LegalTech was off to a great start today. We spent most of the day reconnecting with various legal editors and technologists and discussing the continued growth of eDiscovery vendors and sessions as well as looking to answer the oft posed 'what's new this year' question. At first glance, the iPad as the centerpiece of a growing trend of firm 'BYOD' strategies is definitely gaining momentum. Based on attendance and buzz during the morning's 'iLove for the iPad: Tips, Tricks and Apps' Session, demand for more apps and more best practices is extremely high. Brett Burney, one of the session's presenters, 'Macs in Law' blog owner, and frequent iPad trainer and CLE presenter, mentioned that he has been scrambling lately to work with local bar associations to keep up with requests for iPad training.
While we spent most of the day in meetings, we did visit/run into a few folks on the exhibit floor:
Aderant - As you can imagine, the last few months have been quite an adventure for Aderant with the acquisitions of CompuLaw, Deadlines.com, Client Profiles and RainMaker. Here at the show they were unveiling the new look and branding of Aderant as well as the release of Aderant 8.0, the first major release of the company's flagship practice and financial management system since 2007.
MyCase - We ran into the guys from MyCase who were working the show from the crowd this year after launching as an exhibitor at LegalTech NY 2011. They are looking to make a big splash at ABA TECHSHOW and if history is any indicator of future results they won't disappoint.
Legal IT Professionals - We caught up with Rob Ameerun, the founder of the popular Legal IT Professionals website, to discuss the growth of the site and the popularity of his recurring and guest columns. Rob operates out of the Netherlands so it's always nice to see him make the trip stateside, especially during the New York winter months.
Day one wrapped up with another star studded ILTA Advanced IT track spotlighting "Six New Technologies You Should Know About." Presented in 10 minute segments, five ILTA firm IT Directors/CIOs and Kraft Kennedy's CTO discussed technologies and concepts that law firms of varying size and complexity can put to use. Scott Christensen, Director of IT, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, introduced the idea of business recovery 'as-a-service' as a cost effective and immediate means to meet DR/BC goals. Cloud based disaster recovery solutions can provide on-demand self service, increased scalability amounting to savings and ROI figures around 60%. Scott concluded with a vivid and a propos analogy: "Cloud computing can be compared to water from the tap instead of pumping your water from your own well; you can use it when you need it, save resources, energy and money by turning it off when you don't need it."
Jim McCue, IS Manager, Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb, discussed the expansion of video conferencing beyond the conference room and unto popular mobile platforms and devices. Citing recent ILTA Technology Survey statistics revealing 41% of firms with 50-149 attorneys are not leveraging video conferencing, McCue pointed to trends such as the consumerization of IT; client restrictions on travel and portability options as reasons adoption should spike. His main tip when looking to leverage portable VC options via iPhone, iPad, and Androids was to choose the best possible bandwidth (aka, wifi when remote) option and control the video endpoint if possible. Other topics included next generation VPNs; Riverbed data consolidation and cloud strategies; Kraft Kennedy's deployment of Microsoft Lync 2010 as a single interface that unites voice communications, IM, and audio, video, and Web conferencing; and last but not least, Eric Hunter's vision of moving the law firm, in his case California-based Bradford & Barthel, to 100% web through the deployment of Chrome OS and leveraging the single log-in intranet desktop.
We'll be sure to provide more insight and highlights from day two. Talk soon.