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Drilling Down into Document Management Best Practices at Top Law Firms

The term document management has achieved buzzword status over the last couple of years. Not surprisingly, having a document management system in place has also become de rigueur in the modern business world.

Document management is especially important for legal practices, as documentation is literally the lifeblood of the profession. That’s also why a growing number of top law firms across the country are choosing to manage their documents using Microsoft Office 365.  Many due to the advanced compliance and security options.

Office 365 includes a suite of cloud-based document management tools, such as Microsoft OneDrive for Business and Microsoft SharePoint Online. These tools give document-intensive enterprises like law firms the ability to quickly locate, copy and/or securely share important documents with team members, business partners and clients. Moreover, authorized parties have secure access to all documents from any device anywhere in the world.  This means that HIPAA issues can be addressed with Microsoft SharePoint Online.   Microsoft Office 365 is HIPAA compliant along with  many other industry specific compliance requirements.  The full list of compliance offerings can be found here.

Virtually eliminate security issues with access or sharing

Moving your documents to the cloud both empowers productivity and enhances security. Problems with access to documents or sharing of documents can be virtually eliminated with cloud-based O365. Microsoft’s active, multi-level security protocols keep your documents private.  State of the market security is available with the service.

Keep your thumb on the pulse of a major project with version control

Knowing exactly what version of a major project your team has been working on for months is critical for effective editing, project management and document approval.

Version control is a big deal for documents that are frequently revised, and is especially important for documents that may be revised by many different members of your team. Knowing which version of a document is most recent is often difficult to determine.  With version control enabled locating and working on the most up to date version is simple and straight-forward.  You also have the ability to retain multiple major and minor versions and revert back to them if necessary.

Version control also provides full traceability and identifiability, which makes debriefing and assessment of relative contributions among authors more straightforward.

The power of search

Search features in a document management system enable you to take full advantage of your knowledge base.  Search in SharePoint Online is based on a combination of relevance, refinement, and people.

In SharePoint Online, the document parsing function analyzes both the structure and content of your document files. Documents parsers are designed to pull out useful metadata and ignore redundant information. The parser will extract headings/subheadings from Word documents, as well as titles, dates, and authors from PowerPoint presentations. Redundant information in HTML content such as menus, headers, and footers are also deleted from document summaries in the search results.  Search can also be refined to examine specific custom metadata that has been added to your Document libraries and Lists which make search results far more relevant.

The search system also assesses the relevance of results by how content is related, how often an item appears in search results, and which search results are chosen most often. The software tracks and analyzes this data, and uses it to continuously improve the relevance of search results.

Search results are also security trimmed which means that you have no worries of unauthorized users accessing documents that they do not have access to see.  They will not even know the documents are there. 

Strategic SaaS are document management experts. Sign up for a free 30-minute consultation today, and we will explain how you can improve your document management practices, boost productivity and cut expenses with Office 365.

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