrive is Microsoft’s own cloud storage service, available as part of an Office 365 subscription or as a stand-alone service. Very similar to its counterparts, OneDrive provides simple, easy-to-use cloud storage, and aims to replace a local file server or simply be used for personal storage. OneDrive is built right into Windows, making it an easy and obvious go-to for simple storage needs. OneDrive, however, lacks functionality required by many law firms including matter-centricity, email management, and document tagging and profling. Read the Full Review Visit Website Write a Review Dropbox Dropbox was the first, and is probably the most well-known basic cloud storage solution. It provides easy-to-use cloud storage for individuals or teams (organizations). Dropbox, like its counterparts, includes a web app (to store and open documents from a web browser) as well as a client for Windows, Mac, IOS and Android. Dropbox can sync your file system across multiple devices. This is handy for personal use, such as keeping your desktop and laptop in sync. However, when an entire organization’s file system is synced across many computers, conflicts and files becoming out-of-sync can be a common problem. Read the Full Review Visit Website Write a Review Citrix ShareFile ShareFile, by Citrix, works to set itself apart as the business-class edition of an otherwise consumer-focused world of cloud storage. To its credit, ShareFile boasts enhanced security, options for compliance and enhanced workflow tools that allows users to create repeatable process for documents. ShareFile also serves as an easy but secure way to share files with outside parties. ShareFile is not,.. ..read more
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iManage Review – What Law Firms Need to Know Many law firms rely on a Document Management System (DMS) to securely organize their documents, files, email and other data. There are a lot of DMS options out there that law firms can use. One long-running document management platform is iManage Work. One of our most important jobs here at Uptime Legal is providing law firms with enough information about potential solutions that can make law firm life more productive and maybe even a little bit easier. We do this by writing reviews about software options law firms often use, such as this iManage Review. This review is the culmination of our own analysis as well as gathering feedback from many law firms that use iManage (as well as firms that use other document management platforms). iManage History Before we get into the details of this iManage review, we want to tell you about the company’s 20-year history. iManage started in 1998 as an independent company. Five years later, in 2003, iManage was acquired by a company by the name of Interwoven. Fast-forward to six years later (2009), Interwoven was acquired by another company called Autonomy. Three years later (2012), Autonomy was acquired by Hewlett-Packard. Jump ahead again three more years to 2015 and iManage broke away and became its own entity once again. Yes, that’s four acquisitions, mergers and break-aways in a relatively short amount of time. Mergers and acquisitions may not be all that surprising to law firms. However, that short history we just shared with you is really just glossing over the entire journey. The road from small independent company to regaining their status again as an independent company was a rocky road involving legal battles, PR problems, and getting the unwanted attention of the US DOJ. The story is a long and interesting one, and you can read more about it here. Overview of iManage A quick note… the company is called iManage, and their document management software is called iManage Work. Many people casually refer to the software product, iManage Work as simply iManage. For the sake of brevity, we’ll do the same in this iManage review. Alright, let’s dive into the real meat of our iManage review: the software, its features, benefits anddrawbacks… and whether we think it is really a good fit for law firms as a DMS. iManage Work is the main component of the DMS software. As we mentioned very early in our introduction, it provides both document and email management. It is not, however, designed exclusively for the legal industry. It is used in other industries, including healthcare and finance. iManage’s organizational structure involves sorting documents (including emails) in projects. Inside of each project, users can either dump all of their data, documents, and emails or they can make sub-folders to better organize their material. iManage’s main, top-level container is called a project. For a law firm that uses iManage, they would effectively create a project for every client or case. Users within your law firm can then refine organization by creating folders based on hearings, documents, evidence, trial notebooks, or in whatever way makes sense for the way the firm functions. If you’ve used Windows Explorer (and who hasn’t?), you’ll find that navigating through iManage is relatively straight-forward. On the left side of the window, you’ll see a list of every project created. You can open, search, edit, or move around in a project from that point. Features of iManage Next up in our iMangage review: features. iManage has several features that are useful for law firms. iManage does a lot, and we can’t cover everything, but we will talk through some of the key functionality that’s most notable as a law practice. Document version management. With iManage, you can see when a document was last updated and who made changes to the document. The ability to have documents checked-in and out. Law firms also have the ability to enable document check-in and check-out. With this feature, documents that are checked-out because someone is actively working with the document are locked. No surprise changes can be made. Other users who want or need to access the document can still open a read-only copy. Integrates with most document scanners. Your law firm can use its document scanners to scan physical documents directly into iManage instead of into a folder of scans and then moving it into the right project within iManage. Integrates with Microsoft Office. Users can create, open, and edit documents (and spreadsheets) with Microsoft Office and save it directly into the appropriate project or sub-folder within a project. Documents can be indexed and searched. You can add descriptions, document number, version, author name, client number, matter number, document type, name the application used to create the document, email recipients or authors (and even people who were CCd), and the date the email may have been sent or received to help you find what you need. While OCR is offered, it is only offered as an additional purchase. OCR can be extremely helpful for law firms, especially for scanned documents. Related: