The technology infrastructure of midsize and large firms has seen dramatic shifts in recent years. The consumerization of IT, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement, and of course the cloud, has revolutionized the way firms practice law and implement technology. The benefit of this shift is that it enables firms like yours to simply do more with less — more productivity, more mobility, more security, more functionality — plus disaster recovery. All of this costs less, requires less hardware, and involves a lot less hassle.
As we wrap up another amazing year at NetDocuments, we thought we'd open up the blog to one of our friends in the financial services industry. Enjoy, and see you in 2013! By Sheryl Rowling, CPA/PFS CEO, Total Rebalance Expert® I've written other articles about providing excellent client service. So, how can this article provide any new information? Whether the information is new or just a reminder, the New Year ushers in an opportunity to bring our practices to the next level!
Original Release Wingate, a prominent Massachusetts-based financial services firm, has discontinued Worldox, an on-premise provider, and selected NetDocuments and XLR8 as their integrated cloud-based solution for document and client management. Wingate Wealth Advisors announced it has selected NetDocuments and XLR8 as their integrated document, email, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. "Wingate decided to switch to NetDocuments because of their cloud-based offering and their seamless integration with our CRM system, XLR8, which is built on the Salesforce.com platform," Mark Greco, the firm's Chief Operating Officer, stated. "As a firm, we are trying to upgrade our technology by moving many of our key applications from our own servers to the cloud, and NetDocuments fits this strategy perfectly."
NetDocuments is on the road 15+ times during the year to showcase our cloud-based Enterprise Content Management (ECM) service. In January 2013 we have two power-packed events lined up – LegalTech New York and TD Ameritrade's National conference. Since 1999 NetDocuments has offered the legal and financial services industries a leading cloud-based solution for storing, managing, securing and collaborating with content from any Internet connection or device. The service has come a long way since 1999, with 4 releases per year – each release packed with new features and enhancements suggested to us by our customers and partners. So if you're in New York or San Diego at the end of January, be sure to stop by and see the latest innovation in content management technology. Some of the highlights will be the release of the public Document Delivery feature, tighter email management integration with Microsoft Outlook, and improved integration with desktop scanners for a simplified paper-to-digital process.
NetDocuments services some of the world's leading law firms, financial institutions and corporations across the globe. We also have a lot of great channel partners, technology partners, consultants, and friends who add value to the technology space. We're going to take a break for this post and turn the stage over to an expert in the financial services industry. Sheryl Rowling CPA/PFS, is also part of the Virtual Solutions for Advisors (VSFA) group, where financial advisors can go for advice and resources on how to make their financial services practice more efficient and profitable.
Whether it's Gartner, IDC, GigaOm Research, or The Legal IT Professionals Survey, you can be certain that the question is no longer "is the cloud here to stay?" but has become, "where and for what applications should we implement the cloud first?" Witnessing the 60,000+ attendees at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce event (where everything is cloud-based) highlighted the contrasting sentiment about cloud adoption that has historically existed between industries. The legal and financial services markets have typically been slower to adopt new technology, due to regulation and highly confidential data, amongst a number of other factors. However, according to recent reports, the winds are shifting and firms in these air-tight industries are learning about the extreme benefits the cloud brings in terms of security, flexibility, business continuity, and mobility – it's these benefits in efficiency and cost savings that are causing a tipping point for legal cloud adoption.
We talk to a lot of financial services firms every day, and one thing that consistently comes up is the pain and difficulty navigating, balancing, connecting, and integrating the technology dots for at an advisor's practice. The must-haves vs. the nice-to-haves often discourages advisors, since most are not technologists and their local IT company they're using to service their computers doesn't really understand the financial services space.
In 2011, Hewlett-Packard (HP) [HPQ NYSE] acquired Autonomy, the UK-based software company for over $10 billion dollars. After a collective gasp, the tech industry debated how a company like Autonomy could reach that level of valuation, and why HP, who has struggled for years finding its place in the modern software/hardware space, would empty the coffers to make the acquisition. After all, Oracle called Autonomy's former CEO, Mike Lynch, on his bluff, stating the market value of $6 billion at the time was overpriced, and this was before HP plopped down the whopping $10+. After a year of head shaking, we now know how they pulled it off – like so many other big-company-scandals, Autonomy cooked the books.
With the NetDocuments 2012 – R2 release on October 25th, NetDocuments upgraded its TWAIN integration and expanded the capabilities to scan from a desktop TWAIN-compatible scanner to any location within NetDocuments using the New>Scanned Image option. The secret sauce here is that NetDocuments calls your specific scanner's software to allow you to customize the settings such as 200 dpi, both sides, etc., determine which file format you want to scan to, e.g. PDF, TIFF, JPEG, etc., and whether to initiate OCR before it gets imported to NetDocuments. Using your local scanner software to OCR the document allows the text within the document to be full-text searchable after being imported to NetDocuments.
There have been a lot of great posts about the important questions you should be asking your vendor before doing business with them, and here is another. The cloud space is increasingly crowded and new companies are popping up every day – this makes your job as a business owner, attorney, financial advisor, or IT professional very difficult as you sift through the "cloud washing" and fluff to find the vendors who have appropriately invested in the right security, privacy, compliance, and redundancy measures.