iManage Work 10: The man from DLA Piper say yes

Having danced with the market since its management buyout in 2015, iManage has at last announced the formal release of iManage Work 10 and enhanced iManage Cloud services, in what DLA Piper’s chief information officer Daniel Pollick tells Legal IT Insider is undoubtedly the most significant update to its document and email management application in over 10 years.
iManage Work 10 is the culmination of one of, if not the biggest alpha projects to date in the sector – one that CMO Dan Carmel tells us began over three years ago, before the iManage leadership team bought their way out of HP.
Under the project name White Rabbit, the iManage team has interviewed and watched hundreds of professionals using its software, in order to reimagine the user experience. Key changes include a single, unified user experience across mobile phone, tablet and browsers. Full integrations with tools such as Outlook, Office 365, Gmail, SharePoint, Lotus Notes, Adobe and over 40 partner products including practice management, document comparison and metadata scrubbing are in place.
The new product also has a heavy analytics focus, leveraging AI, machine learning and big data analysis to provide smart worklists and previews, as well as a personalised search function, which understands context, people and dates and puts frequently searched items higher in the user’s work universe.
iManage Cloud services have been enhanced with technologies such as containerisation and advanced data storage (SWIFT), which are relied on by companies such as Amazon and Google and which ensure elasticity.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider about Work 10, DLA Piper’s chief information officer Daniel Pollick said: “There is no doubt that Work 10 is the best thing to come out of iManage for 10-15 years. The fundamental thing is that iManage has been through a decade of management distraction through various mergers and its acquisition by Autonomy and HP. I am massively impressed by what they have done and have no doubt that they have rediscovered their mojo. They have kept the original management team together and it feels pretty much as exciting as when they first started out – and I’m normally pretty negative about suppliers.
“I’m sure there will be some disappointment along the way and it won’t always do what it did in the demo, but I have no doubt that it will be the next generation document management platform.”
With regard to the new unified user experience Pollick added: “The DMS should feel like legal OneDrive: easy to use on any platform and not worried about which device users are accessing it from. The goal should also be to almost make the document management system disappear, so the user experience is so smooth you’re not aware that you’re even using a DMS but getting all the version control, audit and matter centricity you need to manage documents. In Work 10, I am starting to see both things.”
And as far as Work 10’s out-of-the-box integrations Pollick observes: “Most lawyers still live in Outlook – although we are starting to see a post-email world. It is crucial to have this integration.”
The personalised search function is an improvement, with Pollick commenting: “Search has been a pain in WorkSite and in Work 10 we see a definite improvement.”
But analytics are not the primary reason why DLA Piper has selected Work 10 – due to be rolled out in 2018. “There is no question that the reason we selected Work 10 is its ease of use; its user-friendliness. Yes, the analytics are important but we see that as the next stage. The most important thing for me is to see the energetic product road map and raw functionality moving forward,” said Pollick.
The launch of Work 10 coincides with the formal release of new iManage Govern cybersecurity tools Threat Manager and Security Policy Manager, which will be available to iManage customers for a subscription fee. Carmel said: “This is without doubt the biggest piece of news we’ve had in 15 years. We changed the way the industry worked before and we’re doing it again, now in response to a different set of pressures really impacting IT.”
This article first appeared in the January Legal IT Insider newsletter – sign up for your free copy here