Learn the “Nuances” of PDF conversion in NetDocuments

The integration between Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 7.1 and NetDocuments has just been revamped and I’m here to tell you about it.

Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 7.1 lets legal firms convert, edit, share, and create PDF files, including the ability to redact, bates stamp, and quickly combine documents of any type with simple drag-and-drop into a single PDF. The NetDocuments connector provides an out-of-the box configuration to display a NetDocuments Save toolbar option. This allows a user to intuitively save a PDF file directly into NetDocuments, then select the desired matter-centric location to store the document. The connector is included in PDF Converter Enterprise 7.1, and works for all NetDocuments users without any additional installation of software or fee.

“We’ve been enjoying Nuance’s PDF Converter for eighteen months now,” said Robert J. Checca, Chief Information Officer at the law firm of Jackson Lewis. “Having a one-click button to easily save a PDF document directly into our NetDocuments document management will greatly increase the productivity of our users. Additionally, not having to install any additional software on the workstation reinforces the value of a cloud-based application such as NetDocuments.”

Learn all the technical details here.

Send us a tweet at @NetDocuments with any questions or to continue the discussion.

Post written by Danny Johnson of the NetDocuments Marketing team.

 

The Tale of Two Cities: LegalTech from New York to New Delhi

NetDocuments gets around – LegalTech NY and LegalTech India, 2011

With the announcement of prestigious law firm, Foley & Lardner, switching from iManage to NetDocuments, our new user interface, and the growing Partner Program, the road was paved for a great Legal Tech conference in both New York and New Delhi.

Happening at virtually the same time, Smart Solutions, one of NetDocuments’ Global Channel Partners, represented us at LegalTech India while we managed in New York; the result? Two amazing shows, with lots of exposure, highlighting our recent developments, high-profile clients, and international reach.  Here are the thoughts from those who were there…

New York, New York

“LegalTech NY was buzzing with activity this year, thanks in no small part to recent news that the 1,000 lawyer law firm Foley & Lardner is switching from iManage to NetDocuments. Most of those we spoke with agreed that this is the biggest development in the legal content management space in years.  Firms of all sizes wanted to see firsthand what is compelling one of the most competent and reputable law firm technology teams (Foley & Lardner’s IT team) to embrace NetDocuments.” - Matt Duncan, Senior Account Manager, NetDocuments

“Each year we get more interest and requests for demonstrations because speakers and panelist mention NetDocuments as ‘the leader in SaaS/Cloud content management’.  We surprise many first-time viewers of NetDocuments with our rich feature set and end-user simplicity.  People are always surprised that we have been providing SaaS content management for over 12 years; reminding people, we were SaaS before SaaS was cool.”  - Keith Schneider, Senior Account Manager, NetDocuments

Keith also enjoyed interacting with our current customers: “It was great to have several current customers come to the booth excited to see the soon-to-be-released new user interface.  After a quick demo, all walked away with smiles on their face and statements of ‘can’t wait for the release’ and ‘thanks for never standing still’.  Additionally, increased partner enthusiasm and completed service integrations and affiliate sales partnerships have solidified our Partner Program presence.  I can’t wait for next year’s event!”

View from New Delhi

Around the globe, Monish Madden and Kuldeep Singh of Collaborative Technology Solutions, a division of Smart Solutions, were gearing up for LegalTech India 2011 held in New Delhi.  The Director of Collaborative Technology Solutions, Rajiv Mukerji, had this to say:

“The Collaborative Technology Solutions division of Smart Solutions, Inc. will consolidate its position as the leading solutions specialist in the Indian and Asian legal cloud computing space by its presence at “Legal Tech India 2011″ The objective of the conference is to emphasize growing the vast avenues prevalent for technology in the legal arena and how legal systems can evolve to a simpler, systematic and a cost effective modus operandi. The conference aims to bring together expertise, competence and technology in managing all the components of legal affairs.”

The success of NetDocuments in all parts of the world is further demonstrating our belief that the cloud is the most powerful and efficient way to share and collaborate and will continue to change the way people work. Tell us your thoughts on the cloud at @NetDocuments.

