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Legal Procurement… Tired of the Status Quo?
By Reda Bennani: Consultant
There has been much debate, in the legal sphere, about the emerging technologies and the panoply of innovations embracing the practice. Law firms are looking for pathways and routes that can sustain net income and manage legal and corporate spend. Yet Procurement and Purchasing solutions are trailing far behind in mindshare.
So first, let’s better understand the concept.
In a traditional business context, the biggest source of cost in organizations is procurement of capital items that are needed to run the everyday operations. Purchasing solutions roles are hence well- defined as cost saving drivers. They deploy analytical tools that keep track of firm’s spending and overall management of vendor relationships and contracts. There is unanimity that when managed effectively, procurement can deliver substantial benefits. As we know, the law firm business model is different. While other industries benefited from the harmo…

Microsoft Surface RT, a surface of windows?

Well I finally got a deep dive on a Windows RT Surface device (with a Red keyboard!) and at first it had quite a bit going for it. I understand there is a lot more RAM than an iPad (2 Gig vs 512 Meg) and the "Metro" interface was a lot happier than on the Windows Phone 7. I agree that Metro seems a solution for a problem no one was having but with touch it makes some sense.


Opening a legal Word document and seeing it properly rendered was fantastic, and this alone could be a killer feature.

But after the first flush of working with a very Windows like experience and an IE like Web I struck my first major issue. Using a common security authentication I could not log on as I got IE errors. You cant run the ActiveX controls etc as this is not Windows per-se.

Most tellingly (I feel vindicated for my pronouncement of its death!)  a really cool Micsosoft BI Site we worked on with Silverlight did not work. Thats right no Silverlight support!

One of the annoyances with Windows Phone is …

Security Update for SQL Server

This month Microsoft released a rare patch for SQL Server. A Security Update to fix venerability within Reporting Services.

We'd urge you to check the bulletin list of susceptible candidate versions of SQL Server. Rather, since there are so many versions susceptible, scroll to the list of non-affected versions. If your install is listed here, breath easy. If not, this update's for you.

I installed and function tested the update on SQL 2008. It's straightforward and SQL Server needs a re-start to kick it in, which means an outage if you're applying this to a core business server.

This patch covers a venerability in Reporting Services. Through this loop-hole malicious code could elevate access privileges and gain control and cause some damage. The malicious code could be planted on a web site or in an advertisement. Looking innocent enough, it's the sort of thing anybody could trigger.

The link between an external web site or advertisement and your intern…

A futuristic approach, to learning in law firms? - Reda Bennani

- Reda Bennani Consultant
A futuristic approach, to learning in law firms?
I attended the International Legal Technology Association annual conference in Washington DC, (ILTA) last week. It was quite an experience, the number of vendors, new technology and buzz words debated during the event made it so SPECIAL.
There is no question that the law firm business model is in a state of rapid change.Technology drives innovation, and the rise of new technical competencies.
There was a quasi-consensus, during the conference, that law firms need to re-configure their training methods to fit the new business needs and technology environment. I had the opportunity to attend many sessions focusing on the ability of law firms to use fully social media, intranets and soon-to-be-developed work flow automation tools.
The multitude of emerging technologies such as mobile usage, social media and touch and gesture technologies, represent a real challenge for law firms in managing change within different busi…

Knowledge sharing, the BIG obstacle for law firms?

- Reda Bennani - Consultant

Innovative legal service Practices have been threatening the status quo of the traditional legal profession. An overabundance of legal information and document management systems have been taking advantage of the anticipated genesis of new-adopted business models, that would change the practice and influence business leaders. Trending IT practices and systems, have deployed their expertise to serve the legal industry which is lacking far behind in adopting pure Resource Planning solutions.
Law Firms have jumped on the collaboration bandwagon using tools such as Microsoft SharePoint to collaborate both on a firm and client-facing basis, but the recent study from ILTA 2012 shows that only 24 % of law firms adopt these systems, which is a weak number compared to the potential upside this tool can bring to the firm bottom line. We all know that there are traditional and trending unorthodox reasons for the lack of Knowledge sharing, here is my take on that:
The fe…

Embracing AFAs?

Embracing AFAs? - By Reda Bennani, Consultant
We all agree that most major change initiatives—whether intended to boost quality, improve culture, or reverse a corporate death spiral—generate half-hearted results. While the use of Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFA's) is rapidly growing, with variations likely to become as common as hourly rate billing, there are ongoing debates about their implementation based on law firms’ needs, their changing business model and their willing to track budgets and deliver a world-class service.

Clients have been “pushing” law firms into joining them in adopting better business practices and reduction of their historically high profit margins.These same clients have been embracing the innovative realm of AFA’s that have been bringing value “SAVING MONEY” and delivering results with “NO FUSS”.
While there are numerous AFAs types, processes have not been established on how to implement these new billing models by the vendors. Law firms, often limit the…

The death of Silverlight?

Remember when Microsoft ruled our destinies and understanding the future of legal technology meant understanding what plans Microsoft had?
Well the only certainty is change and things have changed. Instead of being in the lead pack of the consumer led charge by apple and others they have been part of the pack. They get it, they just have not been able to perform to their or our expectations. Tjese chanes have seen flash die, and microsofts instantiation being silverlight is likely to be next.
Being an "industry figure" has its perks. Friends have suggested that our efforts should not be directed towards silverlight.
This is not a popular view. Indeed many of you sat with me at a recent managing partners meeting where the presenter used silverlight in every sentence.
Hang on we are busy playing with the new data visualization tools in SQL 2012. These are built in silverlight! Well let's consider NetMeeting, it was used before Skype, Microsoft had a lead! What happened! It wen…