Open Text, the largest independent provider of Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
software and solutions, today announced plans for an integrated solution with
Microsoft software for matter lifecycle management and practice support
targeted to law firms worldwide. The new solution will combine Open Text’s
specialized legal industry expertise in matter lifecycle management and
proactive compliance, with the collaboration and document management
capabilities of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Open Text announced
the news at the International Legal Technology Association’s (ILTA)
annual conference underway this week in Orlando, FL.

The companies’ plans are aimed at an industry where ECM needs are growing
fast. Law firms have unique requirements when it comes to controlling and
managing sensitive client information, and addressing firm policies. Attorneys
and staff must be able to work with content in matter-centric or
practice-centric views using secure “virtual cabinets”, and all information,
including email, must be managed through defined lifecycles. Adding to the
complexity, law firms have become increasingly global, with geographically
dispersed teams that need global views of information and powerful
collaboration tools.

Working with Microsoft, Open Text is well suited to address the evolving
needs of the legal market. SharePoint Server 2007 is popular in law firms,
providing broadly used intranet, extranet and collaboration capabilities,
while Open Text offers extensive legal market expertise and ECM solutions
tailored to specific law firm processes. With the new solution, law firms gain
greater value from their SharePoint Server 2007 investments. SharePoint Server
2007 can become the firm’s central content repository, and attorneys and staff
can continue to work in their familiar SharePoint Server 2007 environments
while still leveraging Open Text’s matter and practice-centric views of
content, virtual file cabinets and seamless integration with firm processes –
a “best-of-both-worlds” scenario.

“Our strategic relationships with Open Text and Microsoft are important
to our firm,” said Andy Jurczyk, CIO of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP, an
international law firm with thirteen U.S. offices and a global reach
throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Canada. “We have
standardized on the Open Text legal solutions suite because of its rich
functionality and strategic alliance with Microsoft. The close relationship
between Open Text and Microsoft reaffirms the merits of our decision as it
reinforces the solid foundation on which we are building our proactive
compliance framework and ensures the firm’s continued leadership in the
delivery of legal services on a global scale.”

The integrated solution will provide complete matter lifecycle
management, from matter inception to closure. Firms will be able to manage the
intake of new business and potential conflicts of interest, establish “ethical
walls” separating client cases, and provide records management and archiving
that meets compliance requirements. Working in a matter-centric environment,
users will be able to access documents and email in different repositories;
perform federated searches across matters; and automatically assign metadata
to allow correct classification of documents and pre-population of relevant
content – all the information management functionality today’s lawyers demand.
The single point of content management also means that firms can apply
retention schedules across repositories in a consistent and centralized

“A law firm, like any organization, is looking for new ways to increase
productivity and reduce risks,” said Brian Zeve, Managing Director, Microsoft
Professional Services Industry Solutions. “We’ve seen a strong reception for
SharePoint Server 2007 in the legal market and Open Text is adding even more
value to help customers address the twin concerns of compliance and
productivity. By offering Open Text’s legal capabilities within SharePoint
Server 2007, we’ll be able to offer customers the kind of integration they
need for a truly comprehensive ECM strategy.”

“Our plans with Microsoft in the legal market follow the strategic course
we set together in the ECM market two years ago,” said Bill Forquer,
President, Defined Markets at Open Text. “We said we would combine the power
of Microsoft’s productivity tools with our ECM solutions and vertical-market
expertise, in this case our knowledge of the law firm business. Through this
working relationship, Open Text has become a leader in delivering solutions
that extend SharePoint Server 2007