Looking back on 2010

imageAt this time of year it’s traditional to look back, so we thought we’d share our most popular content from the past year, just in case you missed it.

  1. The Best Law Firm Website is… – We name the best law firm websites and explain what makes them stand out from the crowd.
  2. Top 100 Law Firm Websites in Pictures – PowerPoint slide deck of all the top 100 law firm websites. Feel free to go download it and give it to the partners in your firm and ask them to pick what they think is the best
  3. Communicator 14 to Integrate with SharePoint Activity Feed – We were a little surprised this one came in at #3. News piece about how Communicator (now Lync) and SharePoint combine to create a Facebook-like status feed for the intranet.
  4. How UK Lawyers are using Social Media – Thoughts from early adopters on the use of (primarily) Twitter in the legal sector, what works and the ROI.
  5. SharePoint Explained – Our 101 introduction to SharePoint.
  6. Shoosmiths Access Legal – A brave new world of law firm marketing – A look at the marketing approach of Shoosmiths consumer arm, AccessLegal.
  7. Cloud Computing Explained – Our 101 introduction to cloud computing
  8. Legal Services 2020 – Our view of what the legal services market will look like in 10 years time… oops that’s nine years now.
  9. What Will Be the Business Model of the 21st Century Law Firm – A look at the similarities between the publishing and legal industries and what we can learn from their current malaise.
  10. Office Communicator 14 to Become Microsoft Lync – News about the name change in Microsoft’s real time communication and collaboration product in 2010.

If you like the stuff we write, remember you can sign-up for updates in your RSS reader, or subscribe for email updates.

And with that we’d like to wish you a happy new year, and we’ll see you all again in 2011.

Microsoft BPOS Morphs into Office 365

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News from Redmond last night was the announcement of Office 365, the replacement for Microsoft BPOS – Microsoft’s cloud hosted productivity suite, which is due to launch early in 2011 complete with new versions and reduced pricing.

So, what’s new?

Microsoft BPOS

First a quick recap of BPOS: It’s based around the Microsoft Office 2007 technology stack and gets you:

That’s all priced $10 per user per month. (UK pricing is £6.72 per user per month).

Office 365

Office 365 will come in two different flavours: Office 365 Small Business and Office 365 Enterprise. These are based around the Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 technologies and provide new features at reduced prices.

Office 365 Small Business

This suite  provides broadly the same functionality as the current BPOS offering, but with the addition of the Office Web Apps.  It is targeted at businesses with 1-25 staff (with a maximum of 50 staff). Here’s what you get:

  • Exchange Online
  • SharePoint Online – team collaboration based on SharePoint Foundation 2010 including Access Services web database technology
  • Office Online – edit and collaborate on documents in a web browser using Office Web Apps
  • Lync Online – As we reported in September, Lync is the replacement for Office Communicator and Live Meeting and in the ‘Online’ version will provide instant messaging and web conferencing facilities formerly provided by Live Meeting and Communications Online
  • Email Support

The price for all this will be just $6 per user per month. (UK pricing still to be announced).

More detail on Office 365 Small Business is here: http://office365.microsoft.com/en-US/small-business.aspx

Office 365 Enterprise

This suite targets larger organisations and adds full array of SharePoint Server 2010 capabilities.  Here’s the detail:

  • Exchange Online – as Small Business offering, plus email archiving and retention and cross mailbox search for e-discovery scenarios
  • SharePoint Online – as Small Business offering, plus full SharePoint Server 2010 capabilities including portals, social networking capabilities and enterprise search
  • Office Online – as Small Business offering
  • Lync Online – as Small Business offering
  • 24/7 Phone Support

The price for this is $10 per user per month – the same price as the current BPOS offering. (UK pricing still to be announced). In addition you can choose to add the Office Professional Plus client suite to the subscription bundle for an additional $14 per user per month.  That looks an extremely attractive option to us.

More detail on Office 365 Enterprise is here: http://office365.microsoft.com/en-US/enterprise.aspx

Office 365 Beta

Microsoft have announced a limited Beta – sign up for the Beta here: office365.com.  The full launch of Office 365 is expected in early 2011.

