Aug 15 2017

Too busy to blog, I wonder why?


It’s been a bit of a hectic few months, too hectic to blog (read this for the why or this). However it’s been a month that I will look back on at some point in the future and realise a huge amount has been learnt (as a firm, as a dept, as teams and for me personally).

In the coming months I am sure I will blog about some of it, maybe something on the poor reporting by legal press that implied simple lax security (this wasn’t your average script kiddie attachment on an email attack), or something on future disaster recovery planning for firms in general (we’ve potentially being planning for the wrong thing for decades), maybe lessons learnt from the recovery (because I’m now sure this will happen to many more firms) or how it’s essential to have a fantastic dedicated team around you to keep things going and really deliver under huge pressure. But that’s for another time.

This week is ILTACON and it’ll be interesting to see what comes out during the week on the shakeup of the organisation or whether there is anything new that comes out other than the usual commentary on how bad law firms are at things (we’re not innovative, we aren’t changing, we’re the weak link in security etc etc). I kind of think the open letter written by Rick Hellers is spot on, there needs to be a shift to the educational and a move from just commentary in a lot of legal conferences. My aim therefore this year at any talk I do at a conference is to talk more to this, how we can do things rather than pick holes in what we might not be doing.


Aug 31 2016

A helping hand for following ILTA from afar via twitter by hashtags


Better late than never, but following #ILTACON on twitter can at times be a little confusing when trying to match the session title to the session hashtag on the tweets. So I pulled together all the session titles together with a link to a hashtag search for that session. Also grouped by the time in UK time in case you’re following live and want to catch what the session is (US East coast take off 5 hours). Hope it helps!

Wednesday 31st August 2016

All times UK
KEYNOTE: Your Keynote Antidote: ILTACON’s Hard-Hitting News Show – #ILTAKEY3
Remote Users: The Walking, Talking Security Risk – #ILTA093A
Refining Your E-Discovery Reporting – #ILTA093B
Alternative Email Arrangements To Reduce the Clutter – #ILTA093C
Finding a Needle in a Haystack with 21st-Century Expertise Systems – #ILTA094
The State of Play of Artificial Intelligence in Law – #ILTA095
Matters from Laterals: A Matter Mobility Workshop – #ILTA096
Keep Up With Trends in Today’s Data Centers – #ILTA097
Is Enterprise Search Worth the Money? – #ILTA098
Learning Management System Wild West Shootout! – #ILTA099
PM vs. LPM Project Modeling: Differences, Applications and Templates – #ILTA100
Risk Management Unboxed – #ILTA101
Exchange 2016: Why and How To Upgrade – #ILTA102
Grading Susskind: The State of Legal 20 Years After the “Future of Law” – #ILTA103
From Production to Trial: The Tools We Use and Still Need – #ILTA104
Lights, Cameras, Action! Producing Blockbuster Training Videos on a Budget – #ILTA105
Similar Issues and Solutions: A Small Firms Discussion Forum – #ILTA106
Burnout to Badass: Energize. Engage. Ignite. – #ILTA107
Life After Death by PowerPoint – #ILTA108
A View from Above: The C-Level Perspective on Change – #ILTA109
Face Your Fears: Embracing Change in the Legal Environment – #ILTA110
Governing Data In the Cloud – #ILTA111
Danger! Navigating the File-Sharing Minefield – #ILTA112
Building KM Together: Creating Collaboration Between Law Firms and Law Departments – #ILTA113
When Project Management and E-Discovery Management Collide – #ILTA114
Mapping the Customer Journey – #ILTA115
Two (and More) Heads Are Better Than One! A Pricing Roundtable – #ILTA116
It’s a Multifactor Authentication Shoot Out! – #ILTA117
Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s with the Right Document Proofreading Software – #ILTA118
Preventing IT Procurement Pitfalls – #ILTA119
iManage Company Update and Road Ahead – #ILTA120
Law Firm 101: A Sneak Peek at ILTA’s E-Learning Initiative – #ILTA121
RFPs: Is There a Better Process? – #ILTA122
The Essential Toolbox for Data Quality Management and Visualization – #ILTA123
Can We See What They See? A Preview of What Law Department Analytics Tools Look Like – #ILTA124
Finding the Fun in Writing Fundamentals – #ILTA125
How To Effectuate a Better Legal Services Delivery Model – #ILTA126
Unleashing the Performance Power of Your Desktop – #ILTA127
Developing and Managing Emotional Intelligence – #ILTA128
Don’t Do That! Lessons from the IT and KM Trenches – #ILTA129
Windows Server 2016: What’s New, What’s Not? – #ILTA130
The Future of Law Firms in the E-Discovery Space: A Client’s Perspective – #ILTA131
The Why and How of a Paper-Light Office – #ILTA132
Automated Contract Review: Machine Learning Comes to Corporate Law – #ILTA133
Checking for Weak Links: Security Audits of Your Most Popular Platforms – #ILTA134
Effectively Managing Outside Counsel Guidelines – #ILTA135
Aderant Expert Billing – #ILTA136

