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Enterprises in the Asia Pacific region are eager to adopt cloud-based services, according to recent studies. With this in mind, service providers are gaining ground in the region by signing up new clients through collaboration and networking with local organizations. Document collaboration service provider Workshare (news, site) is one such SaaS provider that has recently announced expanding into the Asia-Pacific region starting with China.

Workshare’s vice president, Dan Filby, chaired the China Legal IT Summit in October 2010. He cited the boom in China’s legal IT services as indicative of rising demand for cloud-based services in the country, and was happy to note that Workshare’s offerings are well-attuned to such emerging markets. “[T]his conference demonstrated that the Asia Pacific region is undergoing tremendous growth and is very important to our business going forward.”

In 2010 alone, Workshare has seen a growth by 2,000 new enterprise customers, with about a third signing up in the past three months. While the majority of Workshare’s business interests come from the US and UK, the company is bullish on expansion opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, highlighting productivity and security as the main benefits of using Workshare’s software for businesses.

Document Management Via SharePoint

Workshare’s services mainly involve providing collaborative software that enables professionals to create and share documents with colleagues, with focus on document comparison, metadata management, PDF security and mobile data management, among others. The company will soon launch two new products that will also involve document collaboration.

One product will be a PDF management solution. The other is a front-end that works on top of Microsoft SharePoint 2010, in which users can collaborate on emails and documents from within Microsoft Office and Outlook while storing the contents on SharePoint.

China as an Emerging Market for Legal IT Services

With about 140 million lawyers and 11,000 law firms, China presents big opportunities for IT service providers that cater to the legal niche. The China Legal IT Summit highlighted various issues that the industry is facing, particularly information management, project management, digital asset management, data and record storage, risk reduction, cost reduction and provision of online legal services.

Enterprise solutions, such as document management, collaboration and CRM applications will find opportunities in such an environment. As China is a fast-expanding economy the country’s legal framework is expected to evolve along with this growth. Service providers will be sure to find their niche in providing software and services to the various industries that need scalable and accessible solutions for managing content and worker collaboration.