Every law firm is thinking about increasing profits, improving productivity, and giving people the support to spend time on the real value – advising and guiding clients. There is no question that technology is the key to enabling these things but like with all technology, you need an understanding of the product functionality, roadmap, and of the best approach to implement and gain maximum value.
Microsoft 365 (M365) has become a staple in many law firms due to its versatility, functionality, and accessibility. We are all familiar with the use of M365 for both mail, office and, of course, Teams, but there are many products within the M365 family – that you are already paying for – that can bring great benefits to your law firm.
So, how can you optimise M365 to streamline and increase productivity?
Microsoft Teams can be leveraged by law firms to enrich collaboration between departments, communicate effectively with clients and manage workflows efficiently, all while ensuring that client data remains secure.
Although primarily used as a communication tool, Teams can be used for document management – it acts as a centralised location for all files, documents, and other data, achieving the required accessibility that end users need if working remotely, irrespective of their location.
Efficiency can be boosted by the integration between Microsoft Teams and Office 365 document collaboration software, such as SharePoint Online and OneDrive, which enables multiple users to work on a document together, at the same time, in real time, creating a seamless workflow.
Finally, Teams can become your business phone system replacing expensive ISDN or Digital PBX style solutions. With Microsoft Routing or Direct Routing through a telephony partner, you can take your desk phone with you wherever you are and integrate seamlessly into your meeting room systems.
Download our eBook, How Law Firms Are Leveraging Microsoft Teams, to learn more.
Power BI (Business Intelligence) is a suite of tools used for business analytics and organisation and visualisation of data, which can empower law firms to effectively utilise information, increase profitability and create sound business strategies.
With Power BI, you can build in-depth but easy-to-read dashboards to gain insight into:
- Finances – boost profitability with automated financial reporting, you can oversee billable hours earned, fees billed, fees collected, and more.
- Case Management – easily track your cases, manage capacity, and provide your clients with regular progress updates, increasing productivity, efficiency, and client satisfaction.
- Performance – monitor the performance of your firm, teams, and individuals to ensure that your entire business is aligned on clear objectives.
Microsoft’s PowerApps enables IT departments to custom-build applications, such as lead capture, meeting bookings, and case summary requests, easily and quickly.
Such applications can accommodate the unique business needs of the legal sector or solve challenges when unable to find a suitable, cost-effective, off-the-shelf solution. IT are given the ability to build applications or tools that can improve work life for law firm employees, which would be too expensive to build or manage with a traditional custom-built application.
Furthermore, being a Microsoft solution, PowerApps can be easily integrated with other Microsoft tools, and on top of that, can be used to automate workflows between different Microsoft Office 365 solutions.
SharePoint Online and OneDrive
SharePoint Online is becoming an attractive option for document management. It is quickly replacing traditional document storage systems, acting as a centralised location where critical documents and business records can be safely stored and accessed at any time, from anywhere.
Similarly, OneDrive is now replacing home drives. Moving everything onto the M365 cloud platform means that your law firm can increase agility and availability, whilst adhering to strict security requirements by use of Rights Management, Multifactor Authentication and Access Control. As a result, many legal PMS and CMS vendors are working more towards integrating their systems with SharePoint Online to create a seamless experience for legal users.
In almost all cases, SharePoint Online and OneDrive is included in M365 and O365 licences, so not only is there reason to make as much use of the licence as possible, but also potential cost savings can be made from retiring traditional file servers.
Delve is a modern web experience within Microsoft 365 that enables you to navigate, discover, and search for people and information across your entire Microsoft environment.
The legal sector understands that the open and transparent exchange of information enables quicker decisions and more rapid innovation, and by introducing Delve into your firm, you can save time usually spent riffling through email threads, asking around or looking for documents, and focus on adding real value to your business and clients.
Lastly, Yammer is an easy-to-use and secure enterprise social offering. Often described as “social media for work”, Yammer can serve as your firm’s social network, supporting you to create and nurture a strong company culture, by creating a space where co-workers can talk and collaborate more informally and get to know each other.
If you would like to learn more about how CTS can support you to get the most out of your M365 subscription, contact us today and speak to one of our experts.