Microsoft is set to bring out a special tool to make it easier for legal professionals to organise their legal matters and collaborate on documents – all within Office 365.
Matter Center for Office 365 is already being used by Microsoft’s own legal department, which set out two years ago to create an internal tool for employees. Following its successful rollout, the decision has since been made to make the tool publically available to legal professionals at law firms and in-house departments of all sizes. The tool will launch later this year via GitHub.
Key features in the tool include the ability to create or view legal matters from within Outlook; tie Word, Excel, OneNote and other files to those matters; and securely collaborate with other legal professionals inside or outside their organisations. Like Office 365, the tool will also enable users to
simultaneously edit documents and visualise matter data via Power BI.
By offering Matter Center through an open GitHub repository, Microsoft has said that customers and partners can build or extend the solution to meet specific industry requirements faster.
A number of IT solutions providers that specialise in serving the legal community, including Epona, Handshake Software, LawPoint365, Perficient, Ubiquity Wave, Project Leadership Associates and the PayneGroup, already have their hands on the tool. They have begun offering Matter Center on a limited basis and will broaden availability in the coming weeks.
Microsoft Services will also offer for-fee consulting and support services for Matter Center from this month.
Customers that have been involved in an early pilot programme for the tool include Olswang; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe; Ragen Swan; and Shook, Hardy & Bacon.
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