Jun 22 2016

Tikit signs new partnership deal with NetDocuments


I don’t usually blog about press releases but the news today from Tikit is worth a post. It’s been quite a year in the document management world (looking back at my last few posts, there are a higher proportion of DM posts than anything else), and today Tikit announce  they have signed a global partnership agreement with NetDocuments.

From a purely commercial sense as a reseller it seems an obvious move, there are likely to be more new installations for NetDocuments, simply because most folks have already got iManage and if you’re moving the only alternative is ND. I suspect resellers make more from new sales than ongoing support costs. Also there are many competitors in the iManage reseller, services and support space and not so much in the ND space, so first to a new market and all that.

Does it change anything for iManage customers? Probably not. But it offers a bit of validation that ND has moved into the space of #1 challenger in the DM space. As the world moves to a SaaS/cloud/hosted model it will be good to have two companies vying for business to accelerate development.

For Tikit it gives comfort that they are still  pushing in legal, though when I heard rumours of a press release this morning my initial hope was to follow iManage’s lead and an MBO from BT 🙂

A few lines from the Tikit release:

This new partnership, which makes Tikit the first Global Premier Partner for NetDocuments, is a continuation of our strategy of offering choice to the market and offering customers the best of emerging technologies from existing and new partners across the world.

Our product roadmaps will remain the same, but integration with NetDocuments will shortly be available for our products, TMS and eMS. As always, we will continue to invest in our own products, making sure they are kept up-to-date, to deliver what our clients and the market wants and needs.



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.




Sep 27 2013

Tikit TMS (Template Management System) v6


Thursday 26th September saw the launch of version 6 of Tikit TMS at BT Tower, the iconic building of Tikit’s new parent company. I last saw this product when I was presenting at the Tikit Word Excellence Day back in 2011 and it’s come on a long way since then!

The key ambitions of the TMS development team were that:

  • It would require “no code”
  • It would separate the developer and template creator
  • Use native Word functionality

The first bullet was stressed a number of times during the presentations, a move that certainly will be welcomed in a lot of law firms as it will allow the end to end development of templates to be moved away from developers to the Word experts. Yet still maintain control of the firms templates and enable the sometimes complex functionality demanded.

Tikit TMS launch 1

Mark Garnish introduces Tikit TMS v6

Mark Garnish kicked things off and explained some of the key features and desires for version 6 in his intro.

  • An aim to reduce deployment time
  • No custom code (there’s the no code again!)
  • Native support for any language – Unicode
  • Two-way sync with any SQL database
  • Compatible with any DMS
  • Built in integration with carpe diem
  • Uses windows workflow
  • Use native office functionality

Clare Waller then took us through a demo of template creation and it was pretty impressive. Once things have been set up in the Tikit Template Manager they are available to built a template in Word through either drag and drop from the right hand pane or selecting from the ribbon. It’s hard to summarise all it can do without a demo, but some of the workflows you are able to set up verge on a simple document automation tool.

Nathan Lusher then delved a bit deeper into some of the workflows a developer could set up for a template creator. The key being that once they are set up once they can be reused by the creators. Using the built in data-links and form designer, together with some simple SQL a simple but effective “update person details” form was created that pulled and then updated details in a database. To finish off some of the actions were shown that could be integrated into the workflows. A simple integration with carpe diem was demoed, so once you closed a template it would fire an action to prompt the lawyer to record time directly into carpe diem.

I had a few questions that I had noted at this point, these though were answered either in Mark’s summing up or during other peoples questions:

  1. How does it deal with Styles? A: Tikit’s restyler will be standard in future versions
  2. How does it manage remote offices or offline? A: it uses a local SQL database to manage the templates
  3. Can it use loosely coupled data sources, say a web service? A: coming in future versions

The product has been built from the ground up and so to move from v5.5 to this version is to start from scratch. This though is a good thing as legacy code and support for legacy office products can be left behind, also the version is no charge to those currently on previous versions (presumably paying maintenance still!).

View from the top of BT Tower

View from the top of BT Tower



May 12 2011

Tikit and UKDEG Word Excellence Day


This coming Monday Tikit and UKDEG (UK Document Excellence Group) are holding another Word Excellence Day in London.

The event is covering how the legal industry and firms are planning the move to Office 2010 and Windows 7 and what challenges and issues could arise in that migration journey. There are speakers and panel members from firms such as Allen & Overy, Ashurst, DLA Piper, Lewis Silkin, Linklaters, SNR Denton and Veale Wasbrough Vizards and Neil Cameron, CEO of Neil Cameron Consulting Group, will be chair for the day.

I will be speaking in the morning on our plans for Office 2010 and Windows 7 and then joining a panel of other firms who are running Office 2010 projects to discuss our planning experience with questions on the issues of configuration and customisation of Word.

If you will be attending then I hope to speak to some of you then. For those that can’t attend, Tikit have been publicising a twitter hashtag for the event (#WEDMay11) so hopefully there will be plenty of people on this stream in virtual attendence also.


