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Open Text To Build Law Firm-Focused Content Management System On Microsoft SharePoint

The new product, available next year, would would combine Open Text's expertise in lifecycle management of legal documents with the collaboration and content management capabilities of SharePoint.

Open Text on Monday said it would offer law firms a content management system based entirely on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

The new product, unveiled at the ILTA legal conference in Orlando, Fla., would combine Open Text's expertise in lifecycle management of legal documents with the collaboration and content management capabilities of SharePoint. Open Text currently sells its own product for the legal market called LegalKEY.

SharePoint is used by law firms for broadly used intranet, extranet and collaboration capabilities, while Open Text technologies have been tailored to specific law firm processes, Open Text officials said. Under the combined offering, SharePoint could become a firm's central content repository, and lawyers and staff could use its interface to access Open Text's practice-centric views of content and virtual file cabinets.

The integrated product is expected to help firms manage new business and potential conflicts of interest, establish ethical walls separating client cases, and provide records management and archiving that meets compliance requirements. In addition, users can perform federated searches across matters, and automatically assign metadata to allow correct classification of documents and pre-population of relevant content. The single point of content management through SharePoint also means that firms can apply retention schedules across repositories in a consistent and centralized manner.

Open Text two years ago launched an initiative to combine Microsoft productivity tools with its enterprise content management software and vertical-market expertise. Earlier this year, Open Text launched software integrated with SharePoint for managing U.S. Department of Defense-certified records. The company also launched a joint SharePoint-Open Text product that life sciences companies could use to manage documents that meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration requirements.

The latest integrated product is scheduled to be fully available to law firms by early next year. Pricing was not disclosed.

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