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Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based online suite that provides access to a wealth of services and software. Office 365 includes online versions of Microsoft Office such as Word, PowerPoint, Skype/Teams, and Excel. But it also provides much more for law practices and organizations.
Office 365 has transformed the way today’s law firms operate. It provides a new level of security, mobility, accessibility, reliability and productivity, and it’s gaining popularity everywhere. You should use Office 365 if you want features that will help you stay competitive in today’s evolving legal marketplace.
With Office 365, your data will be protected. It can help you boost your overall security posture. With its online document storage option, you can be assured that your confidential data will be stored securely.
Your email will also be secure. Migrating your email server to the cloud-based Office 365 environment lets you securely move your mailboxes and archives to a protected environment. It not only offers an email solution with a spam filter; Office 365 Enterprise 3 provides the compliance and legal hold license requirements you need. Plus, it provides unlimited storage.
Office 365 comes with built-in privacy settings that, once enabled, allow you to set the sensitivity of email to “private.” This ensures that even those people with access to your inbox won’t be able to see these emails unless you want them to.
It also comes with native encryption, end-to-end security, and multi-factor authentication options to secure and protect your email and data, so it’s only accessible to you or those you authorize.
Office 365 is an excellent productivity tool for lawyers. It comes with much more than Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Applications like Planner, Bookings, Flow, Groups, Delve and Sway all have great potential to help you save time and increase your productivity.
Microsoft Planner lets you create different stages in a project and insert tasks. Assign tasks for team members, attach documents, communicate and track the progress of your projects.
Microsoft Bookings provides a way for your clients to schedule appointments through an online calendar. This is much like what your doctor or dentist may use. Your clients book appointments with you via your website, blog, social media page or mobile apps. Both your clients and staff can easily reschedule or cancel an appointment, send emails or text notifications and much more. It will display the bookings for each lawyer or associate in your firm.
Microsoft Flow is another productivity booster. It provides a way for you to connect Office 365 applications to other Office 365 apps so you can transfer information or create an action based on a trigger. Flow comes with templates to help you. For example, you can choose a template to copy emails to OneNote. You can also use Flow to connect Office 365 applications to popular social media sites, Google apps, Basecamp, Buffer, Asana and many other productivity solutions.
Microsoft Groups lets you set up collaboration portals that you can set with a few clicks. Just, go to “People” and create a “Group.” You can even create Group portals for teams both inside and outside of your firm. Set permissions for your Group to share a OneNote notebook, a shared calendar, a shared Planner, access a SharePoint site, and much more.
Microsoft Connectors extends Groups’ functionality. It’s like Flow but just for your Groups. Once you set up your Group, click Connectors and add content from other project management tools, social media sites, CRM solutions and more. Whenever any of your Connectors are updated, your Group will be notified. You can even build your own Connectors with the Connectors Developer Dashboard. What a timesaver this is!
The most useful plug-in’s for lawyers are Rocket Matter and Boomerang. Rocket Matter released an extensive Office 365 integration with its Outlook plug-in. Now you can easily associate emails with matters. Add your billable time and attach attachments right from within Outlook on Office 365. This is something lawyers have wanted to do for years. Now you can.
Boomerang is a free application. It lets you write an email and schedule when you would like it to be sent. This is great if you’re working over the weekend or late at night and you don’t want to disturb a client or co-worker during these times. You just click “Send Later” and choose from the options Boomerang presents. Set it and forget it — Boomerang does the rest. The email will remain in your draft email folder until it’s sent (just in case you want to change something). Your computer doesn’t need to be left on, either. Boomerang does everything from the Office 365 server.
Please note: All features aren’t included with some licenses.
These are only a few of the reasons why you should consider using Microsoft Office 365 for your law practice. We can explain many more reasons why it can provide the security, mobility, accessibility, reliability and productivity you need to compete and succeed.
Contact the team at ClearPath IT Solutions, We can answer your questions about Microsoft Office 365 and other Microsoft products.
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