Paperless Law Office: Implementing OCR Create security settings or permissions for every user or by a group framework. It’s useful that iManage allows security settings or permissions to be set for each individual user. By utilizing this feature, you can help ensure that data and documents are better protected since they’ll only be available or even seen by someone with the credentials to access it. If you have a bigger law firm that includes at least one group of individuals who may not need access to certain data, you can create security settings by a group framework, too. Document change alerts. When you enable document change alerts, you (or a specified person) will be notified if a document is changed in some way. You’ll know when it was changed and who made those changes. Email management. Since iManage integrates with Outlook, users can save any email to a project in iManage. When iManage is a Good Fit (and When It’s Not) Next in our iManage review, we’ll carefully analyze when iManage is (and isn’t) a good fit. When evaluating legal document management software, there generally isn’t such a thing as an application being simply “good” or “bad.” Rather, as with most software, it comes down to: When (what kinds of law firms) iManage is a good fit, and when it isn’t. We work with hundreds of law firms; some of them use iManage. In general, iManage can work well for larger firms. That is, firms of no less than 30 total users (staff). iManage is robust and does a lot… though it’s often “too much,” or simply an overkill for law firms under 30 users. That applies to both the functionality, and the price tag. iManage also necessitates a hefty server infrastructure to run well. It requires multiple servers to handle storage, indexing and other functions of the iManage software. Lightweight and low-maintenance iManage is not. This translates to a significant investment in either onsite server resources or a private cloud. Because of iManage’s inherent complexity (both application and IT complexity), you’ll need a qualified iManage consultant to plan, implement and train your firm on using iManage. iManage has a network of certified consultants that you can hire separately to implement iManage for your firm. iManage Isn’t REALLY Cloud-based In today’s day and age, many law firms are looking for cloud-based options for their software. At first glance, it appears that iManage offers a “cloud version” of their software. What you’ll find as you peel back the layers is that what iManage (the company) is really offering is a hosting option to host the same on-premise software that you’d otherwise run on-premise. Meaning: iManage’ s cloud offering isn’t browser-based, new edition of iManage… but rather the same iManage software, hosted by iManage. This could be a positive or a negative, depending on your firm’s expectations. If the rest of your firm’s technology (software, documents, email) are already in the cloud, and you only need a cloud option for iManage, going with iManage’s own hosting option could be a good fit. On the other hand, if you use other applications (like legal practice management or billing software), or have on-premise servers facilitating other functions (email, etc.), you may find that using iManage’s own hosted option leaves your firm’s technology either on-premise, or in a disjointed collection of clouds. The Verdict The bottom line of our iManage review: iManage is big, robust, powerful DMS. That makes it a potentially good fit for law firms with very sophisticated needs and a large budget. It also makes it a poor fit for small or midsized law firms, or any law firm looking for a true-cloud-based document management platform. The bottom line is that we think iManage is a solid DMS. It’s powerful. It’s fast. It’s been around a long time. Yet, because of the price and the difficulty you may have with installing it on your own, it really isn’t a good choice for most law firms. If you have a law firm with a lot of financial resources at your disposal, then it may be something you should consider. Just keep in mind that if you plan to put it on a physical server, you could be doing yourself a huge disservice if the program crashes or your server crashes and you have to get someone qualified and knowledgeable enough to fix it. Looking for Document Management? Take a Look at LegalWorks If you’re looking for a document management solution for your law firm, take a look at LegalWorks. LegalWorks was born in the cloud and built for law firms. It’s a matter-centric DMS that delivers robust document management functions with the simplicity of a web browser: No servers required, no software to install. +++id=11 context=offsprout_post+++ The post iManage Review for Law Firms – What You Need to Know Before You Buy appeared first on Uptime LegalWorks. ..read more
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iManagevs. eDocs – A Document Management System Comparison Law firms more frequently rely on digital document management systems (DMS) to improve how their office organizes documents, manages cases and secures client data. And there are a lot of digital document management systems available. The sheer number of possibilities could make it difficult to choose the one that would best serve the needs of your firm. In this article we’ll do a side-by-side comparison of two prevalent document management systems used by law firms: iManage vs. eDocs Before we jump right into the head-to-head comparison, lets take a step back and explore the elements that you should consider when making this important decision. Is it an actual document management system or is it just digital storage? A legitimate document management system does more than just act as a place to store documents and data. It should also provide features to help your law firm better use and manage them. For example, the ability to add tags that can be searched on as well as a search feature that can search files, document metadata, and the inside of documents to help you find what you need. Related: Document Management vs Consumer-Grade Cloud Storage Does the way the program organize documents make sense for your law firm? And if it doesn’t, can you change the way that documents are organized? Many generalized DMS options may organize documents and data by user who created or initially needs it instead of by client or by matter. Some options allow each user to reorganize data and documents at least based on their own view. The benefit of this is that the data and documents are still stored in a centralized location, but every user can create a dashboard that better suits their needs. Will your other legal applications integrate with it? This is important because you don’t want to fall into the possibility of needing to duplicate work or to move a document (or data) back and forth between programs. At the very least, you