Microsoft Releases Office 365 Collaboration Tool for Lawyers
The company's internal tool for managing and collaborating on legal documentation is being made more broadly available.Microsoft wants to make it easier for legal professionals to work together in Office. So the company is releasing to the public its own Office 365-based technology for organizing and collaborating on legal matters, announced Nishan DeSilva, senior director for Technology Solutions and Evangelism at Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs. Dubbed Matter Center for Office 365, the software is already available "to IT solutions providers who specialize in serving the legal community," DeSilva said in his Aug. 31 announcement. Partner companies include Epona, Handshake Software, LawPoint365, PayneGroup, Perficient, Project Leadership Associates and Ubiquity Wave. In the coming weeks, those partners will start expanding Matter Center's availability to law firms and in-house legal departments, DeSilva said. Meanwhile, the software giant will begin offering paid consulting and support services via its Microsoft Services practices. Finally, sometime in the 2015 calendar year, "we'll be making Matter Center available broadly through GitHub," he said. "[Microsoft's Legal and Corporate Affairs division] is committed to continued investments in this modern, world-class collaboration solution," DeSilva said. "And as we make Matter Center available to our customers and partners, we are also rolling out the latest version to more than 1,200 Microsoft legal professionals globally."
Matter Center is the culmination of a two-year effort by Microsoft's Legal and Corporate Affairs division to create a collaboration tool for lawyers using Office 365. Layered atop the popular productivity software, the add-in offers legal professionals a mobile-friendly environment for finding, accessing and editing legal documents. "Like Office 365, Matter Center is available across PCs, tablets and phones, across Windows, Apple and Android devices, and allows you to access matters and documents either online or offline using OneDrive for Business," DeSilva noted.