The Office 365 Features that Assists the Legal Industry

By CIOReview | Wednesday, August 17, 2016
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In today’s world, legal professionals need to look after a lot of work in their field. Apart from ensuring compliance, making sure that the documents are secure and can be shared easily with their clients and teams has become an important feature. Office 365 with its plethora of features  comes to the rescue in the legal arena by helping reduce overhead burden, increase billable hours, enhance productivity and empower the professionals to work from anywhere at any given time.

Office 365, a group of software and service subscriptions provides productivity software and related services to organizations across diverse fields. With professionals from various fields using specific features to help their cause, Office 365 includes different attributes in it, so that it caters to the needs of different professionals. In this article we take a look at the five features that legal professionals value and constantly use in a bid to ease the work-load:

1. Security and Compliance— Security and Compliance is the foremost priority for everyone irrespective of which field one works for, when it comes to hosting data in the cloud. With the legal industry needing to fulfill numerous regulations, Microsoft’s Office 365 helps these professionals in meeting many of these compliances such as — ISO 27001, EU Model clauses, HIPAA Business Associate Agreement and the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

2. Mobility— Most legal professionals need to work on the go apart from the time that they are in office. Here, Office 365 helps them in accessing relevant case data from anywhere at any time with the help of SharePoint Online and other office tools.

3. Collaboration— With lots of knowledge transferring and sharing taking place among attorneys to get an idea on similar cases, collaboration is valued by legal professionals. Features like SharePoint and Skype for Business helps them in centralizing the data. It also assists them in collaborating with documents in real-time as well as in conducting video and audio conferences.

4. Easy management of documents— SharePoint Online along with its secured cloud storage acts as a centralized repository, helping legal professionals to store, manage and retrieve all legal documents. Apart from this feature, legal entities have also started evaluating the recently released Microsoft’s ‘Matter Centre’ that has been developed within the SharePoint space that can help them meet their document management and collaboration needs.

5. Client Relationship Management— We all know that managing referral sources is an integral part of any industry. In the legal industry, the combination of Microsoft’s CRM Online and Office 365 Outlook Web Access, professionals from the industry can keep a track on email activities right from their email account. This feature also enables them to engage all referral sources that generate the leads as well as report the overall performance.

How is ‘Matter Center’ helpful for the legal professionals?

Matter Centre was developed as a part of Office 365 by Microsoft’s Legal and Corporate Affairs group. It helps in improving the way law firms and attorneys co-operate by making it easier to organize files, review documents and find information when needed without needing to leave Microsoft Word or Outlook—since it is built on an enterprise-grade cloud platform, the productivity gains can be grasped easily while reducing risk and cost.

Conclusion

With Office 365, Microsoft blends the online services for communications, document creation, sharing, file storage, mobile access and teamwork with its office suite. In the past, there has been a strong combination between the on-premise Exchange Server and components of Office suite with regard to many legal specific products. With new features being added, there is no doubt that the new Office 365 makes sense and fits itself comfortably in the legal industry.