need a DMS that integrates with the version of Microsoft Office your law firm uses (and not all DMS solutions integrate with Office 365) and Outlook. Bonus points if it integrates with your client management or software management software. Does the search function really make life easier? Consider how the search function operates. Does it only search the names of folders and documents? Does it search your email and your attachments, too? Does it allow you to create custom tags? Does it use optical character recognition (OCR)? OCR searches on file and document names, metadata (such as author name, internal notes and document classifications), and the inside each document. You can search on any word or phrase you recall and the DMS will search through everything to bring back only the results that have the requested search terms. Is it easy to learn and use? What’s the purpose of adopting technology if no one wants to use it? The DMS chosen for your law firm should be easy to learn and easy to use. If it isn’t, it is likely that at least some of your employees won’t bother with it. When it’s not used by everyone, this can lead to serious issues such as multiple versions of the same document floating around and the inability to find a document you need because it’s not stored in the DMS. Who will move your data to the DMS? You can’t make use of the DMS until your documents and data are moved. Who will do that? Are you required to do it on your own? Does the DMS company move everything for you? If they move everything for you, how is it done? Will you need to pay more for this service? Now that you understand the basics you should consider when evaluating DMS solutions for your law firm, let’s look at a couple of generalist DMS options. What do we mean by generalist DMS? A so-called generalist document management application is one that is made for and used by several industries. It isn’t designed specifically for law firm use, but it still has some features that benefit law firms (but perhaps not everything a law firm may need). iManage: Basic Overview iManage is a DMS that can be hosted and ran on an on-premise server or on a private cloud. If you’re interested in a native cloud DMS, iManage is not it. If you’re into technology and want a DMS you can install onto your own private cloud, iManage still may not be a good fit for you unless you have significant technical experience. iManage integrates with Microsoft Office, Outlook, document scanners, Google Drive, OneNote, and DropBox. It organizes documents and data through a projects set-up. So, every document, email, or attachment associated with a specific matter or client would be housed directly inside of the project associated with that matter or client. Users have the ability to tag documents. This, along with completely filling out the metadata (such as the name of the author and including identifying information about the client), allows iManage to create an index. The index is used to return search results. It is important to note that iManage does not have OCR although it does have some AI capabilities that relate to other features, such as the ability to move an email or attachment into the right project without user assistance. eDocs: Basic Overview eDocs is a DMS that can also be hosted and ran on either an on-premise server or on a private cloud. Much like iManage, it is not a native cloud app. However, it also doesn’t require the same extensive technical knowledge to complete a DIY install as iManage. Of course, it still takes substantial technical knowledge if you want to install it on your own. eDocs allows each user to change the basic interface to make it better suit their needs. The changes they make do not affect other users. Users can also be assigned different permission levels by the administrator. This helps ensure data security as well as employees gaining access to what they need. iManage Features That Benefit Law Firms The way that iManage manages documents and data by project is beneficial for law firms. You could choose to set your projects up by client (one project equates to one client, and folders within the project exist for each matter for that client) or by matter. It’s also helpful that iManage integrates with most document scanners. This makes it easier for employees to automatically scan physical documents directly into the proper project inside of iManage. It’s also great that iManage integrates with the most popular document storage providers, such as Google Drive. This can make it much easier for the law firm to move their existing documents into iManage while still using their digital storage drive when they’re out of the office. iManage also includes a feature that alerts others if a document is changed. The document must be stored in iManage for this feature to work. This helps control the integrity of client and firm documents. eDocs Features That Benefit Law Firms The ability each user has to change their interface in eDocs is beneficial for law firms. Users can make it easier on themselves to find the documents and data they need. The Verdict Between these two generalist DMS options, iManage has better features for law firms. Yet, it doesn’t have OCR. However, it does have the ability to automatically move emails and attachments into the proper projects. Before you commit to iManage, make sure that you think about the needs of your law firm. You should also consider looking at DMS solutions made with the legal industry in mind. Take a Look at LegalWorks Both NetDocuments and iManage are capable platforms. But if you’re looking for modern document management software that was born in the cloud and built for law firms, take a look at Uptime LegalWorks. LegalWorks provides matter-centric document and email management, enabling your law firm to go paperless, get organized and work anywhere. Learn more about Uptime LegalWorks. +++id=7 context=offsprout_post+++ +++id=6 context=offsprout_post+++ +++id=14 context=offsprout_post+++ Download our Document Management Software Comparison Chart. Compare the leading legal document management software, side-by-side +++id=17 context=offsprout_post+++ The post iManage vs. eDocs appeared first on Uptime LegalWorks. ..read more
