SharePoint cannot deliver or is the traditional DMS just the Emperor’s new clothes?

In our October issue of the Legal IT Insider newsletter, we ran a story about a Microsoft SharePoint document management system ending with the comment “We keep hearing that the days of the traditional DMS supplier (stand up iManage and OpenText that means you) are over and that SharePoint is the future but at the moment there seem to be more vendors selling SharePoint DMS solutions than major law firms using them.” This has prompted an interesting response from both vendors and law firms…

Iain Jones, Director, Legal Solutions EMEA, Open Text, had this to say “Open Text legal solutions continue to gain new customers on a regular basis across the globe, also in selection of a DMS. In regard to why, well firms today are looking for better ways to ensure compliance with information governance, secure information exchange, social, mobile and so forth in there quest to achieve solutions that meet all of there Enterprise Information Management requirements. For further independant clarification on this matter please take a look at the recent Hyperion report on Legal DMS.

“SharePoint alone cannot achieve this, it can certainly assist in providing a platform, but requires assistance to go further in actually meeting law firm needs. Content Worker also works with eDOCS DM and at the top end of the scale supporting 500 users as mentioned, that firms uses CW in conjunction with eDOCS DM as there core document management repository and has done for over 10 years. Traditional DMS vendors can provide low cost of ownership for capital and operating expenditure by providing focused solutions with flexible useage models, on-premise, hosted and SaaS.

“Open Text text has a strong partnership and alliance with Microsoft (Global ISV Partner of the Year 2012) and also Traen AB – the latest company to launch a SharePoint DMS solution into the legal market –  of which Open Text and Traen AB are also joint Gold Sponsors at the upcoming VQ Virtual Intelligence legal event in Stockholm on 13-14th November. Open Text continues to enjoy working closely with Microsoft and Traen AB.”

And then we had the well-known head of IT at a SharePoint DMS-using London law firm who had this to say “On a serious note, what’s wrong with them all?  I’ve paid very little for my DMS since 2007 – it just integrates with everything and I’m not paying their consultants four figures a day to read a manual. These expensive DMS solutions are seriously a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes.” The firm is currently evaluating its SharePoint upgrade options.