Law Technology News
January 14, 2013
1. January 14, 2013 11:52 AM
In a few sentences, casually I might add, you discount the SharePoint web parts that many of the large legal vertical software vendors have created. There are *no* other web portals that have the ability to do this. That is why SharePoint is the standard and will be for the foreseeable future. Those web parts are invaluable for many firms.
As far as users storing documents in SharePoint, perhaps you should be asking yourself why? I know the answer. Many of the traditional legal vertical DMS offerings are not very user friendly. SharePoint growth happens for a reason, SharePoint empowers the people who make money for the firm to work in the way they want. IT has to realize that the top down world of dictating how people work is no longer going to be accepted.
You also discount the free version of SharePoint that many firms could use, if they chose to.
SharePoint isn't going away any time soon.
— Beau Mersereau
2. January 14, 2013 01:28 PM
William makes valid points that apply equally well to the selection of any technology. At the risk of over-simplifying; it boils down to performing a cost/benefit analysis when considering whether to adopt or keep any solution, and this applies as much to SharePoint as to multi-function printers, conferencing services, tablet computers, or any other IT-provided tool.
In my opinion SharePoint's wide adoption reflects a collective cost/benefit calculation of many CIOs and other IT decision-makers over the past decade. This level of adoption cannot simply be dismissed as accidental or wholly misguided.
I do agree that as Microsoft has raised the licensing costs for SharePoint it's imperative to ask whether its use is cost justified for any specific set of applications. It also appears to me that the latest release of SharePoint is primarily a UI update, and does not represent the significant architectural advance of its predecessor.
— Mark Gerow
3. January 14, 2013 03:37 PM
It is always refreshing to see some reflection and criticism of SharePoint, taking that "step back" to question whether it is truly providing benefit to your organization. In my experience there is a lot of frustration with the platform and as your article highlights, there are certainly concerns with propagating documents to other locations and creating information governance/management challenges therein. Having dealt a lot with SharePoint I have suffered many a headache where the promise has not always lived up to the reality.
But from an organizational perspective, I do want to point out that it isn't just about documents anymore. Just as the web has evolved to provide real-time data feeds, social interaction tools, collaboration spaces that can house events, reminders, workflows, and more, the business world has adopted the same. I have seen many law firms establish portals that provide very rich information that attorneys absolutely rely on for their practice. This can encompass billing information, matter management tools, practice group sites to promote initiatives, even video guides/tutorials. Some take it even further. It so happens that SharePoint is often the platform employed, even when data is pulled from other systems. The underlying objective is to serves as a gateway platform for enterprise content; a single-source for information. I have seen some incredible examples using SharePoint.
I am left wondering about the other games in town. I've seen a few things out there, but in terms of the scale, support, integration points with other systems, future of the product, capabilities beyond documents/fileshare, many firms have decided to go with SharePoint. Nevertheless, if anyone has some real world experiences with truly great alternatives, I'd certainly welcome the opportunity to learn more.
— Michael Nogroski
4. January 14, 2013 10:00 PM
Microsoft has in fact increased the price of SharePoint as noted in another post. However in the SharePoint 2013 release, the FAST Enterprise Search engine has been embedded within SharePoint Server. So a separate FAST license is no longer required.
5. January 17, 2013 09:05 AM
Which DMS vendors offer the requisite extranets, intranets, and security? It's a common perception that SharePoint is currently the best product available for these functionalities.
— Helen Kathryn Downs