Jul 10 2009

CRM system + Email Marketing + Twitter?


Forget twitter it’s back to email marketing? Well maybe not, but a couple of things this week reminded me that email marketing is still useful and it is still used a lot.

First off was a post I caught on Larry Bodine’s blog entitled “Forget Twitter, Go Back to Email Marketing”. Now I don’t necessarily agree with the title, but there is a point in the article that I do agree with. The fact that “There is limitless opportunity for real interaction with your customers sitting right there in your email database” i.e. start using email better to interact rather than just ‘tell people’ and the fact that in most law firms CRM systems I bet there isn’t one twitter username, but there will be hundreds of email addresses.

Second was that I attended the inaugural user group for the Tikit eMarketing product yesterday (this is basically a bolt on to InterAction that manages email marketing activity) and I was surprised at the turn out. It shows that email marketing is still big for law firms.

So does the Tikit product address the direction of the blog post? i.e. the ability to react and engage with those you are mailing?

The upcoming release (v4.6) looks promising.

As well as consolidating the user interfaces of the current version and improving the technical side. There are changes proposed to enhance the reporting to generate metrics from multiple mailings and compare. So you can start to see what content is relevant to which clients. All this can be linked back to InterAction data to categorise by contact types, folders etc

These changes are setting the platform to build on the product in 2010 to allow enhanced process flows and multiple page events (allowing choices to be made by the recipient and different content delivered). There are also plans to enhance the ability for fee earners to deliver dynamic content to clients simply through the InterAction interface. There was also a session at the end on Spam. And this is the difficulty in trying to get personal in email marketing, especially if you go down the articles path of emails from partners addresses rather than “noreply@bigcompany.com”. Last thing you want is a badly formed email broadcast resulting in the partners email address being added to a spam list!

Email marketing though is still widely used and is definitely here to stay for a while, products like this are allowing you to make it more individual and relevant by track the metrics and allowing dynamic personalised content.

I did ask the “Twitter” question to the product team in a coffee break and although it isn’t planned I did get the impression that discussions about it had taken place internally. But the feeling they had was one I can see, how would you integrate twitter campaigns into CRM systems? I had an initial think on the way back and came up with:

  • You could broadcast links to content and track clickthru’s, can’t really see real benefits of that as you could gain this from web stats.
  • If twitter usernames were collected in the CRM system then you could @ or direct message your customers?
  • Maybe you could add to the first point a tracking of RT’s of your articles and collate this information as to which twitter users are interested in what content?

But I concluded that I’m still not sure twitter is tuned to traditional eMarketing, it’s less a centralised marketing function and more an individual tool. I’m sure though there is some way to link the two, but haven’t thought of it yet. Any ideas?


Feb 16 2009

News on Autonomy/Interwoven


Got a communication from Tikit today regarding some information on the Autonomy/Interwoven merger. Nothing really new, but in case you’ve not had any updates here’s what news there is.

What’s happening in terms of technology / product change?

I&A have confirmed that the Autonomy IDOL engine will be embedded into Interwoven WorkSite v8.3 (replacing the Vivisimo Velocity search engine).   In fact, this is seen as a top priority and as such work has already started and the target is to have this "substantially technically completed" by the time the acquisition finalises.   As with all good software companies they are preserving some mystery around the actual completion date but the original statement was ‘sometime during Q2’.  It seems to us that the indications are that this will be finished earlier rather than later, with talk of late March even being a possibility.   It is expected that this change in search engine technology will be covered by your WorkSite software subscription.

I&A have also confirmed that the next version of Interwoven Universal Search (Version tba) will also include the Autonomy IDOL search technology. Once again, the technical effort is already underway and the target for completion is deal-day. This is a larger piece of work than with WorkSite but, according to Interwoven, progress has been "very positive and is currently on target".

What’s the likely impact on product release plans?

Plans for the Limited release of WorkSite v8.5 are under review – they intend to provide a Limited Availability release (to customers who specifically request it – English language only etc.) in March but whether this is based on the Vivisimo Velocity engine or the new Autonomy IDOL engine is still to be decided. Either way, this will enable clients already on v8.3  to move to v8.5 and take advantage of the much requested and eagerly-awaiting new email management and offline working functionality. Then the General Availability release of WorkSite v8.5 is due in June 2009 – this will include the other language versions.  All future versions will be solely IDOL based.

With regard to IUS, it must be said that the release dates / plans are a little more vague.  But it would seem to us that any impact in the short term is limited to those firms who are about to embark on implementing IUS.  I&A are hoping to bring the release of IUS on IDOL forward from the initial target of June.

What about the big picture?

Up at the commercial level, the proposed acquisition has been almost universally praised.  One clear indicator of that is the Autonomy share price, which rose by approximately 20% over the last three weeks alone. 

On this last point I worry a little. The only reason the market would boost a share price is because of returns on investment and not because the customer is going to get benefit. Which re-enforces my concern that the goal for Autonomy is to try and sell all their products to the Interwoven legal customers.

Let’s hope not (or at least not at the detriment of Interwoven product development and integration).