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Worldox vs. eDocs – A Document Management System Comparison Technology has made it easy for law firms to move to a paperless or paper lite environment while also ensuring that their data and documents are well-secured. This is accomplished through the use of a document management system (DMS). A Document Management System is a software platform that will store and help law firm organize and manage documents. There are a lot of DMS options to choose from, too. So many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming to find the right one. In this post, we’re going to do a side-by-side comparison of two document management applications in particular: Worldox vs. eDocs Our goal is that this article will help you understand the features offered by each, how they may affect your law firm, and hopefully help you think about exactly what your law firm actually needs. Related: Best Legal Document Management Software for 2019 Before we compare Worldox vs. eDocs, let’s first discuss some key points you should keep in mind when you’re doing your research: Actual DMS or just cloud storage? First, identify whether you need a true Document Management System, or just basic cloud storage. Neither is “right” or “wrong,” rather it comes down to the specific needs of your firm. Do you need version management? Full-text search? Tagging capabilities? Understand these requirements before you start looking at solutions. Organization of the documents and data. How the documents and data are organized is important. When you’re weighing your options, you’ll want to consider whether the organization of the information makes sense for your law firm. And if it doesn’t make sense, do you have the option to customize it? If it is customizable, does the new customization apply to all users or can each user customize their own experience? We recommend implementing a solution that organizes data by matter. Program integration. A DMS application works best when it can work with your other programs. At the very least, your DMS choice should integrate with Microsoft Office and Outlook. Also, check to see if it integrates with other legal programs. The more integration there is, the better overall experience you’re likely to have. Does the program offer OCR for searching? OCR, optical character recognition, is the best type of search for law firm documents and data. Users can search on any word, phrase, name, number, and the likes. The DMS will do more than look at metadata (such as the name of the file, the author, etc.,) and tags. It will read the documents and return all documents that have the search criteria anywhere as part of the document. User friendly. A document management system won’t do your law firm any good if it’s too difficult for people to use. Look for an option that is easy to learn and easy to use. Data migration. Your documents and files must be placed inside of the DMS. It’s important that you know how the data will get there. Do you have to import it on your own? Will the company do it for you? If the company offers data migration, does it come with an extra fee? With those thinking points in mind, let’s get our comparison of Worldox vs. eDocs started. Brief Overview of Worldox Worldox is what we call a generalist DMS. That means: it’s used across many industries, including the financial industry and the legal industry. They have several versions of Worldox. The version you would choose for your law firm depends primarily on what you need. For example, Worldox Enterprise allows businesses with offices around the nation to have a centralized DMS. Regardless of where the offices and employees are located, they can all access the same documents and data. Worldox also integrates with Office 365, ProLaw, and PCLaw. Documents are organized into a worklist or as a project. Users can apply tags at any time to help them search and find what they need. The search function works on documents, data, emails, and metadata. Permissions can be set for each users to ensure that they have access only to what they need. Users can also set-up their own tabs to organize their data. Worldox also has a check-in and check-out feature. With this feature, a user can check-out a document to make changes. Other uses can access a read-only version of the same document until the other document is checked-in. Brief Overview of eDocs eDocs is another generalist DMS. It can be installed and operated from an on-premise server or from a cloud. Different permissions can be set to ensure that users have access to what they need, when they need it. eDocs, today owned by the company OpenText, was once called Hummingbird (so if you hear that name—know that the application formerly known as Hummingbird is eDocs). What We Like about Worldox We like that Worldox integrates with Office 365 since not many DMS options do. It also integrates with Outlook. When using Worldox with Outlook, profiles can be stablished to automatically categorize emails and their attachments. We also like that Worldox allows projects (or worklists) to be shared regardless of office location. For example, if your law firm has three separate offices scattered throughout the state, nation, or world, employees can still work together on projects. The interface is user friendly. If you know how to get around in Windows Explorer, you’ll have very little problems using Worldox’s interface. It’s also easy to customize the look and feel of the interface for each user. The check-out and check-in feature is often useful for law firms. It’s a great tool that allows everyone to see a document that is checked out, but also minimizes the likelihood that you’ll end up with several versions of the same document. What We Like about eDocs eDocs has a filtered search function. This makes it easier for users to find what they need. eDocs also allows each user to customize their user experience by changing the interface to better suit their needs. The Verdict Between the two DMS systems, both of which are generalist applications that aren’t designed solely to meet the needs of a law firm, we would recommend Worldox. However, Worldox can also be fairly pricey. Before you fully commit to Worldox, eDocs, or any other DMS system, do your research. It’s important to find the one that will best fit the needs of your law firm at a price you can afford. Take a Look at LegalWorks Both NetDocuments and iManage are capable platforms. But if you’re looking for modern document management software that was born in the cloud and built for law firms, take a look at Uptime LegalWorks. LegalWorks provides matter-centric document and email management, enabling your law firm to go paperless, get organized and work anywhere. Learn more about Uptime LegalWorks. Learn More About Worldox Learn More About iManage Compare More Document Management Systems Download our Document Management Software Comparison Chart. Compare the leading legal document management software, side-by-side .. ..read more
