iManage ConnectLive kicks off today (23 June) becoming the largest virtual conference since the COVID-19 lockdown – iManage has over 3,500 customers registered for the event, or over 4,000 including partners.

There are a number of big announcements during the sessions, which are pre-recorded but accompanied by live chat, where you can pose questions to the speaker plus panel. Critically, iManage will unveil three new offerings: iManage Tracker; Knowledge Unlocked; and Contract Intelligence.

iManage Tracker

iManage is unveiling its brand new matter-centric task and checklist, iManage Tracker. Speaking to Legal IT Insider, chief marketing officer Dan Carmel said: “We’re not trying to do real-time collaboration we’re focussing on tasks and checklist management and we’ve created a matter centric environment where you can turn a checklist into an electronic one associated with a matter.” Tracker – which overlaps in functionality with Teams – is integrated with Security Policy Manager and Carmel adds: “Tracker puts you one click away from the document or email associated with the task.” This is in response to users suggesting that they spend a lot of their time trying to find where messages are or ‘work about work’.

iManage says that Tracker is designed for knowledge workers that are tackling more complex and collaborative cognitive projects like deal closings, contract re-papering, mergers & acquisitions, and other knowledge work.

What’s interesting is that takes the traditional task management paradigm of “Do this” and shifts it to “Accomplish this,” better suiting how knowledge workers think about getting work done. With the shift to remote working during COVID-19 and the need for better workflow but a cultural resistance to case management for fee-earners, this is likely to be a popular compromise.

Tracker is organized around clients and projects or legal matters. Unlike traditional systems, Tracker organizes tasks not only at the individual level, but also at the client, matter, or project level, providing an aggregated view into activities across projects. This can provide important oversight to a partner managing a client relationship for example, or a senior manager in a legal department tracking a major initiative. In addition, updates across multiple projects are easily obtained if a client, partner, or senior manager requests them.

What will be key for many users, is that Tracker is tightly integrated with iManage, meaning users don’t have to leave their working environment.

New knowledge products

iManage is leveraging RAVN’s technology to launch two knowledge management solutions, Knowledge Unlocked and Contract Intelligence.

Carmel said: “Three years ago at ConnectLive iManage announced the acquisition of RAVN and said we’d make the DMS smarter. Since then we’ve done a lot of interesting projects that have shown us what’s not a good application in legal and what is good. We’re fulfilling our promise to bring AI to the wider community.

“This is our first solution – traditionally we sell products but this solution combines our products for specific licensed scenarios and business problems. Knowlege Unlocked comes in three flavours – essential; professional; and enterprise. Knowledge Unlocked essential is designed to be ‘AI for the rest of us’. It’s AI and KM for organisations that don’t have a formal KM function. We’ve packaged the projects we’ve done into applications or search capability that you can plug in.”

Knowledge Unlocked extends the document retrieval-oriented search of Work 10 to surface similar or relevant matters, clauses, people, or deals – while this is what RAVN does and in that sense is not new, Carmel says that it is now effectively productised, commenting: “We’ve taken the lessons we’ve learned and we’re bringing them to you in a consumable way.”

Here is more info from iManage about what each of those flavours or categories means:

Knowledge Unlocked Essentials is the fastest and easiest way to get started. Users can add it on to iManage Work and immediately add knowledge search features to find experts, similar matters, and relevant clauses or deal documents held within Work10.

Knowledge Unlocked Professional enhances the breadth and depth of the search results by extending knowledge and knowledge search to the most commonly requested additional document repositories, such as Microsoft SharePoint or file shares, business intelligence data sources, such as Elite, and third-party curation datasets such as Practical Law.

Knowledge Unlocked Enterprise is designed for clients with mature Knowledge Management processes who wish to not only add custom search features or custom submission and curation workflow but also wish to integrate RAVN document review capabilities, in order to automate and reduce the cost of knowledge content curation from internally produced content.

Contract Intelligence identifies and extracts key terms from contracts, such as dates or parties, and comes as an iManage plug-in. Carmel says: “There are seven ways to search in order to light up knowledge without the need for specialised staff – we’re democratising AI by making it available to everyone.”

Here is the Contract Intelligence data sheet: https://go.imanage.com/rs/631-ALC-299/images/iManage-ContractIntelligence-Datasheet-Apr2020-Web_v3.pdf

We will do a deeper dive into the new offerings shortly.

ConnectLive numbers/vendors booths /networking

ConnectLive is easily the biggest virtual legal tech event since the COVID-19 lockdown – what’s interesting is how much bigger the numbers are than the biggest physical iManage event hosted in New York, which hit 1,100.

There have been challenges for vendors in the run up to the conference in terms of how to engage with the audience. Carmel acknowledged: “The drinks don’t taste as good and the connection is not as real as putting your hand on someone’s shoulder. We will miss a lot of things about the physical conference and the energy of the collective presence, so let’s acknowledge that there is no duplication for that.” But he added: “The trade-off is our reach and the diversity of opinion – I’m excited to see what ideas will come – the opportunity for direct connection is there.”

You can visit the partner pavilion and click on each booth to see what is on offer and add to your ‘virtual swag bag’. There is a chance to network at the booth and also private areas where you can connect and have one to one chats.

In order to encourage participation there is a virtual leader board. You can watch Jim Priz, head of iManage professional services, for his insights into what is coming up. Carmel said: “It’s like having the guy who knows what to do show you around. We can do some things in the virtual world that we couldn’t do at the conference itself.” That video is here: https://connectlive2020.com/en/