Thursday 1st September 2016

All times UK
KEYNOTE: ILTA Showcase: Fast and Furious Presentations by Distinguished Peer Award Nominees – #ILTAKEY4
Business and Legal Aspects of Mobile, Social and Emerging Technologies – #ILTA138A
Innovative Data Exchanges and Collaboration with Clients – #ILTA137
The Evolution of SharePoint 2016 – #ILTA138
Maximizing Efficiencies with Technology-Backed Workflows – #ILTA139
The Intersection Between Records Information Management & Info Governance – #ILTA140A
LEDES Oversight Committee Bi-Annual Members Meeting – #ILTA137A
Evolving DMS Security Models To Meet Client & Compliance Requirements – #ILTA140
Respond Effectively to Your First Client Security Audit – #ILTA141
A Lab for Next-Generation Leaders – #ILTA142
Data Mining: Leveraging Information To Make Strategic Decisions – #ILTA143
Innovating Together: Building Partnerships Between Law Firms, Clients and Vendors – #ILTA144
Building the Right Infrastructure for VDI – #ILTA145
How Future Technology Will Affect Litigation Support – #ILTA146
Laptops and Tablets and Hybrids! Oh, My! – #ILTA147
Supporting Lateral Attorney Integration Through Knowledge Management – #ILTA148
Making Educated Decisions with Cost-Benefit Analyses – #ILTA149
Is Physical Office Space Really Needed? – #ILTA150
Why UTBMS Codes Aren’t a Waste of Time – #ILTA151
The Wikipedia of Legal: ILTA Staff Legal Industry Perspectives from the ‘80s, ‘90s and Today – #ILTA152
Choosing the Right Artificial Intelligence for the Job – #ILTA153
Kicking It Up a Notch with System Center Configuration Manager 2016 – #ILTA154
How To Establish Data Classification and Improve Client Audits – #ILTA155
Threat Protection for Virtual Systems – #ILTA156
IT Project Portfolio Management – #ILTA157
Reinventing Traditional Support Staff Roles in a Buyer’s Market – #ILTA158
A Road Map To Gathering and Analyzing Client Discovery Data Across Matters – #ILTA159
Helping Lawyers Meet Ethical Obligation of Technical Proficiency – #ILTA160
Pain-Free Video-conferencing with Clients – #ILTA161
I’m in Charge! Now What? Skills for New Managers – #ILTA162
Can Information Rights Management and Document Management Systems Play Well Together? – #ILTA165
ILTA Town Hall – #ILTA166
Hacking Law Firm Innovation – #ILTA167
The Dark Web: The Wild West of the Internet – #ILTA168
Learning to Prosper Using Client Data You Already Have – #ILTA169
A New Approach To Aligning the Objectives of Outside Counsel, In-House Legal and Corporate Business – #ILTA170
Gather ‘Round for a Litigation Support Roundtable – #ILTA171
The Gang’s All Here! A Marketing Technology Roundtable – #ILTA172
Onboarding: A Process Mapping Exercise – #ILTA173
Current Threat Landscapes and Protective Measures – #ILTA174
Extreme Makeover: Webinar Edition – #ILTA175

Oct 6 2014

Some dates for your diary in October and November


Just a short post as a bit of an advert for a couple of legal IT shows in the coming months, both at which I’ll be speaking at.

On the Wednesday 15th October in London at the Tikit Word Excellence Day. I’ll be talking about Mobile Working and BYOD with Ali Moinuddin from Workshare and Matt Miller from Microsystems.

Then on Thursday 13th November again in London I’ll be joining a panel at ILTA Insight 2014 to talk about a variety of challenges law firms have around mobility.




