Fresh on the heels of three days at ILTACON, Mattern & Associates is happy to provide a few useful insights gathered from talking with both attendees and exhibitors at this year’s national legal technology showcase.
In the realm of on-site production and mail services, Ricoh Legal demonstrated its concept for digital mail hardware and workflow. From a device that resembles a mail sorter, each envelope is scanned with addressee and recipient information automatically captured with text recognition. The addressee receives notice with a picture of the scanned envelope, and can make the determination for the mail room to scan and deliver the contents electronically, deliver it in its paper form, or destroy without delivery. Ricoh feels that the “open envelope” decision being made by the end-user will increase adoption rates. This also supports overall law firm Information Governance initiatives to get key documents in electronic format, and to destroy unnecessary paper. Additionally, Ricoh demonstrated its collaborative smart-boards that help Firms marry video conferencing with traditional white-boarding for resources sitting in different locations; a valuable support for many working with multiple office locations.
Canon and its partner network continue to tout the power of its uniFLOW solution for managing digital workflow, output, and cost recovery in one-stop shopping. From scanning workflow on MFDs and desktop MFPs, to “follow-me” and secure printing, uniFLOW helps firms manage both digital conversion and output while providing the accountability to manage costs and allocate for recovery of expenses seamlessly. It will be interesting to watch uniFLOW’s traction in the legal marketplace as an all-in-one tool.
On the data management front, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) remain compelling offerings for law firms looking to gain access to best-in-breed technology without sunk costs. Aquipt discussed its ability to help firms host its data in a secure environment, while also helping pass that cost back to Firm clients with direct billing. Couple an IaaS foundation with a SaaS application layer, and firms now have a flexible model for bursting to meet hosting demands in a secure environment; a task that could not be achieved on its own without significant capital expenditure.
Finally, in the workflow space, BigHand demonstrated how its technology can manage and help automate numerous law firm tasks/requests, complete with job instructions, submission, operator tracking, and audit trail. The technology is in place at firms today in such service areas as Document Processing, On-Site Production Centers, and Travel Requests. BigHand is able to achieve its flexibility to handle multiple workflows via highly customizable job forms and the use of visual workflow creation. Overall, the technology supports the ability for firms to centralize many back and middle office functions in a single location for service delivery, while providing the level of service and accountability that users have come to expect wherever they may sit within the firm.
For law firms looking to do more with less, technology is often the key to success. Law firm technology leaders continue to look to the content and knowledge shared at ILTACON to stay abreast of the best practices and methods for firms to deliver the most efficient and cost-effective services to its clients. Mattern & Associates hopes to share how many of these insights and practices can fit within your firm’s overall strategy, and how to position your firm for success in today’s competitive landscape.