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Worldox vs. iManage – A Document Management System Comparison The right legal document management system (DMS) is essential for many law firms. Since the creation and adoption of cloud-based technology, law firms can now choose between a digital DMS system that may be hosted and operated from a firm’s on-premise server and one that is hosted and operated from the cloud. Here at Uptime Legal, we spend a lot of time talking with law firms about their current technology use and how they can create a better and more productive overall experience. For that reason, in this article we’ll compare two popular document management platforms head-to-head: Worldox vs. iManage. Before we talk about the differences between two of the DMS options we often answer questions about, we want to address a few basics about DMS and law firms. What Law Firms Must Know about Choosing the Right DMS It would be great if every DMS available offered exactly what your law firm needs to function better. However, the truth is that much of what is out there in terms of document management software isn’t made specifically with the legal industry in mind. Sure, many law firms may use these applications (because anythign is better than “the G: drive”), but that doesn’t mean it’s the best overall fit for your law firm. Related: Best Legal Document Management Software for 2019 It’s critically important that as you’re doing your research on DMS options that you consider the following: Does the system manage law firm documents, or does it just act as a digital storage space? It’s important to check. An actual document management system should do more than act as a digital filing cabinet. It should also allow you and your team to work together on documents in some capacity. How are the documents organized? Does it make sense for your law firm? This is key. Since many DMS options are made for use in multiple industries, you must consider how the documents are organized, if that organization style makes sense, and if it is something that can be easily adopted. Both Worldox and iManage are both DMS options made for multiple industries. They aren’t as matter-focused as a DMS solution made with law firms in mind. As you read through the comparison of the two below, really think about how the organization could and would impact the productivity of your law firm. Will your most used services integrate with the DMS? This is important. If the DMS doesn’t integrate with Microsoft Office, Outlook, and your other commonly used applications, you may find that the software isn’t as relied upon as it should be because it just becomes an extra step that feels like more work. The right DMS should make law firm life easier. Is the search function helpful? Consider how searches are performed within the software. The best search option is optical character recognition (OCR). With OCR, the DMS will take the search term and look for it not just in folder and file names, but also within documents. Is it easy to use? If the DMS isn’t easy to use, no one is going to use it. If you have people not using it, you have data and documents scattered out on individual drives. This can make it harder for everyone to find what they need. The software should be easy to learn and easy to use. Can it be customized? Can you change different aspects of the DMS to make it work better for your law firm or even for each user to make it work better? Is everyone stuck with one interface? What about data migration? Data migration is a fancy term that means moving over your data and documents into the DMS. Will the DMS company do this for you or are you on your own? If the company offers data migration, is it included in the price? Also, look into how the migration is performed so that you can know what to expect. Nothing is more frustrating (and sometimes terrifying) for law firms than to not have access to their data and documents even on a temporary basis. Alright! So now that you know what you should look for in a DMS, you’re better prepared to read about both Worldox and iManage. We’re going to give you a brief overview of each, tell you what we really like about some of the features for each, and our verdict about the programs. A Short Overview of Worldox Worldox is a DMS that is used in many industries. It has several versions, including Worldox Professional, Worldox Enterprise, Worldox Cloud, and Worldox Web. While Worldox provides Worldox Cloud, the DMS is not a native-cloud application. Worldox integrates with Office 365, the online version of Microsoft Office. It also integrates with several applications used by law firms, including both ProLaw and PCLaw. Worldox acts as a centralized location to keep all documents and data. To help make finding what you need easier, Worldox’s search function can search on documents, emails, and metadata. Users have the ability to create tags for each document. Tags can be created and applied at any time. Documents are organized through a worklist. To find documents, Worldox relies on a layout that looks and functions very similarly to Windows Explorer. Documents may also be organized by projects. Projects can then be shared with others through a workgroup. Permissions may be set based on access levels for each user. Tabs may also be set-up by each user to help them organize the documents they work with. Worldox has a check-in / check-out feature which is very helpful for law firms. When a document is checked-out, others may open a copy as “read-only.” This can help law firms minimize the likelihood of having multiple versions of the exact same document for the same client floating around on different devices. An Overview of iManage iManage is a long-standing DMS used traditionally by large law firms. Much like Worldox, it’s used in several industries. iManage can be hosted on-premise or on a private cloud. However, it is not a native-cloud application. It is important for you to know that if you want to install iManage to your own private cloud, you’ll need quite a bit of technical knowledge to do it (and a lot of cloud server horsepower). iManage integrates with Outlook, Microsoft Office, document scanners, and popular document repositories such as Google Drive, OneNote, and Dropbox. The DMS comes with predictive email management. When this feature is enabled, emails are automatically moved to projects based on the content of the email. iManage organizes documents through projects. In those projects, you can place emails, documents, and other matter-related data. Projects appear on the left side of the screen. To search the documents, iManage first indexes them. However, it does not come standard with OCR. Users can also tag documents to make searching for what they need a little bit easier. It is important that users go through the process of filling out the client information, author name, and other pertinent information of each document to make it easier to find it through the search feature. It also provides a check-in / check-out feature as well as document change alerts. These features can make managing and collaborating documents easier. Much like Worldox, when a document is checked-out, other users can still read the document, but they cannot change it. Document change alerts are helpful because they can be set to notify someone anytime a change is