Aug 28 2014

Across the pond to ILTA 2014 – a retrospective look part one


ILTA 2014 – Nashville 18th-21st August

The conference kicks off Sunday evening with the “Communities of Interest” groups, now to me as a UK attendee these don’t really have any gravitas as we seem to be a bit divorced from all the ILTA sessions, panels, groups that go on outside the annual conference**. But I did make my way into the tweetup and met with a few people I’ve conversed with on twitter over the past few years. These sessions were followed by the speaker meet and greet, which for a newbie speaker seemed like a large gathering of people who knew each other! But forcing myself to network I got chatting to a few folks, most interesting were a couple of university students from California doing a project for an Australian software company wanting to break into Legal. An interesting insight into how companies look at new markets.


Monday and the conference kicks off properly with the opening keynote. This was excellent, it was presented by Peter Diamandis (chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation), future gazing on the general theme : “Over the next 20-30 years we’re going to meet and exceed the needs of everyone on the planet”.

The first section of the talk looked at Technology, here are a few bullet points I pulled from this part.

  • He talked about the news media being a drug pusher, where bad news is the drug. But look behind the news and see that it’s not all bad, for example, in the US even for those defined as poor, 99% have electricity, water etc. Technology is what has changed this.
  • Today a kid in a garage can start a company, go viral and touch a billion people.
  • In 10 years predicted 40% of Future 500 companies don’t exist yet
  • Technology is growing exponentially
    • By 2023 the standard $1000 computer will be calculating at the speed of human brain
    • By 2050 it will be at speed of entire human race

The speed of this change is exponential, and this can lead to disruptive stress or disruptive opportunity (the former is where you’re in the business that the kid in the garage is building something for, the latter is the kids business).

He talked through some examples of these technologies. About IBM’s Watson, with IBM now moving it to a platform that you can build on. So what happens when this is available to all on the smartphone? Putting this in the Legal arena, what happens when legal apps on this platform?

As an example of the growth we just can’t perceive, he talked about how some technologies will hit this growth and experience one billion times improvement in next 10-30 years – an example from the past of this was the digital camera from 1976 to 2014 which showed this level of growth, where will these be when another 1bn times better than today! What does this mean for say eDiscovery in legal?

Then onto cars and this was a great example of how disruptive technology can be. How the autonomous car will demonetise everything – if cars don’t crash, you can make them much smaller and out of lightweight material. You don’t need to own a car, you just use one. And the “wow” statement, kids born now won’t drive a car at all as autonomous cars will be the norm in 18 years!

Finally 3D printing disrupting a ten trillion dollar manufacturing industry. A future where anyone can scan or print anything.

It was a really uplifting section that showed how technology improves rapidly and changes industries. The ending remark was a warning to companies:

If you’re dependant on innovation solely from inside your company, you will lose

This led onto a section talking about crowd sourcing. Where he talked about how the X Prize came about and what it plans to do next. This next project after the space competition was a $10m Tricorder X Prize – the aim was to build a handheld mobile device for people (not doctors) to put healthcare in your hand. A device that can diagnose your illness as well as a team of doctors. 330 teams entered, they are now down to the top 10 and expect to announce a winner in 18 months.

They are already getting ready to launch the next project, a global learning X Prize. Asking a team to build an app with an aim of teaching reading, writing, numeracy to kids in just 18 months. They are also pushing a toolset so people can design and build a competition themselves to force innovation within organisations and communities.

The finish was an upbeat note on how this explosion in technology brings abundance. An example was solar energy that is experiencing exponential change, the stat given was that the US will generate 15-20% of their energy by solar in 15years. Of the world’s population in 2000 only 6% were connected to the internet, by 2010 it was 23% and by 2020 it will be 66% (or in numbers 3 billion new people connected). What will these 3bn create, discover, invent? What we think now is scarce will become abundant. Example given was how aluminium was difficult to extract and therefore scarce and now thanks to technology is abundant.

A real uplifting talk to start the week and one that generated a fair few conversations during the week.

In the next post on Tuesday I’ll look through some of the sessions I went to during the week.


** at the end of the conference I had a twitter conversation with Jeffrey Brandt about UK ILTA, it ended up with me thinking that maybe we as Legal IT folks in the UK need to get involved more with the ILTA events in the UK to shape them to something akin to the full US conference. This may bring us closer to the communities of interest through the year too.


Aug 29 2012

ILTA 2012 – view from afar – the final day


I wonder if there are some of the big ILTA parties on Wednesday evening? It does seem somewhat like perfect planning that all my recommended session picks for Thursday start in the afternoon!

