Sometimes you have to ask if a complete product overhaul can deliver enough return-on-investment. Take the case of Chicago-based iManage, a provider of work product management solutions for law firms, corporate legal departments and other professional services firms.
It already owns 75 percent of its addressable market. So why would it scrap the code of its flagship product, iManage Work, re-architect it and rebuild it from the ground up? What could it gain?
"Happy customers," Dan Carmel, CMO of iManage told CMSWire."They are better than dissatisfied users."
Carmel and his team this week unveiled iManage Work 10, which he said brings a reimagined experience. "We started out with a blank slate and asked our customers about how they would like to work. That's what we built," he added.
Adding Machine Learning, AI
For iManage, that not only meant an overhaul, but adding new capabilities and technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics.
Take iManage Work 10's new search functionality. "It's personalized," said Carmel, meaning that it takes into account who the individual is who is doing the searching. So if you type a word like "rice" into the search box, and you’ve been working with someone named "John Rice," you will see those results before you see the ones pertaining to "rice" the grain.
The new release offers other features like:
- Smart Work Lists, which automatically track and provide one-click access to all recent clients, matters or engagements, emails and documents, saving the user the time.
- Smart Timelines make it easy to access document versions to understand how a document has evolved and who has changed or viewed it.
- The Smart Email Management feature improves the accuracy of suggested email filing locations and automatically tracks and groups email threads.
A Little History
The significance of these changes can't be over-stated, especially when you consider iManage's management team wasn't able to independently innovate on the product for years.
The company was founded in 1998. It merged with Interwoven in 2003. Interwoven was acquired by Autonomy and Autonomy was acquired by HP. Delivering a fluid, mobile, browser experience (which is also part of this release) would have been impressive enough but Carmel told CMSWire that providing incremental changes to end-users is not what this management team is about.
Now that iManage is an independent company it can focus on its customers and catering to their specific needs, he said.
Detecting Threats and Fraud
Security is a big issue to many iManage users because they often deal with legal, financial and other sensitive documents. While third party security products are options, iManage decided to introduce two of its own: iManage Security Policy Manager and iManage Threat Manager, which are both tightly integrated with iManage Work 10.
Both iManage’s security products understand how individual users interact with information and can detect anomalies in the way or times the product is being used, Carmel said.