Post written by @MarriottMurdock, NetDocuments Partner Program Manager

Less hand-holding, please…

Sure, most of us enjoy holding hands with the people we love, e.g., our significant others, children or grandchildren. But do we really like holding our IT person’s hand? Or, for that matter, do IT staff really like holding the hands of those in their organization? My guess: umm, not so much. So, cue the NetDocuments New User Interface

<See more screenshots at http://www.netdocuments.com/start/2011/>

Of course, I have nothing against IT staff or other “techies” because many consider me to be one. In fact, you’re very likely to talk to me on the NetDocuments end of the customer support telephone line. Our hope is that our new interface will be so intuitive, simple, and robust that you won’t have to do any more hand-holding – except with the people that you really love.

Help is on the way!

Furthermore, we at NetDocuments, pride ourselves on great technical support with real human beings. That said, we know that you want to feel so comfortable and adept with your technology that you won’t need to call or email us in the first place.

Look, let’s be honest… much to our dismay, you’re probably not using NetDocuments with quite the same gusto as when you play your latest xBox Kinect game that you got for Christmas. Even still, we want to make sure your NetDocuments user experience is so easy and efficient that maybe you’ll even have a bit more time on that shiny new xBox Kinect, ya know? So, cue the new NetDocuments Help section…

To help reduce the amount of time in your life spent in frustration, we’ll be rolling out a completely re-vamped help and tutorial section replete with videos, step-by-step tutorials, printable user guides, and plenty of screenshots. It’s our hope that while we love and value you as a customer, you won’t need to hold our hand quite so often while using our new interface and added help tools.

Keep watching for updates in the next few months as we open up the new user interface for beta testing. Oh, and one last thing…don’t worry. We here in support are still always more than happy to hold your hand if the stuff I mentioned above isn’t quite enough or if you just like to hear Dan’s voice on the other end of the telephone line. Either way, if it involves NetDocuments, we’re here to help you through it.

Post written by Bradlee Duncan of the NetDocuments support team.

Q&A With Bill Winterberg on Technology for Financial Advisors

This week I had a good discussion about technology for financial advisors with Bill Winterberg, one of the most technology forward minds in the Financial services market. Before joining the finance world, Bill was a software engineer for Hewlett Packard and this background in technology has allowed him to become a thought leader in the industry.

Bill currently writes technology columns for Morningstar Advisor, Advisors4Advisors.com as well as on his own blog called FP Pad. You can also find him doing his thing on Twitter from @BillWinterberg.

Q: Hey Bill, thanks for joining us. First tell me a bit about what do you do?

A: Wealth management and financial advisory firms work with me to optimize and streamline their client service processes through the use of technology.

Q: Over the past 8-10 years, what technology innovations do you believe have been the most significant to the way financial advisers work?

A: In my opinion, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product model has been the most significant innovation to help financial advisors deliver superior service to clients. SaaS offerings in portfolio management, performance reporting, server backup, and document management allow advisors to outsource much of the infrastructure management and technical support, allowing advisors to focus on what they do best; serve clients.

Very cool. The number of SaaS options that advisors can choose from is increasing every day, which is a good thing for vendors and advisors alike.

Q: When the topic of cloud computing comes up in my conversations with advisors, security is the principle issue that keeps people up at night. What steps should advisors take to make sure their data is safe in the cloud?

A: Advisors must perform due diligence on a cloud computing provider and learn about the provider’s privacy policies, data encryption technology, and business continuity plans. I advise advisors to require a provider have an SAS 70 Certification from the AICPA at a minimum, indicating that the provider passed a third-party audit of its internal controls and safeguards.

Having that third-party audit has really become a must over the past year in order for a SaaS provider to prove reliable.

Q: What are the biggest advantages for advisors who move to the cloud?

A: The biggest advantage for advisors who move to the cloud is the ability to no longer be held hostage by one desktop computer in order to get work done. Instead, cloud computing is delivered through an Internet browser, so any computer including PC, Mac, or even iPad, can be used to access data and respond to client needs.

I would add to the hostage analogy that SaaS also frees advisors from lengthy product cycles, hardware maintenance and eliminates the high initial TCO that used to really limit advisor’s options.

Q: Other than security, what are some reasons that advisors avoid the cloud?

A: Advisors often avoid cloud computing because there is confusion over who owns the data entered into the cloud system. Most contracts for cloud services indicate that all data is owned by the advisor who can request data archives at any time, including at the termination of the contract. Also, advisors may select server-based programs over cloud computing due to speed requirements, as they want certain programs to run in real-time rather than wait for a slow Internet connection to respond.

At NetDocuments, connection speed was a HUGE concern for customers when we started in 1998, and though it still can be an issue, the proliferation of high-speed connections has really enabled SaaS apps to become more robust.