Day Four (Thursday 30th August) sessions

Going Mobile with WorkSite Mobility (Thursday 2pm, Hashtag #AUT2) 7pm UK time

I wonder if there are some new developments in WorkSite Mobility? I watched an interesting session on ILTA TV online yesterday where a law firm was discussing the benefits of the Netdocuments mobile offering, in that they expose a webdav interface so that iPad apps like iAnnotate can access the DMS directly. Be interested to see what HP Autonomy are doing in this space.

The Mobile OS Platform Roundup (Thursday 2pm, Hashtag #CTPG5) 7pm UK time

What I’m interested to hear from this one is whether the twitter view of BlackBerry’s in law firms is the reality. I know I’ve been a proponent of “BlackBerry is dead” online postings, but when you really look at it from an old school lawyers point of view, one who just wants email and a physical keyboard, is there anything else out there? Also is Mobile Device Management for other devices ready for a large scale implementation yet? It does feel we’re almost, but not quite there and it’ll be perhaps 1-2 years before the RIM death knell sounds. Wonder what the session concludes?

Top Technology Issues for Law Firm CIOs in 2012 (Thursday 2pm, Hashtag #TECH9) 7pm UK time

BYOD? Email Management (general storage management in fact)? What else is on the radar?

The Future of Data Delivery or: How I Learned to Stop Browsing and Love the App (Thursday 3:30pm, Hashtag #APP13) 8:30pm UK time

Should We Build an App for That? (Thursday 3:30pm, Hashtag #THO4) 8:30pm UK time

With Windows 8 on the horizon with its Marketplace, are we in Legal IT ready for the shift to Apps? Or will HTML5 keep us all in the browser? Or worse will we continue with our fat clients (that’s the PC client, not the one that pays your bills!) Should be two interesting sessions discussing “appification” of Legal IT.

The Virtual Desktop As a Mobile Solution: Is the Mobile Desktop Ready? (Thursday 3:30pm, Hashtag #CTPG6) 8:30pm UK time

I remember Larry Ellison talking about the network computer back in the mid-90s, there was a guy who had vision way beyond Mr Jobs! Here we are today talking about essentially what he was advocating nearly 20 years ago. Will be interesting to hear from firms who have gone virtual desktop internally (replacing the desktop in the office) rather that just mobile. Also how people are coping when the “desktop” goes offline.

Ramifications of Commingling Personal and Professional Data (Thursday 3:30pm, Hashtag #INFO11) 8:30pm UK time

Apparently “Commingling” literally means “mixing together”, I did not know that! But this is a key issue that is raised as a real risk by many clients and auditors. The demand that we as law firms separate corporate and personal data, but how do you do that? Will be watching this hashtag to find out!

So that’s it for ILTA 2012 and my posts. There have been some good sessions by the look of it, I’ve been a bit disappointed in the quantity of tweets on some of the hashtags this year. But there have been some good blog posts from the conference and the ILTA TV live streams were very good. Maybe in future ILTA needs to really encourage bloggers to get posting and generate more online buzz?


Aug 28 2012

ILTA 2012 – view from afar – day three


Day Three (Wednesday 29th August) sessions

Office 2010 and Windows 7: One Year Later (Wednesday 11am, Hashtag #DASPG5) 4pm UK time

It seems that this year was the year of Office 2010 and Windows 7 (as predicted in my top 5 for 2011), we all stretched Windows XP and Office 2003 right to the very end. Or was it right to the point where Microsoft corrected the Vista mistake and completed development of Office (Office 2007 with the ribbon in some but not all apps anyone?).

For those yet to take the plunge, this looks like the perfect session where firms can tell their war stories so you can learn from them. For me I’ll be watching to see who took the docx route and learn whether they say this as a benefit or an extra pain in the rollout. Also be interested to hear in the session whether anyone on the cusp of a rollout has decided to wait for Windows 8 and Office 2013?

Tablets and Enterprise Content Management: The Tornado Strikes (Wednesday 11am, Hashtag #ECMPG1) 4pm UK time

I’m not in the slightest interested in the e-discovery angle of this session. But I am interested in how people have tackled the following “Tablets can also wreak havoc as users move and store content directly on the devices”. As the synopsis says “what policies and solutions have been developed to control enterprise content on tablets”. This is a real problem we’re tackling right now as I’m sure are plenty of others. The management of data and services on personal mobile devices is an emerging theme this year at ILTA from the look of the sessions, so it may be too early to get real war stories and solutions, but let’s watch the hashtag!

