Happy Friday sharedoer’s,

Carrying on from July’s release we are extending our financial tracking model with the beta launch of delivery cost structures; these are also often referred to as Matter Plans or Matter budgets and are essentially the “ying” to the fee quotes yang. In conjunction with time recording they enable you to track your time against individual matter budgets.

On the other hand we are beginning the rollout of our “plug-in less” collaboration experience. Like many vendors in our space we have implemented plugin for outlook and the like. However in early feedback from our legal clients we began to question the wisdom of this strategy .. Simply put our clients were saying “we don’t want yet another outlook plugin that will grind this to a halt!”. So about 6 months ago we began the journey to move to a (largely!) plugin free environment; the first step of which is release this month in the form of some security updates .. However watch this space for future updates!

Anyway on with the highlights!

This month’s highlights

  • Delivery Cost Structures – enabling Matter level time budgets to be specified and tracked
  • Execution Engine – drum roll drum roll .. We are launching a brand new update to our Complex Event processing execution engine that promises all sorts of new process goodness!
  • OAuth account linking and Encryption changes – some security updates as a precursor to the plugin-less environment

Delivery Cost Structures
In previous months we have been working on updates to how we capture Fees for global complex matters. We have improved our ability to capture multiple versions of sets of fees for a case, i.e.;

  • Estimated Fees – which are iterated during the period of instruction/enquiry to provide a quote
  • Agreed Fees – which become the version of Fees captured as Instructions are converted into Matters
  • Actual Fees – which are recorded through invoices and disbursements during the lifetime of the matter and can them be compared to the Agreed Fees.

These models deal with a ‘top-down’ view of the costs relating to running a case. i.e. the resources required to operate the case.

Delivery cost structures provide the alternate ‘bottom-up’ view of the costs and the ability to plan these costs across the phases of the case. When creating a delivery costs structure, a user will provide the phase of the matter, the task, the role and the estimated hours to complete the task.

i.e. Phase “Intimation”, Activity “Gathering Witness Statements”, Role “Associate”, Estimate “4 hours”

This is often referred to as a matter plan. Alongside the Agreed Fees, this can provide a structure that can be used to analyse the variance in effort on the activities in a case at a more granular activity based level than just the invoiced hours.

OAuth Account Linking
We are releasing a feature to allow users to authorise the use of their external accounts with sharedo.

The first release of this feature is targeted toward various O365 services including:

  • Email
  • Calendar
  • Sharepoint

When configured and enabled as a feature, users will receive a prompt asking them to sign in and link their accounts. Linking their account will allow sharedo to act on their behalf when communicating with SharePoint online or Exchange online.

For SharePoint online this will mean that the users individual credentials can be used when browsing document libraries and editing or uploading content. This improves the audit trail of a user’s interactions from sharedo to SharePoint online.
For Exchange online this will mean that sharedo can send email as the user without having to grant the sharedo service account permission to ‘send on behalf of’ for every user.
This service underpins our “plugin-less” experience … more of that next month!

Various platform updates

In addition to the major features released above we have introduced:

  1. Introduced a raft of enhancements into form builder to enable more flexible definition of custom forms
  2. Introduced an enhanced Matter Financials widget to enable better visualisation of matter level financial details
  3. Updated the key dates widget to better show key dates from across the Matter Graph (e.g. offers, proceedings etc)
  4. Extended list views to make the columns available more extensive
  5. … and lots more!!