Although some lawyers are still WordPerfect users and are staunchly refuse to make the switch, most now use Word and have been for years now. But as cloud computing proliferates, more and more lawyers are considering transitioning to Microsoft Office 365 in order to take advantage of all the benefits web-based computing offers, including flexibility, 24/7 accessibility and affordability.
The good news for those thinking about moving over to Office 365 is that in April at ABA Techshow in Chicago, there was an entire seminar devoted to this very topic. During a session titled “Developing Microsoft Office 365 in Your Law Practice,” Ben Schorr shared tips about Office 365 while Stephanie Crowley took visual notes of this session on behalf of MyCase. The visual notes from that session can be found below along with some of our favorite tips from the session and links to sites that provide further information (click to view larger image):
1. Subscribe to a server. Ben recommends subscribing to a Microsoft Exchange Server in order to save money. It’s cost effective tod so since a server includes Outlook, has great spam filters and, as is the case with most cloud services, provides real-time syncing across multiple devices.
2. Consider the Exchange Only Plan. According to Ben, this plan offers many benefits. You can establish multiple aliases, have as many domain names as you’d like, set up distribution lists, and create shared mailboxes. Another benefit is that it syncs to mobile devices. This plan’s pricing is per mailbox.
3. Link your Exchange server to Skype. Linking your server to Skype for Business has many benefits. First, Skype offers free voice calls, video calls and screen sharing capabilities. Skype also allows you to save transcripts of phone and video conversations. And all of this interaction occurs in a secure, online environment.
4. Choose the right license for your law firm. For Business Licenses there are 3 options: 1) The Business Plan includes Office only, costs $8.95/user/month and you can install it on up to 5 machines, 2) the Essentials Plan includes everything except Office and costs $4/user/month and you can also subscribe to Sharepoint for an additional $5/user/month, or 3) the Premium Plan includes all the features of the Essentials and Business Plans and costs $12.50/user/month. For the Enterprise License there are 2 options: 1) E1 which costs $8/user/month and includes Office only or 2) E3 which is for large firms and includes Office and Sharepoint.
For more great tips on using Office 365 in your law office, take a look at this article,15 Amazing Features In Office 365 That You Probably Don’t Know About, or check out the Office 365 Tip of the Day Blog.