Q: How do SEC and FINRA compliance rules affect how you look at new technology?

A: Compliance with regulatory requirements, including those issued by FINRA and SEC, must be considered when exploring any new technology. Most regulatory requirements are put in place to protect investors and keep their confidential information secure. There are also business continuity requirements to ensure client service is not significantly interrupted during emergencies. New technologies must address these issues and allow advisors to enhance their client service while maintaining regulatory compliance.

Q: I believe that certain technologies can give advisors a competitive advantage. Do you agree with this statement?

A: Absolutely. I’m willing to bet that advisors who adopt paperless office, mobile device, and social media technologies are growing at a faster pace than those who do not.

Q: On lighter note, who do you have in the World Cup?

A: Germany. They’ve exhibited selfless, team-oriented play throughout the World Cup tournament.

I’d probably have to agree with the second half of that statement but my heart is with Da Dutch, which is where I spent three years of my life.

Q: And lastly, where will Lebron James play basketball next year?

A: Not Cleveland. As I’m not a big NBA fan, I’ll go with the reasonable choice of the New York Knicks, as their fan base and ticket prices can support a record-breaking contract.

We won’t tell our friends in Ohio…

I’d like to thank Bill Winterberg for his time and sharing with us the knowledge he has gained from his vast experience dealing with financial services technology.

If you’d like to be featured in a technology Q&A, send a tweet to either myself at @dannymjohnson, or to @NetDocuments.

Post written by Danny Johnson of the NetDocuments sales and marketing team.

A Twitterer’s Dilemma: Looking Back at our First Year on Twitter

Post Authored by Danny Johnson of the NetDocuments Marketing Department

I am one of the youngest employees here at the NetDocuments Orem office, if not the youngest (I’m 24), and if my calculations are correct, I am one of only two non-married employees at the company. So near the end of 2007, as the Twittershpere was reaching a Twittical Mass, the good folks in our marketing department, specifically Leonard Johnson, decided that it was time for us to join the party and see if social media was all @NikiBlack and @AdrianDayton had cracked it up to be. So after about a year and change of tweeting, we are believers. We’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, downloaded the iPhone app and continue to ride shotgun in the Twitter bandwagon.

Why We Got Started

Every Social Media guru, ninja, consultant, @GuyKawasaki wannabe or whatever they are calling themselves these days, say’s that you must have a clearly defined purpose for using social media. So as we started Twitter, our two main goals were to create more interaction with our customers and partners, and to better understand the small law and small business market in order to build relationships with people in these areas.

  • Interact with Partners and Customers

Twitter has been a very effective tool for us in this regard. Especially after the Twitter Lists feature was released last summer. We created various Twitter lists to easily follow our more Twitroverted customers and partners including a NetDocuments Users List, a LegalTech New York list, and a T3 Technology Conference list among others.  Through Twitter we’ve set up webinars, marketing activities and provided technical support. We saw that Twitter was so effective is sending real-time news that last fall we setup a separate account for the NetDocuments service status.

  • Build Relationships

Before 2009, we had a distribution partnership with LexisNexis in which they handled marketing activities for small law firms. As our distribution partnership with Lexis ended in January of 2009, we saw Twitter as a good way for us to get back into the small law and small business markets, and to start building relationships there. Through Twitter, we were quickly able to make contacts with technology consultants, bloggers and training partners, as well as proselyte the value of SaaS technology and cloud computing.

Timeline

  • 1st 3 months

I’ve heard a stat numerous times and from various twitter streams (which I guess means it’s true?) that say’s 70%-80% of new Tweeters go the Twitter graveyard within the first three months, but we were determined to not be a Twitter-Qwitter, and we weren’t.

Those first three months on Twitter were like my first semester of sophomore year when I moved to a new high school; the only differences were that this time I didn’t get slammed into lockers or get my head stuffed in a toilet. It was fun and exciting and we met a lot of new people. In those first months we connected with people like @softwaretrainer, @CurtisASmithCFP and @DonnaSeyle, learned new words and phrases like Direct Message, #HashTag and Tweet-Up, and had some funny experiences.

After getting tweet happy one day I was told by a good friend that I had Twitterrhea and should slow down the number of tweets. After that I tried so hard to have correct Twitterquette that my tweets were boring and dry. Also, at the time we had few followers so it was easy to read nearly every one of their tweets and interact with all of our new tweeps.