made to a document. Features We Like in Worldox Worldox integrates with Office 365 as well as several popular time and billing programs used by law firms. The Office 365 integration may not seem like something you’d expect us to get excited about. Yet, you’d be surprised at just how many DMS options do not integrate with it. Most integrate with only the physical copy of Microsoft Office that is installed on individual computers. Worldox does not require a separate purchase for it to work with Outlook. We also appreciate the tags may be set-up through profiling, and they can be applied at any time. Through the use of profiles, Outlook can automatically categorize emails and attachments. Worldox acts as a centralized DMS for both users within the office. It can also be used between multiple offices of the same law firm. Projects can be shared between users regardless of their location. This makes it simple for team members to work together regardless of which office they physical work in. Users, regardless of location, may also be able to access Worldox from anywhere as long as they have an Internet connection and a smart device that supports the use of JavaScript. We also appreciate the familiar feel of the program. It’s similar to using Windows Explorer. Most law firm employees have very little problem learning how to best utilize the DMS. We love that each user can set-up their own tabs to customize their experience. Features We Like in iManage We appreciate iManage’s intuitive nature and how it organizes information based on projects. Each project assigned to a user through permissions appears on the left side of the screen. This makes it easier for law firm employees to find what they need, when they need it. We also appreciate that iManage integrates with document scanners. Physical documents can be scanned and immediately stored in iManage. It also integrates with popular cloud storage providers. The application’s artificial intelligence allows users to set-up predictive email management. Emails and attachments may automatically be routed to the appropriate projects. Users can also elect to move those documents and attachments on their own. Another favorite feature beneficial for law firms is the document change alerts. When a user makes changes to a document stored in iManage, you can have alerts sent to the original author (or the person who will ultimately take responsibility for the document). The Verdict Both Worldox and iManage are great for law firms, but they also both have some serious drawbacks. Worldox is, to its credit, a solid, long-standing DMS used by many law firms. It has not, however, aged gracefully, from the interface to the functionality. Lacking a true, native-cloud solution, running Worldox in the cloud requires hosting it in a private cloud or similar platform. iManage, it its credit, is powerful and robust. It is also, very expensive, both in terms of outright cost to buy the software, as well as the expensive server infrastructure (hosted or on-premise) that you’ll need to run it. Its used by many very large law firms, but most small and midsize firms simply find it to be too much for their needs. Neither option is made specifically with the legal industry in mind although both have extremely robust document and data security. You’ll notice that while both allow the check-in and check-out of documents and integrates with Microsoft products, they don’t offer certain features that law firms rely on such as allowing users to create and apply deadlines for documents. When looking for the right DMS for your law firm, it’s important that you consider all of the needs presented by the law firm. Do your research. If you have questions about either Worldox or iManage, let us know! We’re happy to talk with you about your needs. Take a Look at LegalWorks Both NetDocuments and iManage are capable platforms. But if you’re looking for modern document management software that was born in the cloud and built for law firms, take a look at Uptime LegalWorks. LegalWorks provides matter-centric document and email management, enabling your law firm to go paperless, get organized and work anywhere. Learn more about Uptime LegalWorks. Learn More About Worldox .. ..read more
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NetDocuments Vs. eDocs – A Document Management System Comparison The right document management software (DMS) makes a big difference for law firms. Of course, there are a lot of different DMS options to choose from. That in itself can make it really hard to find the right one. In this post, we’re going to compare two popular document management software options: NetDocuments vs. eDocs. We will share an overview of each, what we really think each option brings to the table for law firms, and the one that we think stands out. Before we get started, we want to provide you with some questions you should answer when you’re making this crucial decision. Does it really manage your documents or is it just digital storage? There is a big difference between the two. Document management software should actually help your law firm do more than just act as a repository. Consider the features as opposed to however the software classifies itself. Related: Document Management vs. Consumer-Grade Cloud Storage Does it organize documents in a way that makes sense for how your law firm will use it? Consider whether the software organizes documents and data in a way that will really work for your law firm. Some DMS options are considered “generalists” because they appeal to a wide variety of industries. NetDocuments and eDocs are both generalist DMS programs because they’re used in several industries. As such, the way that things are organized may not make much sense or may present a learning curve. A DMS designed specifically for the legal industry is more matter-centric. It makes it easier to organize, find, and use documents and data. Does the DMS integrate with the services you use? This includes Microsoft Office, Outlook, and whatever software that your law firm uses. Some generalist options may not integrate with legal industry software. What sort of search function does the DMS have? Optical character recognition (OCR) is the best possible search option. Not all DMS options have it. With OCR, you can search on anything. The search engine will search more than the name of clients or documents. It will also search the inside of documents. You should also look for software that uses OCR automatically every time you need to run a search. How easy is it to use the software? It’s crucial that the software is easy for everyone to use. Otherwise, no one will want to use it. Look at the various screens and consider how easy it would be for you to use it. Can you customize it to better meet your needs? Consider which features of the DMS you can customize to make your law firm