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LexisNexis held their annual Practice Management consultant conference last week In Orlando. As is typically the case at these events, new product releases and new feature sets were revealed to all in attendance, along with some interesting statistics about technology usage in law firms of 1 to 100 attorneys. While non-disclosure requirements preclude any detailed discussion of future plans at Lexis, I can comment in general terms about upcoming plans.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that future development efforts from Lexis will focus on making Time Matters more “mobile” and on improving integration with Outlook. For some time Lexis has been encouraging users to adopt the “TM Connect” method for managing email and abandon the Time Matters built-in email client app. In the next release of Time Matters (Version 12, very tentatively slated for a 4th quarter 2012 release) users may see a dramatically different approach to integration with Outlook. We were shown a very early rendition of exposing Time Matters “contextual info” (contact, case, etc.) right from within Outlook, without even opening Time Matters itself. Identify the sender or recipient of an email in Outlook, and you can easily view and drill down to, directly from Outlook, most of the data stored in Time Matters for that sender/recipient. This goes well beyond the present “Outlook Contact Synch” capability available today, and should make Outlook an even closer partner with Time Matters.
Lexis is completing a complete re-write of the TM-Exchange Synch application, the result of Microsoft’s release of Exchange 2010. Expected to be available with the release of Time Matters 11.1 (sometime toward the end of calendar 2011), Time Matters synchronization with Outlook will fully support Exchange 2010, 2007 and 2003. The Synch app will function essentially as it does now (with some bug fixes, of course), and users should be able to convert their existing synchronization setup with minimal effort.
Finally, the long and eagerly awaited addition of “calendaring” to the TM Mobility app is scheduled to ship this November. Lexis announced that almost 50% of TM 11 users have created free Mobility accounts and use the Mobility app on a regular basis. Some unanticipated usage patterns have emerged for Mobility, including access from PC notebooks and tablets, in addition to smartphones. Some users apparently have found Mobility to offer better and faster access to sought-after case and contact data than the more traditional methods of doing so (TM Remote, Exchange Synch, LogMeIn, etc.). Additional features for the TM Mobility app, likely to appear in the 2nd quarter of 2012, will include access to document and to do records, tentatively.
The overall impression from the conference is that Lexis has indeed “righted the ship” for Time Matters with the release of TM 11. Future development efforts for this flagship product appear to be very focused on Lexis’ understanding of their core Time Matters user base. They “get it” now, and are attempting to consistently offer something of value to their subscribers in the 1 to 100 attorney marketplace.
What is important for you to see in future releases of Time Matters? Are you interested in learning more about using Mobility for Time Matters? Give us a call at 800-357-0555 if you would like to explore any of these topics in more detail.
Jack Schaller has been active in the field of law office technology since 1989, and has worked with a variety of commercial accounting, legal billing, practice management, and document management software products during his twenty plus years in the software consulting field. During his tenure as a software consultant he has garnered many sales and service awards for his work with legal software products. Jack is a frequent presenter at legal conferences and seminars, and is a regular contributor to TechnoLawyer and other technology publications.