Play-Doh, Legos and Law Firms (Wednesday 11am, Hashtag #INFO7) 4pm UK time

First off I need to get something off my chest, the plural of Lego is Lego, it’s like Sheep! That feels better 🙂

I am really looking forward to reading the tweets from this session, the title has a real ring of TED about it (that’s not TED the movie!). The synopsis is equally intriguing, with the starting sentence “If you could build a law firm from scratch”. Will the session live up? I hope so.

An Email Archiving Nightmare: There Is No Magic Fairy Dust (Wednesday 11am, Hashtag #TECH7) 4pm UK time

The New Wave of Email Management (Not the Same Old Fruitcake) (Wednesday 3:30pm, Hashtag #ECMPG3) 8:30pm UK time

Unless the volumes of email start to drop off, I am coming round to resigning myself to the point made in the synopsis for the first session, “Email storage needs are growing and its unrealistic to make attorneys move email messages into a DMS”. However I don’t agree that keeping it all in a big archive bucket with retention policies is the answer either, after all there are valid reasons why a team in a law firm would want all their electronic document and email under one matter, the electronic file.

So I’m hoping the second session in particular will suggest some real alternatives, I’ve a few ideas myself but I don’t think anyone is doing them yet.

ILTA TV PANEL “Is It Time To Move the DMS To The Cloud?” (Wednesday 1:20pm, Hashtag #ILTATV3) 6:20pm UK time

The battle of the big three, apparently this ILTA TV slot will have OpenText, HP Autonomy and Netdocuments discussing this question. Should be interesting!

I think even if you’re not at ILTA you can catch it online here.

Social Media and KM: What Can Your Organization Learn from the U.S. Military and Intelligence Services? (Wednesday 1:30pm, Hashtag #INFO8) 6:30pm UK time

If there is one session that should light up the hashtag, this is it. Looking forward to seeing whether this session can prove that you can get the key messages from a session across online.

Desktop Globalization: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto! (Wednesday 1:30pm, Hashtag #APP9) 6:30pm UK time

And finally on Wednesday there is a session where I have a fair bit of experience. However what interests me is that all the speakers are from US International Firms, in that the original origins of the firms stem from the US rather than the UK. So although I’m sure the challenges faced are very similar I’ll be interested to see whether the solutions are the same.


Aug 27 2012

ILTA 2012 – view from afar – day two


Continuing my daily look at tommorrows ILTA 2012 sessions from the other side of the pond. Here’s my pick of Tuesday’s sessions with a few comments.

Day Two (Tuesday 28th August) sessions

Make the Move: Autonomy’s Cloud for Information Management (Tuesday 11am, Hashtag #AUT1) 4pm UK time

This could be an interesting space in the next few years. Netdocuments had a bit of a head start with a DMS in the cloud, but HP Autonomy seem to be shifting into this space now. I can’t tell yet exactly how the Autonomy offering works, is it “hosted worksite” or something totally different? Also I can’t tell how wide the scope of this session is, will it include email archiving and/or consolidated archiving as well as the DMS offering?

Either way there are obstacles still to overcome regarding where you’re storing your client data, but once these are satisfied then the shift to cloud storage does seem attractive. Especially if the architecture behind is infinitely scalable. So be interested to watch this hashtag to see what comes out of the session.

Epona – DMSforLegal – Doc Management on SharePoint (Tuesday 11am, Hashtag #SPOT2) 4pm UK time

Ah SharePoint as a DMS. For big firms I think Clifford Chance have answered our questions. But for mid sized down Epona seem to be doing a good job in this space. I’m still sure that for all its clunkiness there is some room for SharePoint in the DMS space, especially with a light Legal skin over the top. It’s especially attractive for those using foundation (ie the freebie SharePoint bundled with Windows Server) to help reduce costs.

OneNote for All Your Notes: A Hands-On Session (Part One) (Tuesday 1:30pm, Hashtag #HAND4) 6:30pm UK time

OneNote for All Your Notes: A Hands-On Session (Part Two) (Tuesday 3:30pm, Hashtag #HAND4) 8:30pm UK time

Ah, my favourite piece of software in the last few years. I love OneNote!  The ability to chop and change your notes in as flexible a way as the paper notepad has led me to ditch the paper and carry my laptop into meetings. Outside of work I’ve my Windows Phone, my iPad and my home PC all sync’ing the notebooks up to my SkyDrive. Take notes from anywhere, any device and consume them somewhere totally different!

