Last week may have been the first-ever virtual annual conference of the International Legal Technology Association, but just like past years’ face-to-face ILTACONs, this year’s ILTA>ON was the occasion for a flood of major news announcements from legal technology companies.
And given my own perfect storm last week of spending three hours a day hosting live coverage of the conference for Litera.TV, plus preparing for my hosting duties, attending conference sessions, and dealing with my day job, I was barely able to come up for air, let alone keep up with the surge.
So allow me this belated opportunity to catch up on some of ILTA>ON week’s more notable developments.
AbacusNext Announces Updates to AbacusLaw
Legal technology company AbacusNext announced the release of new features and enhancements for its online law practice management platform AbacusLaw. The enhancements include:
- Updated look. The toolbar, background imagery, dashboard interface, name and matter screens and case previews have all been updated with a cleaner design for quick access to vital information.
- New apps available on the dashboard. The Accounting Overview App provides insight into the AR and AP process including not yet billed and past due invoices; the Hours Comparison App shows available, worked, invoiced and collected hours for timekeepers over selected periods.
- Customizable dashboard. Users may now control the color and text of app titles to their liking.
- Remote API provisioning. This functionality provides easier API access to third parties and streamlines future integrations.
BigHand Acquired by Private Equity Firm
BigHand, a company that specializes in workflow, productivity and profitability software for the legal industry, has been acquired by Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a global private equity firm.
BigHand says that it has over 3,500 clients and 600,000 users worldwide. Founded as a dictation technology company in 1995, it expanded over the years into a multi-product company and has completed six acquisitions in recent years.
I wrote in April about the law firm Baker Donelson’s accelerated roll-out of the company’s task-delegation platform, BigHand Now, in the wake of the firm’s decision to require its attorneys and staff to work from home.
Previously owned by Bridgepoint Development Capital, BigHand says its new ownership will allow it to further accelerate its growth with the aim of becoming a full workflow business and establishing a wider customer base throughout North America.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
FileTrail’s New Version Addresses Challenges of Remote Working
FileTrail, the company that provides information governance and records management software for law firms and highly regulated industries, released a new version of its software, FileTrail GPS 5.0. The updates to FileTrail GPS (Governance Policy Suite) are designed to address the IG challenges of remote working, disposition related to critical needs around cost-cutting and eliminating paper and policy management tied to increasingly stringent client and regulatory compliance requirements.
FileTrail GPS 5.0 integrates directly within the user interface of a firm’s electronic document management system, with different configurations to fit the color, design and appearance of popular platforms including NetDocuments, iManage and others.
The company said that it allows attorneys and their staff gain access to the inventory of documents in SharePoint, file shares and other sources without leaving the DMS. They also can directly access centralized disposition review workflows and have visibility into policies, guidelines, timekeepers and other information traditionally difficult to centralize and present.
iManage Acquires Closing Folders
The week kicked off with major news from document management company iManage — its acquisition of the transaction management platform Closing Folders.
Closing Folders is technology that automates many of the steps associated with managing and executing commercial transactions. The company says that more than 4,000 transactions a month are negotiated, signed and closed on its platform, ranging from small commercial lending deals to multi-billion-dollar acquisitions of global companies.
iManage says that the combination of the companies offers a number of business and technology advantages, including a “single source of truth” for transaction documents that reduces risk, integration with iManage RAVN’s artificial intelligence technology to enable analysis of transaction data and trends, and a global training and support network.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Intapp Launches Service to Connect All A Firm’s Applications
Intapp, a company that provides software and services for professional services firms, launched Intapp Integration Service, technology that enables interoperability between all of a professional services firm’s software and applications on a single platform.
Available as either a pure cloud or hybrid deployment, the service lowers the cost of software implementation, speeds time to value, and centralizes firm data management to simplify the IT department’s job, Intapp says.
The service is supported by the first-ever Intapp Open API and a set of prebuilt integration processes. Initially, it will enable integrations for four major technology suites — Vuture, Thomson Reuters Elite 3E, iManage, and Dun & Bradstreet. Intapp said it will announce several additional integration partners in the coming months.
Kira’s New Feature Answers Your Questions
The machine-learning company Kira Systems said it will release a new feature in September, Answers & Insights, that will go beyond simply identifying and extracting contract clauses and actually interpret data to provide answers to pressing questions.
The feature will come with a collection of built-in questions commonly asked across legal and business documents. Users will also be able to build their own questions using Kira’s no-code machine learning platform Kira Quick Study.
Kira said that the tool will be able to answer questions such as, “Does the lease name a guarantor of tenant’s obligations?”, “Is LIBOR or Eurocurrency referenced in the agreement?”, or “Does the agreement renew automatically?”
“Answers & Insights represents the next level of our no-code AI technology,” Alexander Hudek, Kira Systems CTO and cofounder, said in announcing the feature. “It allows you to go beyond simply identifying relevant text by additionally assigning fine grained meaning to extractions.”
NetDocuments Unveils New Theme, New Products
The cloud-based document management company NetDocuments introduced new products along with a new vision of how it organizes and thinks about its products.
With the message of enabling its customers to “Work Inspired,” the company introduced two new products: Tasks, a collaborative task management system, and SmartView, a document preview and collaboration engine.
It also introduced a new five-pronged schema for how its various products support its theme of working inspired:
- Organize is made up of the core NetDocuments capabilities, including document and email management and OCR technologies.
- Protect provides controls and policy tools to reduce data breaches, as well as a geo-aware storage capability that supports compliance while accelerating content delivery around the world.
- Plan is designed to bring teams together with one version of work focused on tools for coordinating teams and tasks, providing real-time team communication with ndThread and Microsoft Teams integration, and facilitating task management across matters and projects.
- Deliver helps safely organize, package, and share content with clients, customers, outside counsel, and other third parties using built-in extranet and document bundling tools.
- Learn provides insights about user activity and documents, and includes enterprise search-driven knowledge management insights.
With regard to the two new products announced last week:
- Tasks is a task management system designed to provide a holistic view into everything that is important in a project. It provides collaboration inside a workspace for various parties who have interconnected deliverables to help users track project stages, owners, deadlines, and deliverables.
- SmartView is designed to simplify document reviews by making it easy to quickly preview, annotate, and mark up documents without ever needing to download the files to the desktop. Users can make Margin Notes to annotate files with colleagues and clients in real-time — and take advantage of findings to easily navigate through people, places, companies, and more.
SimplyAgree Readies New Version of its Signing and Closing Tool
The deal management platform SimplyAgree said that it is rolling out the latest version of its signature and closing management technology for transactional attorneys.
SimplyAgree is a closing management tool that helps deal teams streamline signings and automate the creation of closing sets and other post-closing work. It also provides tools to support professionals in closing deals remotely — including integrated mobile and electronic signing.
The company said that the new version enhances the platform’s performance and flexibility to meet more users’ needs and adds a more modern interface. Other new features include:
- Enhanced document visualization and compilation, simulating desktop PDF tools.
- Expanded signature packet functionality, including test emails, notifications, group messaging and signature links.
- Support for multiple templates and types of binders for different practice groups and users.
- Electronic closing binder delivery to securely share closing binders without emailing large files.
TitanFile Unveils New Features and Integrations
TitanFile, a secure file sharing and client collaboration platform focused on the legal industry, announced a number of product improvements. They include:
- DocuSign integration: new integration improves work product workflow especially in times of remote office environments due to COVID-19.
- Document management system compatible: now compatible with most popular legal document management systems.
- Metadata scrubbing feature: upgrade to its “Secure Send” feature where it scrubs and sends and files emails to document management systems.