Nov 23 2017

Should we just take email out of our Document Management Systems?

Jason

So here’s my question. Is the Document Management system still the best place to store your emails?

This is a topic I’ve pondered for a few years, pretty much since the time email became about 80% of our DMS (document management systems) repositories. In a perfect world the inbox would be free of the client and matter related material in a law firm, in reality for a whole host of reasons it isn’t and so we duplicate storage and more.

This past week the following update from Microsoft and their Groups product (is it a product or a concept?) triggered me to think about this again.

Now within Groups you can drag messages from your personal mailbox to the group mailbox, so if you had a group created for each matter that got spun up for the matter team, then within core Microsoft technologies (Outlook and Exchange) you could drag and drop and have that email available to the whole team. In Outlook on the desktop, on the web and on mobiles. No addins, no plugins, nothing.

So because of this I ask myself again, isn’t using this better than putting in another system? Just keep the DMS for documents?

The other option of course is that the Group mailbox is transferred to the DMS as a whole on completion, meaning the day to day access can stay in the core Microsoft architecture. Then at the end the matter file is complete and in one place for future searching requirements.

Either way though, the take up of Office 365 (Exchange) is coming I’m sure. We see firms moving already and Microsoft engaged directly on this very topic with a large number of firms. We need to start to think about how the DMS vendor cloud architectures work with the Microsoft cloud world in a way that goes beyond replicating the way its worked on premise don’t we?

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