We just need to start to exploit in the workplace now, shared notebooks across departments in law firms. I know our Australian IT team use OneNote to share information across the front line teams successfully. Imagine if a lawyer could have his OneNote on their iPad or Windows 8 surface sync’d to a the team back in the office. Be interesting to hear use cases from this session.

Kraft Kennedy: Benefits of Microsoft Exchange 2013 for Law Firms (Tuesday 1:30pm, Hashtag #SPOT3) 6:30pm UK time

I have to admit I know nothing about Exchange 2013 and what it brings, so I will take a look at this hashtag in the hope that people tweet the key benefits over Exchange 2010.

A Preparatory Guide to BYOD (Tuesday 1:30pm, Hashtag #TECH5) 6:30pm UK time

Mobile Access to Your DMS (Tuesday 3:30pm, Hashtag #CTPG3) 8:30pm UK time

BYOD (Bring your own device), I now see this as being two distinct areas. First “I want my desktop” and second “I want an app to do…”. The ability to bring in your own MacBook for the former and your Windows Phone for the latter. The iPad can cross either depending on how you want to use it.

The first instance I suspect most firms have done or are in the process of doing, it starts with remote access which is then only a step away from the ability to bring in your laptop to the office and access your firms desktop. The second though is a little more tricky, especially if you want the experience you get on your own iPhone (think GOOD vs access to your own Gmail on your smartphone, the former brings security but compromises the experience). It’s new and I suspect we won’t see really traction here until Windows Phone 8 and iOS6.

I hope the #TECH5 session is more about the “I want an app to do…” though and also that finally we have a really well though out secure app with great user experience in #CTPG3!

IT: Putting the “Person” Back into Personalized Service (Tuesday 3:30pm, Hashtag #APP7) 8:30pm UK time

I read a great post recently, that although about rip-off Britain, showed a great example how poor customer service can be when you don’t think like your customer and don’t understand what they are after from you (see this article and look for the discussion with CrossCountry rail!)

Be interested to see how others are looking to re-engage IT with their customers in law firms.


Aug 26 2012

ILTA 2012 – view from afar – day one


I decided I needed some stimulus to get blogging again, so I’ve set myself a little challenge for the week. I’m not sure I’ll make it, but here’s what I’m going to do. I can’t make ILTA 2012 so I’m going to virtually join you all in Washington, the challenge for myself is a post a day for the duration of the conference. Each evening (UK time) I will pick out what I think will be interesting sessions from the following day and post some of my thoughts on the topic. Simple right?

Day One (Monday 27th August) sessions

A Winning Future with Windows 8  (Monday 11am, Hashtag #ETPG1) 4pm UK time

Be interesting to hear what people say are the benefits for Windows 8 in a law firm. I’ve used it for a few weeks now and initially I raved about it, as a consumer user it is excellent. If I had my email in Hotmail/Gmail, used social media, music & videos and played a few games then it’s great and the “metro” interface is simple and effective. However I progressed onto more “desktop” functions and the interface started to irritate me. And this is what I would call my “work interface”. The nub of the problem is that corporate applications are not designed for it and this for me will be the sad fate for Legal IT, vendors are failing to keep up with Office 2010 and Windows 7. The fundamental shift in thinking of the interface in Windows 8 means I can’t see it working in Legal IT. Which is a crying shame as on a tablet this OS will be fantastic!

Vendors please prove me wrong.

Office 2010 … Sans the Add-Ins (Monday 1pm, Hashtag #DASPG2) 6pm UK time

One simple answer for this, “Yes please”!! I would love to be in this session, this is the ultimate goal for Office in Legal IT. In our firm we’ve 18 or 19 add-ins that load within Outlook 2010 alone (depending on your persona), just to halve the number would be excellent. Sure with our latest i5 processor machines with SSD storage it’s quick enough for now, but 3 or 4 years into the life cycle? Please if you go to this session, tweet lots using the hashtag!