life just a little bit easier. You should also determine if the features will actually help improve productivity. Will the company help move your documents and data? Data migration can be a stressful process. Find out whether the DMS provider will move your documents and data for you or if it is something you must do on your own. If they do provide data migration, you should also ask about the cost. Some companies may provide this option, but they’ll attach a hefty price tag to the process. An Overview of NetDocuments NetDocuments is a DMS that is considered cloud-based. With it, law firms can store, organize, and manage documents. It is considered a generalist software because it is used by multiple industries, including the legal industry. NetDocuments handles both emails and documents in a secured environment. NetDocuments uses a concept known as workspaces to organize content. Law firms may need to decide whether a workspace will be defined by client name or if it will be an area that holds documents and data that each lawyer uses for their specific cases. Access permissions can be set for each user to ensure that they can get to what they need without having access to everything. Users can collaborate together on documents. Document check-in and check-out is another helpful feature for law firms. This DMS option has a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices. An Overview of eDocs eDocs isn’t a native cloud application. However, it can be hosted and ran from a cloud. A law firm may also decide to install and run it from an on-premise server. It is also a generalist DMS that is used in several industries. eDocs has an interface that is customizable. Law firms can change up how the interface looks to better meet the needs of the users. Law firms can also set different permissions much like with NetDocuments. What’s Good about NetDocuments for Law Firms NetDocuments integrates with Microsoft Office 365. It also allows users to work with documents regardless of whether they are logged in to the platform. NetDocuments can synch their files when they return online. Coupled with the document check-in and check-out system, law firms get more control over document management. Fewer “surprise” changes may come up since checked-out documents can only be viewed as “read-only” by others until it is checked back in. This DMS also provides an option to request approval for changes made. NetDocuments also integrates with Outlook. Users can search the best location to find certain content (including emails and attachments). This can make it much easier for users to find what it is they need. Documents and data are organized via workspace. This makes it easy to store and locate documents and data, but law firms will need to consider how they actually want to set-up the workspace (i.e., every client is considered a “workspace” or every lawyer has their own “workspace”). Permissions can be set-up for each user as well. Users can work together through NetDocuments on projects and even use a secured online messenger. However, it’s important to note that this feature isn’t available if the user is accessing NetDocuments through the mobile app. What’s Good about eDocs for Law Firms eDocs has a customizable interface. Every user within the law firm can customize their interface to make it easier for them to use. The filtered search results also makes it easy for users to find what it is they need. Our Verdict Out of the two DMS options above, we like NetDocuments for law firms. However, it is important that you remember that even NetDocuments has its limits and is also considered a general DMS. It is also beneficial for law firms to consider DMS systems designed specifically for law firms. Take a Look at LegalWorks Both NetDocuments and iManage are capable platforms. But if you’re looking for modern document management software that was born in the cloud and built for law firms, take a look at Uptime LegalWorks. LegalWorks provides matter-centric document and email management, enabling your law firm to go paperless, get organized and work anywhere. Learn more about Uptime LegalWorks. Learn More About NetDocuments Learn More About eDocs Compare More Document Management Systems Download our Document Management Software Comparison Chart. Compare the leading legal document management software, side-by-side Download Now The post NetDocuments vs. eDocs appeared first on Uptime LegalWorks. ..read more
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NetDocuments Vs. iManage – A Document Management System Comparison Document management software for law firms is a critical tool. It helps law firms keep their documents (including emails and attachments) organized. This is important because when documents are well organized, law firm life is more efficient and clients are better served. Yet, it’s not an easy job to find the right document management software. There are a lot of companies out there. The different options can make finding the right one overwhelming. And randomly choosing one to try can result in serious problems for the law firm. In this post, we’re going to compare a couple of popular document management software solutions. Before we do, though, we’d like to share some things you should look for when evaluating your options: Is it matter-centric? Most document management system software options are made with multiple industries in mind. So, it may not be matter-centric. You may need to do a lot of tweaking to get the software to work in way that makes sense to your users. When your document management software is truly matter-centric, it makes it easier for users to save, search, and work together on specific documents. Related: Document Management & Matter-Centricity Does the software offer the features you need? For example, does it integrate with Microsoft Office and Outlook? Can you create permissions or security based on user? Can you set-up the ability for documents to be checked-in and checked-out? Can documents be indexed and searched? Of course, that’s not a full list of questions about the features you may need, but it’s a good start. Consider accessibility. It’s certainly no surprise that law firms are looking for cloud-based solutions to improve accessibility. When considering document management software, determine how it will be installed and used. If the software is meant to be installed to an on-premise server, it’s not going to be available to you when you’re not in the office. If the company says that their software is cloud-based, or has a “cloud option,” do your research. It could be that they provide you with a web browser-based log-in that provides limited functionality when you’re accessing it. If you want to access the document management software when you’re away from the office, look for something that can either be hosted and ran from a private cloud or