Yammer… Organic growth or a little bit of structure? Or a bit of both?

There are lots of arguments for and against each side however it is my view that it should be a blend of both. My firm has been using Yammer for 3 years now and it’s never really taken off at all.. It was always limited to a small group of central knowledge workers with smatterings of IT, trainers and comm’s specialists.

A new Yammer drive in my firm has started which is good, Continue reading

Outlook 2010 – Two things I like already..

I have been beta testing a Win7 and Office 2010 desktop for over month now and I suddenly realised I haven’t mentioned some of the good features of Outlook.  I am running a 2003 desktop next to a 2010 one and the Outlook definitely performs better in 2010..

Two main ones that have caught my eye are; Continue reading

Should Legal IT departments be innovative?

I was thinking the other day about Legal IT and who was going to define its future? It got me thinking about innovation in LegalIT and what our 3 main customers expect. They are each with their own requirements and needs, so do law firms, the lawyers and the law firms clients expect IT departments to be innovative?

A broad definition of what innovation is; “Innovation is the improving of an existing product, service, system or process and the introduction of something better.”

Continue reading

OneNote 2010 – Destined to be always outshone?

In my opinion OneNote has always been MS offices forgotten soul, with Microsoft not really pushing it and its potential value. It’s been easy for firms like mine to ignore it as a nice to have. 

I haven’t been using it for long but i like it. I think in the 2010 version it offers a good set of features and potential to enhance current working practices for those working in projects or collaborating who want a simple platform for sharing content and ideas.

Here’s a few things that I have used it for; Continue reading

Word 2010 – Legal Document co authoring… Close but not quite yet.

It’s on many firms horizon and a Win7 desktop with Office 2010 is a great project to get your teeth into. Especially considering all of the good stuff Microsoft have put into both. Considering how poorly Vista was received in the business world there seems to have been a great deal of effort on the part of Microsoft to re-engage with the corporate world.

From a legal perspective we are generally not too fussy about the bells and whistles (so we say) and our business output is traditionally a ‘document’. Our internal document collaboration is normally hindered by parallel accessibility, so I was really interested to read more about co-authoring of documents. This ultimately prompted me to write this very high level take on the functionality. Continue reading

A business analysts career progression. Are you an innie or an outie…?

In the last 12 months it’s become very apparent about the changes law firms are having to make to streamline their processes. Whether that’s changes in the way they provide legal services to their clients or the changes in business support functions who provide support to facilitate the delivery of legal services. There’s no doubt things are changing.

So what’s your next job going to be and what options are available to you? My first post (ever) was about improving ones skills in this current climate. It got me thinking and I recalled a post by Kupe Kupersmith (Twitter @kupe) I read sometime ago on career progression and I thought I’d extend it and try to apply a legal perspective.

Kupe essentially talks about “in the box” and “out of the box” career progression. Continue reading

Win XP to Win7 – The continuation

This follows a very useful starter for 10 list of considerations when moving from WinXP to Win7. The link to the article is here and the author is a another BA in a law firm. You can follow him via twitter @LegalBA

Windows 7 and Office 2010 is a good opportunity to think strategically and not just treat it like another project. It could be a good point to think about some of the key points Andrew mentions like security and applications but also the delivery of IT services in general. My top 6 things to think about when discussing going from WinXP to Win7 (Office 2010) project.

1 – Deployment of your Win7 desktop. Think about VDI – It’s hard to ignore it…

Virtualisation of servers and storage is something many firms have done or is on the immediate road map. VDI was a step behind but it is getting harder to argue against the reasons for going VDI
a) One size doesn’t fit all. Expect to virtualize 80% of your users
b) Choose the delivery mechanism well and you will be able to provide your services to mobile devices, tablets, pc and laptops even if they are not owned by the firm (allows the firm to reduce it hardware overhead perhaps by offering an allowance to staff to buy their own kit)~
c) Cheaper to deploy – no big teams gallivanting across the globe for weeks on end
d) Energy savings can be leveraged unlike some/most server virtualisation projects
e) Costs savings. Most firms replace pc’s in line with the standard 3 years warranty levels but delivery of a VDI means you can extend your old kit’s life expectancy
f) Reduce the build maintenance overhead. Have 1 (or minimum) image for all rather than 40 different images for 40 different hardware types Continue reading

The #LegalIT outsourcing threat. Can we be more prepared as business analysts?

We see in the press that many large firms like A&O and Herbert Smith are actively engaged or looking at outsourcing some of their support or legal functions. Many firms of course have already dabbled in IT outsourcing as it seems the most common entry point, however the focus of these ventures have traditionally been things with the least, if any contact with the lawyers. However this trend is changing and with CMCK’s deal with Integreon is already happening.

This means business analysts, historically considered safe due to their knowledge of the people, knowledge of the culture and the processes are not. This progression is not surprising but still does pose the question, Can we be more prepared? and whilst it’s not inevitable (I know of a top 10 firm whose Director is a staunchly opposed to outsourcing) the trend is there for all to see. So what can you do? Continue reading