  • The next 6 months

If our first three months was sophomore year, the next six was the rest of high school. Our mind was opened up to many new things and we experimented with most of them. I think we tried every possible twitter manager that existed from TweetDeck to Twellow to Google Wave, but ended up liking Hootsuite the best due to the fact that it was feature rich and required zero software downloads.  We fiddled with linking our Twitter and Facebook profiles but we decided that TweetBooking wasn’t for us as the platforms are different and we decided that we should post different content on each site.

Our favorite week was when we ran a contest via Twitter at the ILTA conference last summer. This created positive buzz and was a fun way to interact with others at the show.

The only downside of Twitter maturity was that as we started following more people, it became a bit less personal as it was harder to keep up with all the tweets and content that was coming in. Although it continues to be difficult to keep up with all that goes on, we’ve learned ways such as Twitter Lists and saved searches to stay current and remain social.

  • Future

I’ve been impressed with how fast the folks at Twitter try to respond to its users in innovating its site and service while keeping it simple and easy. Although they’ve had a few mess-ups, like their Re-Tweet function that I still don’t like, for the most part they have kept up with the curve. So in year two of our Twitter life, I expect to find new and innovative ways to use Twitter and continue moving towards our goals of interacting with customers and building relationships that move beyond 140 characters.

P.S. I’m not sure why I started the blog by talking about my age and relationship status but I think I can justify it. As social media is all about telling others what we’re doing/thinking/feeling/etc… I thought I had to share what I was doing/thinking/feeling, and at the time of writing I was pondering how I am one of two non-married employees at the Orem office.

Top Idea Bank Suggestions Implemented in R5

At 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, October 29, 2009, the R5 enhancements will be released to the public. The NetDocuments team has taken customer feedbacks from the Idea Bank and implemented some of the most highly requested and anticipated features. The enhancements include NetBinders displayed within a Workspace section, customizable right click menus, RSA 2-factor authentication integration, preservation of the navigation pane, auto organizing categories in workspaces, and many more. To learn more about what R5 will offer, watch this 4 minute video that previews the release.

What do you need to run NetDocuments?

We get this question a lot and when people hear the answser, they can’t believe that it is that simple.  Welcome to the Software as a Service world.

NetDocuments was built from the ground-up to be a SaaS-based model.  It wasn’t converted from some older generation software to “fit” the SaaS world.

We are proud of the fact that we were providing this service model before someone decided to call it something that actually stuck.

With the Internet becoming more accessible everyday and everywhere (soon on your favorite airline), why should anyone need anything more than what’s required for NetDocuments to provide powerful document services?  The answer is, that there shouldn’t be more required.  We have the Internet now, right?

We call it the new and improved KISS – “Keep-it-simple-software”.

Of course, we work in the mobile world also and that is even simpler.  Just open your mobile browser and type in the URL.  Of course, the mobile features have not kept up with the desire of users to be able to edit, etc., but it will sooner than later.  We will be there when that happens also.

Feel free to make a bookmark of this for your future reference.


NetDocuments Community Forums

We, here at NetDocuments, hit a small milestone with our new community forums… that is, we reached a total of 80 users on the forums and growing daily. While this may seem like a small number, we have been pleasantly surprised at how well the forums have functioned so far.

Below is a sample of the main community forum page.

This number of forum users is obviously nowhere near the thousands of users of the NetDocuments Document Management service, but it’s a start. We here in the support department would like to thank those that have signed up for the community forums. They have been a huge success, and many users have received answers to questions from our support staff as well as from each other, they’ve discussed and shared NetDocuments usage tips/tricks, and submitted enhancement ideas. We love to see this type of interaction between our customers, us, and other customers. This type of communication is priceless in striving to maintain customer satisfaction and building a sense of community among the NetDocuments users. Since the inception of NetDocuments, one of our aims has been to continually improve the Service with customer-driven enhancements. We want to hear what you have to say about NetDocuments and our support process. What better way to do that than with our “Ideas for new features or improvements” forum in our community?

Screenshot of “Ideas for new features or improvements” forum.

In addition to providing a “soap box” for your NetDocuments suggestions, the community forum also provides a quick way to discuss the various ways to implement NetDocuments at your firm. We have provided an area that is specifically for our users to share the best practices implemented in their firm. We urge more of our NetDocuments users to register on our community forums. It will add to your productivity by allowing you to learn more about the Service that your firm is using. You will also get your questions answered, either by NetDocs personnel or by an admin of a firm that is just like yours and has experienced a situation nearly identical to yours.