Thursday, January 8, 2015

Cut costs, eliminate risk: The business case for LawPort

SharePoint – Many Advantages to Leverage, Some Challenges to Overcome:
The legal industry has moved to embrace Microsoft’s SharePoint as the platform of choice for building web-based portal and knowledge management infrastructures. Efficient collection, organization and distribution of a firm’s intellectual capital (both internally and externally in some cases) has become increasingly important, most especially for those firms with a leadership team that values cross-practice, cross-geographic, and even cross-industry client service.

In addition, visionary law firm leaders understand that it is critical to efficiently and effectively offer enterprise access to data and information about the firm’s people, processes and financial operations as part of the growing focus on the business of law.

Equally important, firms with a strong commitment to the continuing professional development of their lawyers excel at encouraging them to document and share their expertise, thereby building their own reputations and that of the firm.

At SydneyPLUS/LawPort, we believe that SharePoint 2007 and 2010 represent many significant advances that are critical to the continuing success of a progressive law firm, in terms of the practice of law and the business of law, and also in terms of leveraging the expertise and professional development of individual lawyers and staff:

  • an acknowledgement that collaboration and sharing is key
  • an understanding that knowledge means more than documents
  • the use of modular web page components that can be easily moved, shared and changed (web parts) has come of age
  • portals are now fundamental infrastructure and not the latest fad
  • the integration of business data and key performance metrics is vital to the usability and therefore, success of a portal.

With experience, law firm CKOs and CIOs are telling us that even with the many groundbreaking benefits that SharePoint offers, it is increasingly clear that simply installing the product does not deliver complete results to the legal sector. While Microsoft’s enterprise products are designed to be adapted by expert IT staff to the varied needs of all kinds of businesses and individuals, they are not tailored to the specific requirements of law firms, which are unique even within the world of professional services.

In addition to having a strong commitment to leveraging and growing the firm’s intellectual capital, and to sharing business intelligence with practice and functional department managers, top law firm leaders understand that making the best use of their IT and financial resources is critical to the bottom line.

Executives we’ve interviewed feel strongly (and we agree) that they’ve done the right thing in selecting SharePoint. However, they are now looking for solutions to the challenges of accelerating the implementation, to making the most effective use of internal resources, and to delivering law firm specific applications that integrate seamlessly with SharePoint 2007 and 2010.

By Guest Blogger: Lucidea LawPort