Windows Phone 7 Series – SharePoint Integration

Windows Phone 7 Series Office Hub

Yesterday Microsoft announced the successor to their current crop of Windows Mobile phones, to be called Windows Phone 7 Series. Interesting in the announcement was built-in SharePoint integration, shown in the image above. I wonder… might it just start to make an impact on Blackberry’s dominance in big business?

Neat demo of the phone’s capabilities here:

Legal IT Show 2010 – We’ll Be There!

Legal IT Show 2010 - Be There We’re confirmed! We’ll be attending the Legal IT Show 2010 in February and we’d love to talk SharePoint with you.

Are you implementing SharePoint today? Thinking of holding off, or upgrading to SharePoint 2010? We’d love to hear what your thoughts or issues are. And in return we’d be happy to share our experiences of working with SharePoint in some of the largest companies in the UK.

No pressure. No sales.

Market research for us. Tips, tricks, insider knowledge for you.

Sounds like a fair trade? Email us at info@connectegrity.com or if you prefer tweet us: @lindacheunguk or @markbower and we’ll arrange a convenient time.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Web Favourites Jan 18 2010

This post is part of a weekly/bi-weekly roundup of things that I read and found interesting. There won’t be a lot of comment from me, but hopefully you will find the links useful. Enjoy!

Interesting stuff I came across this week:

SharePoint for Legal Project Management–A Retrospective – “To help you understand the power of SharePoint, I thought I would share what I was able to start doing with it within a week of it having it set-up…”

Case Study: Alternative Fees – “We are at the tipping point when it comes to the billable hour, and one law firm leading the way into the future is Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP…It studied what clients stated in writing what they wanted, gave it to them, and generated lots of new business.”

Get Connected or Get Out of the Kitchen – “I’ll make a prediction here that I’ll review this time in 2011. There will emerge two types of solicitors firms by the end of the year: those that have fully adopted IT systems for service delivery and those that have not.”

How We Beat the Snow and Kept on Working

£1bn of productivity lost to bad weatherThis morning saw another couple of inches of snow dumped on us here in North Hampshire and an accident shut the main route into Reading.

According to The Times the cost to the economy in lost productivity is set to reach £2bn.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Simple low cost technology and modern working practices make it easy for employees of professional service companies to work from anywhere.

Here’s how we beat the snow and kept working as normal last week:

  • Staff get laptops, not desktop PCs as standard enabling them to work from home, client site… anywhere
  • Email accounts are accessible via browser, Blackberry, iPhone and of course Outlook from your laptop
  • Project documents are stored centrally in SharePoint and accessible anywhere you have an Internet connection
  • IM worked as a replacement for those ad-hoc office conversations: “Hey, can you remember where the expenses form is…?”
  • Meetings became web conferences complete with video and document sharing

It used to be that only the biggest FTSE-100 companies could afford this type of technology, but Cloud Computing now means that the cost has fallen drastically and it is now no longer about how big you are, but how agile you are.

Maybe the weather is a blessing and maybe, just maybe, things could be about to change

Web Favourites Jan 10 2010

Frozen Britain Jan 2010 This is the first of what I hope will be a weekly or bi-weekly roundup of things that I read and found interesting. There won’t be a lot of comment from me, but hopefully you will find the links useful. Enjoy!

(The picture here is from NASA’s Terra satellite last week and show the extent of the snow and icy conditions on frozen Britain.)

Interesting stuff I came across this week:

A Case for Operating in the Cloud – “Microsoft’s ‘cloud’ enabled me to survive this downturn, will help me thrive in the upturn”. One law firm explain how they cut costs and moved to Exchange Online and SharePoint Online with Microsoft BPOS.

10 Things SharePoint can do for Your Law Firm – How to use SharePoint to “improve attorney effectiveness, deliver better client service and reduce costs”.

Why Some People Are Reluctant to Share – Rajesh Shetty explains the knowledge capture problem of KM tools: When something becomes obvious people tend to stop sharing.