A Business Case for Lync 2010 Unified Communications (Monday 1pm,  Hashtag #TECH2) 6pm UK time 

Desktop Videoconferencing Apps: Finally Ready for the Enterprise (Monday 2:30pm, Hashtag #DASPG3) 7:30pm UK time

Doing these two together as they cover similar ground. The time is definitely now. We’ve had Lync for over a year now and it transforms your way of working in multi office law firms. It’s not just the video conferencing either, you get presence (being able to see who’s available right now), IM (use lots, cut down the email!) and the low call costs (think how much you save calling international using Skype, then multiply by the numbers in your offices and the calls you make in a day!). I’ve said before, Lync to me feels like email back in the early 90’s. It’s a internal corporate tool now, but in a few years it’ll spread out to your clients and firms start to “federate” with each other.

Using Your DMS for Knowledge Management (Monday 2:30pm,  Hashtag #KMPG3) 7:30pm UK time

Just be interested to hear how firms are achieving this. Is it through bolt on enterprise search engines? If so are additional taxonomy tools used to fill in the lack of flexible custom meta data with current DMS systems? I can see how it can be achieved using separate managed libraries, but are people leveraging the documents in situ, weeding out the mountains of irrelevant material and finding the knowledge they are after?

Matter Centricity and the Impact on Lawyer Efficiency (Monday 2:30pm, Hashtag #THO2) 7:30pm UK time

Really? Are we still talking about matter centricity in 2012? Come on own up, who’s not doing it?

The End of Training? (Monday 4pm, Hashtag #DASPG4) 9pm UK time

It’s time for YouTube isn’t it? I mean when you need to fix you home PC or need to learn how to do that function in a piece of software at home what do you do?

Google it, watch it.

A cheap HD camcorder and a low cost video editing tool, all we need is a vendor to offer cost effective YouTube type infrastructure for us to use inside the law firm (after all some training material we may not want to share on YouTube).

Autonomy, an HP Company: One Year In (Monday 4pm, Hashtag #SV4) 9pm UK time

All the vendors seem to have the following notes this year “This session is open to ILTA Law Firm and Law Department Members ONLY”, I know IP is valuable but really?

Anyway, yes it’s been a year so will be interesting to hear what is said. Or will the hashtag be redacted?


Aug 28 2010

ILTA 2010 – The last days


ILTA 2010

Well we reach the final day of ILTA 2010 (Thursday 26th August) and for me it was just a morning of sessions before I had to  get ready to leave Las Vegas.

The first morning session was a look at Law Firm economics, “Next Generation Law Firm Economics” (#ORG15). A really interesting look at the economics of a law firm over the last few years and what this means for the future. A couple of snippets that stood out were:

  • The analysis that the shrinking of law firms revenue was accelerated by and not caused by the economic downturn, showing that there is an unsustainability of the traditional economic model of a law firm.
  • Analysis showing that the profitability of law firms of the last few years has been driven only by the rising of costs charged (6-8% per year in the good times, way above inflation) and the pressure on these means we’re in a period of very slow growth. Other variables (such as cost cutting, process improvements have had a marginal affect).

The Vendors Hall

After this I took a quick trip to the vendors hall again (photo above) before attending a second session titled “Training Strategies for Higher Attorney-to-Secretary Ratios” (#USER2). This was an excellent session looking at how to address the problems we have now of training lawyers in the IT systems.

Looking at ways to move from Push training (traditional class room based, quick reference guide booklets etc) to Pull training (giving them responsibility for their own training). Encouraging training teams to get out on the floor amongst the lawyers. Also ensuring that the service desk and local support teams understand their role in training, not fixing the problems for the users but showing them how to do it (the old “teach them to fish”!). Overall creating a culture of learning, understanding it’s not a one off exercise at intake, but an ongoing process.

In session #USER2

One thing  that was set up in every session at ILTA was a whiteboard (to the left of the podium in the picture above of the #USER2 session). On it was written the hashtag for the session. This ensured that the twitter stream for the conference could be viewed per session, an excellent idea. In fact the buzz at the end of the conference was whether one of the screens next year could be used to provide a live twitter stream for that session!

And with the end of that session the conference was wrapped up for me, the next hour was spent packing for the trip home.

Lunch and Annual Meeting/Volunteer Recognition

Before we left we did catch the end of the final days lunch (picture above) before we jumped in a taxi and headed off for the journey home. An hour extra in Las Vegas was provided as our flight was delayed but after about 14 hours of travelling I got to meet my wife and kids at the train station and a short journey home!

An excellent conference! I can’t pick out any one thing from the conference, as many of the sessions were excellent and there were lots of little things I’ve picked up. It was also great to catch up with vendors new products, some really interesting developments out there.

