From speaking to our corporate customers, they simply love the email management functionality that the iManage document and email management system (DMS) provides to their professionals, thanks to the application’s seamless integration with Microsoft Office 365 and Outlook – auto-filing of emails, suggested filing of inbound and outbound emails, drag and drop capability, filing several emails in a single action, send and file feature, and so on.
At the same time, I also hear professionals talk about the scenarios that frustrate them on a day to day basis. The following are the most common, and the good news is that they already have the solution at their fingertips! Let’s explore:
Don’t like going in and out of applications when working on projects or matters? You can easily create documents from within a matter or project folder in iManage. If you are working on a particular matter or project folder in iManage, and need to create a new document – be it in Word, Excel or PowerPoint – you don’t need to launch any of these Microsoft applications on your desktop separately. All you need to do is go to the Tool Bar at the top your screen and create a new document, exactly as you would do if you were in the specific Microsoft application itself. The new document will automatically save in the project folder you are already in. This feature is a real time-saver!
Did you say version control is a nightmare? – Say no more! The level of thought that has gone into designing this functionality in the DMS by iManage is phenomenal and it shows. I can confidently tell you that you won’t find this kind of versioning sophistication in many – if any – other products on the market in this category. For example, for every document in the DMS, you can easily see the number of versions that exist, and who last modified the document. Colleagues can add comments to the individual versions of the documents – such as where the document came from, info that team members should be aware of, what has changed between the current and previous version, and such. This is really useful background information, especially when multiple professionals are collaborating on a matter or project.
Also, you don’t always have to open the entire version of a document if you are browsing a folder whilst you look for specific information – you can preview it. If you are looking at an older version, iManage will flag it, so you know that it isn’t the latest version. You can even compare versions. The best part, which I know professionals find extremely valuable is, that once a document is finalised, it can be declared as a ‘record’, which means that no one can then amend it. This is extremely handy when it comes to documents that relate to policies or those that need to be shared with clients.
In a difficult situation and need to get a document out quick? – The co-authoring functionality can save you time, but also take away a lot of the pain that comes with having numerous people working on a document in a manual way. In fact, in the current remote and hybrid working environment, you will find this capability very useful routinely, not just when you are under pressure.
iManage allows multiple people to simultaneously work on a document in an easy, intuitive and secure way. Rather than creating an open document for everyone to view or then circulating it around the team via email, you can invite colleagues and team members to contribute to a document, from within the iManage interface – without the need to install Microsoft Word locally on your PC. Most importantly, the owner always retains the ownership of the document – so, if you are the owner, you can choose to not include updates made by others, if you believe they are not required. This helps with version control too, as it avoids multiple versions of the document being generated.
Want to share documents with colleagues but the attachment is too large? – It’s easy! Instead of the typical way of attaching large documents to emails, you can simply share a link to the document, not just by email, but also via a Teams chat for instance. Professionals find this really useful as they can be sure that they are both sharing and receiving the right version of the documents in question. When entire organisations work in this manner, the size of the internal internet traffic reduces substantially.
Is maintaining confidentiality of documents proving to be difficult? – ‘Need-to-know security’ to the rescue! For every document, you can assign specific access rights to individuals at a very granular level – for example, read only, read only over a defined timeframe, edit rights, download rights, and so on. Crucially, all this is extremely easy to do with a mere mouse click. If you right click on the document, you are presented with a drop-down menu of individuals, you can then decide what kinds of access rights you would like to grant them or not at all. This capability can greatly facilitate secure cross-business knowledge sharing too as it balances security and accessibility.
Finding documents feels like you are looking for a needle in a haystack? – iManage allows you to approach search in two ways. For some searches, you can of course browse folders, especially if you have an idea of what you are looking for or where the information in question might be stored. The real power of search is enabled by the combination of free text search and the meta data (additional profile information) attached to the documents, which allows the user to add more search criteria, such as the class or type of document, purpose or comments.
These features are by no means exhaustive. The best advice that I can offer to professionals who use iManage is: don’t be afraid to click around the system to explore new functionality. You won’t accidently break the system because its configuration is robust. It offers the richest functionality in its application category and is highly intuitive to use. The iManage DMS has been designed and honed over many years expressly with “you”, the knowledge professional, in mind.
If you would like any assistance or training on the system, Ascertus is always here to help. We routinely deliver user training on the iManage DMS – and are a phone call away to help resolve any occasional assistance that you might require too. Please get in touch using the form below.