iManage has kicked off its Chicago user conference with a raft of announcements, including unveiling a new local research and development organisation and announcing the hire of former Holland & Knight chief information officer Dean Leung as its chief customer success officer.
iManage Labs is a Chicago-based R&D organisation dedicated to exploring how advanced data analytics, new technologies and new forms of computing can transform how professionals work.
Headed by iManage co-founder and chief scientist, Rafiq Mohammadi, iManage, which is headquartered in Chicago, has recruited and assembled a team of scientists, developers, and architects already at work exploring advanced data solutions and new ways of working.
With iManage’s management buyout from HP coming up to a year old in July, CEO Neil Araujo said: “One of our core missions of being an independent company is to get back to innovation.
“We feel that a dedicated organisation spearheading this drive is the best way to focus our efforts. Rafiq has been responsible for many of the innovations that have made iManage successful and we are pleased that he has re-dedicated himself to our mission of leadership in work product management for professionals.”
The new team will act as an incubator for new ideas, partnering with customers to explore the validity of theoretical results in practice. “iManage has always partnered with customers when bringing new innovations to market,” Araujo added. “We respect and appreciate the trust our customers have shown in partnering so tightly with us. Rafiq and his team have the freedom to explore interesting areas, and the ability to tap into the experience of our customers to quickly validate those explorations. The best ideas can then be accelerated in product development.”
At Legaltech New York, iManage announced that it was opening an R&D support centre in Belfast.
ConnectLive has also seen the announcement today (11 May) that iManage has hired Dean Leung, former Holland & Knight CIO, as its chief customer success officer.
In this newly-created role, Leung’s primary focus will be driving initiatives to improve the iManage customer experience across customer onboarding, technical support, education and professional services. 
“Adding the former CIO of an AmLaw 100 ranked, multinational law firm is huge for the continued success of iManage,” said Araujo. “The fact that he’s also been an iManage customer for years will really help shape customer strategy and make sure we’re continuing to innovate in ways that will enhance the customer experience. We know he’s lived it, and we know he’ll push us to do more.”
Prior to his most recent role with Holland & Knight, Leung held both director and managerial positions in IT departments at DLA Piper in Canada and McCarthy Tétrault.
His hire follows the arrival in the UK of Frank White, former IT director at Ince & Co, who has taken on the role of subject matter expert in legal.
Other news to come out of iManage’s ConnectLive conference include the launch of iManage Control Center, a web-based module designed to simplify and reduce the cost of administering and maintaining onsite work product management.
“iManage recognises the cost associated with maintaining and administering mission critical work product management, and we are responding with sophisticated tools like iManage Control Center,” said Shawn Misquitta, iManage’s senior director of product management. “This new toolset will steadily evolve over the next year to become a comprehensive dashboard for iManage on-premises and iManage Cloud implementations.
iManage Control Center will launch as beta with iManage Work 9.4 in July.