Time for another round-up of the latest legal IT new product releases and upgrades from around the world featuring… Rekoop with a neat Location-based Service for time capture + RAVN Systems + CosmoLex with a new conflict of interest tracker + ARX with CoSign Click + Self Service Analytics from AnyData Solutions + a new version of Envision from Elite + Exari with its new SmartDocs system, that was developed in conjunction with the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association and Minter Ellison.
• Time capture specialist Rekoop has launched the latest version of its mobile platform with the highlight being a move into GPS technology.
The new functionality, known as Location-based Services (LbS), has been designed to simplify the accurate recording of time on the move,
by automatically capturing the actual start and end points for journeys and meetings. LbS uses GPS technology to track movement: if a user remains in the same location for a configurable period of time, say six minutes, the system then creates a time record for review/assignment. Run the periods together and a user’s movements – and time spent – can be fully tracked, itemised and recorded.
The development of LbS followed on from research that revealed two key concerns. The first was that time records were often based on Outlook events, and the even blocking out of time that occurs in Outlook doesn’t actually reflect what happens in real-life. The second was a lack of transparency over the make up of out-of-office time, viz. how much was travel-related and how much was meeting time, an area that some firms are finding a sensitive one when it comes to billing.
Rekoop CEO Phil Wedgwood explains: “What we were hearing was that the two hour meeting scheduled in Outlook for 10-12 in reality translated into leaving the office at 9.30; starting the meeting at 9.55; not finishing until 12.15; and getting back to the office 30 minutes later. You can see the potential for under-recording or misrecording time if you go by the Outlook calendar prompt – but with LbS, you know exactly when you left, when you arrived, when you got back, and where you have been. It takes that data, delivers it up as time entries for review, and you submit a time record that couldn’t be more accurate or transparent. How firms treat and charge for travel time as against meeting time is down to the individuals concerned but at least they have a trusted data set to base their decision-making on.”
• Rekoop has also updated all its native mobile apps in this quarter’s release across iOS, Android, BB (old and new), and is set for an autumn launch of its Windows Mobile phone app. The latest versions can be downloaded from their respective app stores. www.rekoop.com
• RAVN Systems has released RAVN Manage 3.6 to help that manage an organisation’s enterprise search environment, expose hidden problems and allow organisations to be more efficient in managing critical search and other applications. RAVN Manage 3.6.0 has increased functionality including a new version of RAVN Manage REST API, allowing viewing and editing of configuration and service states. RAVN Manage 3.6 also has a new integrated online documentation feature, which makes it easy to see API requests and responses. www.ravn.co.uk
• CosmoLex has released version 1.7 of its cloud-based legal billing system and trust account software. The latest update adds a comprehensive contact analysis feature that notifies attorneys of potential conflicts of interest on new cases. Bar association rules require that an attorney take action if there is a conflict of interest on a matter. This action can range from notifying relevant parties of the apparent conflict to turning the case over to someone who can represent the client without any apparent prejudice. It doesn’t matter if the attorney is actually biased by the conflict; the conflict must be reported and action must be taken to avoid the appearance of impropriety. “Thorough conflict checking protects attorneys from ethics complaints and can also save firms money,” explains CosmoLex founder & CEO Dr. Rick Kabra. “Most malpractice insurance companies offer discounts to attorneys who implement conflict checking systems.” www.cosmolex.com
• ARX, a supplier of digital signature solutions, is proud to announce the launch of CoSign Click, an add-on component to CoSign Central and CoSign Cloud. CoSign Click helps seamlessly extend digital signing capabilities, accelerate workflow processes, and improve collaboration by enabling legal organizations to easily and efficiently collect digital signatures from their partners, clients and other external parties. Documents are exported for signing directly from the user’s existing workflows and sent securely to external parties from the CoSign Click interface. After the document is signed via a web-based mobile-ready application, the signed version is sent directly back to the user’s document management system. The system is based on centralized management, ensuring document security throughout the signing process and enabling access only to authorized users. www.arx.com/products/cosign-click/
• BI specialists AnyData Solutions have just launched a Self Service Analytics package (see illustration). James Courtis-Pond of AnyData comments “The main point is that we are BI on steroids. By that I mean we deal with the data piece not just the visualisation. Without a good data platform to load data, consolidate data, cleanse data and enrich the data you have a good tool but it can suffer from the accusation of being lipstick on a pig – great visuals but nobody really trusts the data the visuals are built on top of! We provide a self service solution that solves the whole problem from data load to visualisation and all sorts of good stuff in between. www.anydatasolutions.com
• Thomson Reuters Elite has announced the launch of Envision 2014.1, strategically designed to better equip clients with real-time access to key performance metrics. The enhanced functionality of the latest version of the leading business management offering is optimally designed for mid-market firms. With Envision 2014.1, clients can more accurately and efficiently measure performance, manage profitability, and make crucial business decisions.
The new Key Performance Indicator dashboard in Envision 2014.1 displays up-to-the-moment metrics configured by a library of various measures, which can be configured to show data for the individual department, user, or detail. These customizations make it easy for firms to drill down to details and create the charts and graphs they value most in just a few clicks, giving high level performance metrics and enabling management to instantly assess the health of a firm. Through the new retrospective reporting function, Envision 2014.1 users can also run reports comprised of additional criteria, including matter trial balance, aged debt, and funds listing by source and matter. In addition to making business intelligence more accessible to lawyers than ever before, the new foreign currency billing functionality in Envision 2014.1 makes rendering bills and processing payments in other currencies hassle-free. www.elite.com/envision/
• Exari, a global contract management and document assembly company, announced today the launch of SmartDocs – a high-quality, online clause and agreement creation resource for members of the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (ACLA). Built in partnership with the ACLA and leading international corporate law firm Minter Ellison, SmartDocs is a Web-based service that provides in-house corporate counsel a better way to quickly and accurately draft Confidentiality Agreements and Liability, Exclusion and Indemnity clauses. The resource provides ACLA full members with access to an unlimited number of agreements and clauses. It also allows for additional edits and customisation for each scenario.
“ACLA came to us regarding the need for this tool after a roundtable with their members where the conversation centered on these specific clauses and the bottlenecks they were creating for lawyers and their partner organisations,” said Justin Lipton, CTO and co-founder of Exari. “Many of us are ex-lawyers, so we were excited to use our skills to give ACLA members access to a powerful way to create documents and track the clauses that are included.”
The first phase of the project includes tools for creating and negotiating contracts using the SmartDocs Confidentiality Agreement and Liability, Exclusion and Indemnity clause. These documents cover a range of different scenarios. The goal is that they will eventually become established as de facto starting points for corporate lawyers. SmartDocs works on any Web browser, without the need for external software downloads. It starts by collecting the answers to a series of questions meant to customise the document. This cuts back on time spent drafting, reducing the length of the document assembly process from hours to minutes.
In order to model the platform options as efficiently as possible, Minter Ellison offered real use cases and standards for clauses to help build in typical scenarios that make up the SmartDocs forms. Minter Ellison Technology & IP Partner Paul Kallenbach noted, “Our contribution to this project reflects the innovative approach we take to the services we provide to our clients, including using technology to deliver online and tablet-based solutions. We were thrilled to assist with SmartDocs.” www.exari.com