After OpenText’s release of Application Governance for SharePoint in March of this year, its latest product, Legal Content Management for SharePoint (LCM), which was launched at the ongoing ILTA 2011 Conference, is a logical step.

While the governance application offers control over SharePoint sites to enforce broader compliance and archiving policies and help lower ongoing administration and storage costs, LCM offers OpenText expertise in lifecycle management with SharePoint’s collaboration and document management capabilities.

Legal Content Management for SMBs

LCM, significantly, is also specifically offering this to SMB law firms, reflecting perhaps, the reach of SharePoint into that market with the launch of Office 365 and new pricing schemes that make SharePoint accessible to even the smallest companies.

And this is for the smaller end of the market, targeting companies that have 300 employees, or less.

But that’s by way of an aside, as there’s not mention here of Office 365, even though there is evidence to suggest that SharePoint 2010 is being taken up even by small companies.

While the governance application is about governing content and ensuring content compliance, LCM is about content management.

The OpenText solution for SharePoint 2010 provides firms with matter and practice-centric views of content, virtual file cabinets and seamless integration with a firm's core business processes,” said Todd Partridge, General Manager, OpenText eDOCS and Legal Solutions.

By its own figures, 90% of Am Law 200 firms are using OpenText legal products already, and it’s probably a good bet that a lot of those also have SharePoint deployments, so joining the two makes sense.

OpenText’s Legal Content Management

Using it, information workers can have access to documents and email located in different repositories, perform federated searches across those repositories and assign metadata to documents for retrieval, from an interface which which most users will be familiar.

Through this, it provides users with a view of content in a dynamic matter- or client-centric view, using business tools they work with regularly.

In effect, what it does is provides a view of matter-related content at one point of reference. Features include:

  • Automated creation of SharePoint sites for each Matter, based on subject area
  • SharePoint sites with that are content-specific along with tools for collaboration on content
  • Provision of content to users that is relevant to only them
  • Flexible and unique document numbering for identifying documents
  • Metadata inheritance into SharePoint
  • Archiving and record retention

OpenText has built a lot of business around the legal space, designing a number of specific products for legal entities built around its core technologies, and it would be a surprise to see an ILTA conference without something from OpenText.

Currently it covers just about the whole A-to-Z of information management for legal firms, and this release shows that it doesn’t mean to stop.

It already has email management, records management, document management and conflict management applications for legal teams, and now it’s taking SharePoint into the legal space too.