There are certain applications that are a must when you’re creating documents, sharing case files, and juggling appointment scheduling. These include Outlook for email and calendars and Microsoft Word, the most recognized document file format around.
These tools and many others are included in a Microsoft 365 subscription, which is important as a foundational productivity platform for law offices that want to streamline cloud use and have multiple tools they need to run a productive office.
Another benefit of Microsoft Office 365 is that because it’s one of the most well-known productivity tools in the world, it has multiple integrations with other platforms, such as law practice management software, Clio.
Over 651,000 companies in the U.S. use Microsoft 365.
Why is this cloud platform so important to your law firm? Here are several reasons.
Allows for Anywhere Access
Microsoft 365 is a cloud hybrid which allows you to work in the software both offline and online. Offline files are synced to the cloud environment as soon as an internet connection is present.
Because the platform can be accessed from anywhere and any device and has both a downloaded software and web interface, your team can work from anywhere. Whether working remotely from home or at a courthouse, no one has to email a file to you at the last minute; your documents are cloud-based for anywhere access.
The web interfaces for all the tools (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.) allows someone to make quick edits to a document without having to have the software on their device.
Includes Excellent Security Capabilities
You have a lot of control over how you handle document security when using the platform. There are multiple security configurations in Microsoft 365, allowing you to block common phishing extensions, prevent auto-forwarding of email outside your domain, and much more.
Depending upon the plan you use, you gain additional features such as Advanced Threat Protection and the capability to use document security like sensitivity labels.
The Secure Score tool makes it easy to see where the platform can use security upgrades so you can ensure your online documents and accounts are fully protected.
Includes Multiple Tools in One
Beyond the powerhouse Office apps, you get multiple digital tools that can help you eliminate the need for other app subscriptions, enable remote working, and more.
Here’s a rundown of the most commonly used applications in Microsoft 365:
- MS Word: Most recognized format for documents
- Excel: Spreadsheets and charts
- PowerPoint: Presentations
- Outlook: Email, calendar, contacts, task management
- OneNote: Online shareable notebook for organization
- OneDrive: Secure cloud storage and sharing
- SharePoint: Team-based, siloed online storage and sharing
- Teams: Online work hub for teams, video calls, messaging, and more
- Forms: Create cloud forms and surveys and collect responses online
- Lists: Replace manual spreadsheets with cloud-based list processes
- Bookings: Make it easy for clients to book appointment online
Integration With Other Law Firm Software
As mentioned, Microsoft 365 has integration with popular law firm management software, such as Clio. The Clio integration allows you to sync contacts and calendar entries. You can also file emails and email attachments and even time entries from Outlook to Clio.
Being able to share data across important software you use to run your law office is vital because it reduces the risk of keying errors and eliminates time wasted re-entering the same data into different apps.
Some other law firm software that has an integration with Microsoft 365 includes:
- Zola Suite
Secure Team Connections You Need
Microsoft Teams is an app in Microsoft 365 that has skyrocketed in popularity due to the pandemic. It’s a must for keeping your team connected with each other as well as your clients.
It also includes several security features that make it one of the most secure team and messaging platforms you can find.
These include the ability to:
- Create private channel for clients or teams in your firm
- Invite those outside your organization to a channel
- Use document security policies that are set up for Word, and other tools
- Safe Links & Safe Attachments to protect from phishing
- Information Barriers to control conflicts of interest
- Communication compliance capabilities
Teams also enables a remote law firm and gives everyone a virtual office where they can stay connected. This is important in today’s world with the pandemic still an issue.
Teams offers connection and collaboration through messaging, alerts, status messages, file sharing, real-time document collaboration, audio and video calls, and more.
Get a Customized Setup of Microsoft 365 for Your Law Office
Whether you need to obtain Microsoft 365 or are already using it (but not to its fullest), ProdigyTeks can help your Chicago law office take full advantage of the platform with a custom set up.
Schedule a free phone consultation today! Call 312-600-8357 or reach us online.