something that is a cloud native (meaning it was made specifically for use on the cloud). How are searches performed? Does searching rely on the folders, tags, or profiles? Does the software have the ability to read the inside of the documents (OCR)? OCR is key when it comes to easily locating what you need through the search process. You can use a name, word, or phrase and OCR will search the inside of documents saved within the software as well as any tags, folder names, or meta-data. How hard will it be to move your data? Data migration is an important part of the process, and can make or break your experience. Depending on the document management software you choose, you may be required to move your own data. If you don’t have the ability to do that, you may need to hire a professional to help. Look for a solution that provides data migration as part of its package, from the company that makes the software (rather than farming this function off to a third party). So now that you know some of the things you should look for when evaluating document management software, let’s look at a couple of commonly used ones: NetDocuments vs. iManage. NetDocuments Overview NetDocuments is a cloud-based document management system that serves several industries, including healthcare, financial services and law firms. Documents are arranged by workspace. A law firm may need to create a workspace for every client or client matter. They may also opt to create a workspace for each lawyer to manage all of that lawyer’s projects. Then, the lawyer would provide access to each person with whom they work. NetDocuments manages documents and email (with an added extension), allows users to work together on documents, allows users to compare previous versions of documents or approve changes, and includes a mobile app. NetDocuments charges per user and per gigabyte (GB) of storage for each user. Each user is $20 / month, and comes with only 1 GB of storage. More storage (which you’ll undoubtably need) will cost more. Law firms must consider their number of users as well as have a good idea of how much space they’ll need to determine the monthly cost. iManage Overview iManage is a (mostly) on-premise-based document management system allows law firms to store, organize, and manage their documents and their emails. It is a trusted document management system by many industries, including the financial industry and the legal industry. Documents are arranged under projects. Every project can hold all of the documents, emails, and data necessary to successfully manage a client matter. iManage integrates with scanners and Microsoft Office. Users can also set up document change alerts, document check-in and check-out, as well as create tags and profiles. Documents are indexed as part of the searching feature. iManage also works well with Dropbox and other third-party storage programs. It also has an app available for Apple users. However, iManage, depending on the version you need for your law firm can be quite expensive especially when compared to other document management software options that have the same features. iManage does a lot, but it also requires a lot. It requires a lot of money to purchase the software, and it requires a lot of powerful server infrastructure to successfully run. Benefits of NetDocuments We like that NetDocuments gives users the ability to access their documents from anywhere. That’s important, especially for law firms. It’s also very user-friendly. You can start with using pre-named folders and create sub-folders as needed. It is also easy to sort and save emails, documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, and photographs. When law firms purchase the additional extension ndMail, they can save emails and attachments directly into matters. We also really like that NetDocuments allows users to open documents considered checked-out as a “read only” file. This help ensures that everyone stays on the same page when it comes to making changes to documents. Benefits of iManage We like that iManage has a great search function that makes it easy for users to find what they need by bringing back relevant documents. iManage also has a significant amount of automation processes to help improve the workflow for users. Users can also edit documents while they are inside of iManage (and you don’t have to overwrite the original document). Tagging and setting security levels (permissions) for documents and data stored is quick and easy. iManage will also ask you questions to make sure that you don’t accidently lose or overwrite important documents. The Verdict Choosing the right document management software is crucial. Both NetDocuments and iManage have their strengths and their weaknesses. NetDocuments needs additional extensions to integrate directly into Microsoft Office and Outlook. If your law firm is small, you may find that the $20 per user per one gig of storage is ideal. This program also has ShareSpace which can be used to work on documents with another person. It works best if there are fewer than 25 documents and fewer than 25 individuals using ShareSpace. ShareSpace cannot be used or even viewed through the mobile app. We believe that NetDocuments may be ideal for smaller law firms, but it’s still important to review all the features to ensure it’s a good fit. iManage is a nice program, but it is extremely expensive, and often just “too much software” for most small and midsized firms. It’s also needs specific technical requirements or it won’t work. It does have a cloud version as well as an app, but the app is only available for Apple. The program operates very similarly to using Windows Explorer. iManage can be used for large law firms even if they have offices scattered across the state, nation, or world. Its strong email functions are extremely beneficial for law firms that collaborate over the internet. We believe that while cost may be a significant factor that prohibits some law firms from using it, it’s a great program that may be a good option for larger law firms or law firms with multiple locations. Just keep in mind that the app is only available for Apple devices. Take a Look at LegalWorks Both NetDocuments and iManage are capable platforms. But if you’re looking for modern document management software that was born in the cloud and built for law firms, take a look at Uptime LegalWorks. LegalWorks provides matter-centric document and email management, enabling your law firm to go paperless, get organized and work anywhere. Learn more about Uptime LegalWorks. Learn More About NetDocuments Learn More About iManage Compare More Document Management Systems Download our Document Management Software Comparison Chart. Compare the leading legal document management software, side-by-side Download Now .. ..read more

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