I got to meet up with some of the folks I follow on twitter and finally put a real face to the twitter feed. So it was great to meet @jeffrey_brandt @KMHobbie @newroccindy @backofthenapkin @seanabrady @antneyb @loripagehall @sapreston and @ChristyBurkePR

Also some folks I unfortunately didn’t manage to say hi to, but saw either presenting or from afar! @lawyerkm @sherryk

On one of three conference floors

There were almost certainly others too that I met and didn’t realise or have just forgotten to mention, so if I haven’t name checked you I apologise! One company though I should name check is Workshare, a big thank you to them for providing this trip for me as the winner of their scholarship competition!

Finally to finish my ILTA 2010 blog posts, here are a few more pictures from the conference.

Aria conference centre

A view of Vegas at night from the hotel room

In room HD TV

Bedside touchscreen "room control" for TV, lights, aircon etc

Virgin Atlantic 747 - transport to and from Vegas!


Aug 26 2010

ILTA 2010 – Wednesday 25th August, day three


Today was going to be “Autonomy day” and for the morning that was the case. The first session I attended was “The Search Is Over with iManage IDOL: Frontend and Backend Perspectives” (#AUT1). Initial feeling about the session was that it was going to be a bit of a sales push for IDOL search, but some of the presenters actually gave a real good “war stories” type run through of implementations.

One thing I forgot to mention yesterday was how sessions at ILTA can just come together. I met with @newroccindy on Monday who mentioned she was looking to set up a get together to talk and share stories on WorkSite 8.5 IDOL. By Tuesday evening there was a session in place with not just 10-20 firms attending, but also Neil Araujo and Kevin Hicks from Autonomy. A great demonstration how ILTA can pull together people with similar problems/queries to discuss them with the people that can fix them.

One thing struck me though from the first session on Wednesday, there was a real different viewpoint on IDOL from the presenters (one from legal, one from IT). The legal side showed a real enthusiasm for IDOL, the later not so much. But I hope the view I got from both sessions, that Autonomy are really looking to help, will be the case and IT departments struggle will just be teething problems of a new indexer.

Next up was the general iManage corporate update session (#AUT2). It’s probably just worth bullet pointing some of the key points from this session.

  • Autonomy Express Search – not the iManage Express Search that comes with 8.5, this is another product that hooks into IUS to enable searches across a number of repositories (incl. WorkSite). Also includes a desktop IDOL install to index your PC data! Very nice, but why another product?
  • WorkSite 8.5 SP2 – the Office 2010 compatibility service pack. Gives functionality as per previous versions of Office. Doesn’t exploit new functionality yet (that’ll be in 9), also doesn’t support 64bit Office.
  • WorkSite 9.0
    • Full Unicode – yes! finally you can file those Chinese and Cyrillic language document descriptions (email subject lines)!
    • Encryption support.
    • Access anywhere – similar protocol to how Outlook client can communicate over https.
  • WorkSite indexer patch – update 2 which is due soon.

Then a quick lunch in order to get to a Workshare demo. They were showing three new products at ILTA.

  • PDF product – aims to bring a lot of the functionality of Adobe Writer at a fraction of the cost.
  • Protect Server 2 – taking the meta data stripping off the PC. Allows different stripping profiles that can be triggered by an email address. For example, would trigger a different stripping profile that would remove track changes.
  • Workshare Point (working title) – the bolt on the SharePoint to provide matter centric functionality to SharePoint 2010.

Also was the indication that Workshare Professional 7 was on the horizon. Focus for this is on improvements in the installation and deployment and also additions to make it able to integrate more with the above products.

Mid afternoon I met up with fellow Legal IT Professionals columnist, Christy Burke. Where I spent some time being interviewed for a podcast which will be on the site by the time you read this (not exactly sure how it went, but I think it was OK. Although I’m sure I ended up using the word “predominantly” more in 5 mins than I have in the last 4 months!!)

Final session of the day was “The CIO in 2020: The Business-Savvy Strategist” (#ORG10). This was a discussion session on where the role of the CIO is going in law firms and what this role will look like in 10 years time. There are some good quotes on the twitter hashtag that will give you a feel of the session. There was also a good article mentioned “Why CIOs Are Last Among Equals” which is worth a read. I did thing though that a lot of what was mentioned (communicate with the business etc) should be being done by most legal IT professionals.

In the evening there was another vendor event to attend, this time by Workshare. And then it was off for a meal with colleagues from the UK and US.

End of the last full day at ILTA 2010 in Las Vegas!