NetDocuments released a brand-new interface to the public on September 30th, and we think it's pretty awesome. Feedback from firms that have adopted the new interface is that it is "very intuitive, easy to learn, and much more user friendly in daily operations." We took it for a spin ourselves, and agree it presents significant usability improvements. We'll share our observations: The basic unit of navigation is your "Home Page". This is now a customizable, easy navigation page that has default sections of Favorite Workspaces, Favorite Items and Active Matters. One of the most exciting features in this new interface is the ability to click on a yellow star icon next to any of your Files, Workspaces and Projects; they are then automatically added to your home page.
In the September/October 2011issue of The Pennsylvania Lawyer, published by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, practicing attorney and technology consultant, Shannon Brown, provides a very thoughtful and informative primer on the "why's and wherefores" of cloud computing. His article offers some important background for attorneys attempting to understand the "alphabet soup" of current cloud computing terminology.
The Desktop Computing era has brought computing power into the hands of the users, but left them still dependent upon IT to provision the back-end infrastructure such as networks, servers and firewalls. Upkeep on in-house infrastructure tends to be daunting and very costly. What's more, catastrophe can result at anytime from drive failures, viruses, corrupt databases, server patches and the list goes on. You also need to pay for all the hardware and a team to manage it.
Industry leaders publish open responses to ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 Proposals and North Carolina State Bar Proposed Formal Ethics Opinion on cloud computing Jul 19, 2011 – The Legal Cloud Computing Association ("LCCA") has published its responses to proposals issued by the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 ("Commission") and the North Carolina State Bar ("NC State Bar") regarding the use of cloud computing within a law practice.
Open Letter to CIOs everywhere: As you've surely noticed, technology isn't just changing the functions of your employee's jobs, it's blurring the lines of work and life altogether by giving them a choice over how and where they work. We've all seen the stats, for example: Today, work styles have become as unique as your people and your technology should reflect that. But you have choices, option #1 is to continue with the status quo. Option #2 is to embrace change and leverage the web and new technology to allow employees to be flexible enough to react to their clients needs in the most optimal way possible.
"Everything we do, we do differently than we did 18 months ago. We've reengineered the entire firm to change the client experience," said John Ohmer, CEO of YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors. "It's made portfolio reporting and financial advising completely different than anything we've ever experienced."
NAPFA National was the first financial services conference we have attended that was not a technology specific conference, so we weren't sure how many advisors would be there looking for technology solutions...turns out, nearly all of them were. After spending the week talking about the cloud and hearing from the source what financial planners want from their technology to serve their clients, here is some of what we learned:
If you're heading out to Orlando next week for the ALA Conference, make sure to come swing by and say hi to the NetDocuments folks at booth #311 . Aside from the normal booth stuff, we'll be giving away an iPad. A number of our partners and customers will be speaking at the conference including Rajiv Mukerji, of Smart Solutions, who is speaking on cloud computing for law firms on Tuesday, May 24th at 12:15 PM. For those of you not attending the conference, you can follow the #ALAConf hashtag and the @NetDocuments Twitter stream for real time updates. Other notable Twitteratti to be sure to follow include @RL_Wood, @MonnicaWofford and @Vic_Maurer.
Investment banking is complex enough, anyone alive in 2008 can attest to that. Now couple that with the difficulty of sharing information in a secure and compliant way across offices and firewalls. That's the situation THiNKGREEN! Global Advisors was looking at before it made its move to the cloud. "We used to have our own server but that was pretty dicey. It was usually reliable until it wasn't. If that went down, everything went to a standstill...Now we know that all of our documents are always available and safe in NetDocuments. Our whole idea was to be entirely in the cloud to eliminate wasted resources which bodes well with our green tech push." - Asmaa Parker, banking associate.
In the past year, NetDocuments' Partner Program has exploded from a small group of consulting firms to a global network of over 90 Partners worldwide. Our Partners range in size from single consultants, offering a best-of-breed document management solution, to full-scale firms with multiple offices and hundreds of employees offering the end to end solution of selling, consulting, implementing and deploying the service.